2019 New year’s eve: prayer, evangelists and watchman

Psalm 68:4

Two unexpected ministry friends joined my house-mate for the watch night on new year eve and spent a busy day visiting and ministering to a needy family. By the time the three of them returned they were practically quite weary but determined to spend the last hour of 2018 praying. I joined them and prayed together during which each person shared their most memorable encounter with God/the Word of God in 2018. I shared my whole recent healed testimony.

After that we each took turn to pray. I was not sure of what they meant so I prayed an intercessory prayer for my country which took my prayer partners by surprise. My house mate nudged me a few times and urged me to stop. So I ended the prayer in a hurry. As it was near midnight I suggested we all pray in tongue in the last 15 minutes. But it ended up we had not more than ten minutes to pray. I soon discovered I was praying/singing in tongue sort of solo as the others were like dozing off. They assured me they were praying softly in tongue. By midnight I was alone.

What was I to do? I was the lone watchman in the group. They are evangelists who go to the frontline and really work physically with people in need. I am just a typical spiritual watchman who is always in the background in the unseen realm. We are so different and yet we are all working in the Kingdom of God. We practice what we are called to do with the gifts the Lord has given each of us specifically. My gifts are entirely different from theirs.

When we were about to start the prayer meeting I received a verse in my spirit. At the close of the meeting I received another verse.

Beginning verse: Acts 11:12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. (This was Peter’s testimony of how the Holy Spirit guided him to do evangelism.) This verse was meant for the three evangelists as they have been doing just that!

Ending verse: Psalm 68:11 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) The Lord Defeats the Kings of the Land “11 The Lord provided the message.
The women who proclaimed it were a great army”. The three evangelists are all women! The verse was meant for them!

The Lord has demonstrated how His Kingdom’s frontline ministry works, always using a team of individuals of different yet related gifts, such as, teaching, healing and helping.

Where do I fit in then? The watchman asks. Are watchmen obsolete? This is going to be what I shall focus on in the new year 2019. Finding a spiritual place and purpose in the Kingdom of God for watchman.

Reading Psalm 68 which I have posted on January 1 2019, I believe that this is what I have been called to do as a watchman, listening carefully in the spirit, praying in the spirit, reading God’s words as the Holy Spirit leads me, proclaiming those words which He wants a target audience to know and pay attention to. The words will exalt God and yet comfort and build His people up.

Here are some of the revealed verses from Psalm 68 about God that He wants you to see today as you are led to read this post. I pray you are stirred up in the spirit to praise and sing to the Lord a new song. I believe I am one of the troop who sing in the Spirit and not a solo singer.

Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

Blessing on God’s People

But the righteous rejoice and celebrate in the presence of God.
They will be happy and joyful.
Sing to God. Make music to his name.
Lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts.
His name is the Lord.[b Celebrate before him.
In his holy dwelling, God is a father for the fatherless
and a judge who defends widows.
God causes the lonely to dwell together as a household.
He leads out the prisoners with music,
but the rebellious dwell in a scorched land.

Just thinking aloud 4

thinking aloud4I have not been thinking aloud for sometime. What have I been doing? Well I have been studying and sitting for exam. I am serious. The last time I studied for exam was when I did a postgraduate degree for a second career. The current three years’ course is for my “third career”. Yes, my family members are laughing out loud when they read this. At my age and my station? Unbelievable! Well, why am I taking up such a seemingly directionless challenge? I could have easily gone on a world cruise and enjoy watching, listening and recording a great variety of perspectives of many sights, sounds and tastes.

For the benefit of my closed ones and other passers by, here is a random list of my study goals in no order of importance. As some may observe the goals are personal.
1. to be a role model for the younger generation who have aversion to study in my extended family. (I include this goal because several very young members are still students)
2. to compel me to leave the soft couch and sit on a chair with hard back.
3. to change my habit from random information skimming to a focused in-depth study.
4. to have a clear sense of direction.
5. to have a specific higher goal.
6. to practice self-discipline.
7. to exercise my memory and brain functions.
8. to practice long-suffering and perseverance.
9. to learn focus and deter distraction.
10. to equip for a third career. (I include this goal as a commercial motivation for myself and the younger generation too!)

Have I achieved or progressed in any of the above goals? To some degree, yes. I did not include my spiritual and goals of higher values in the above list. They are personal too. Have I achieved or progressed in them? Yes, very much. Would I recommend to my peers such a course? Yes, definitely. Far, far better than going on a world cruise. From a spiritual watchman’s perspective, cruising in the sky has a wider and more panoramic view than taking a ride in a boat.

what should a nation do to be great again?

usa-1344768_1280This is still the watchman’s message to nations who would be great. I posted the original blog on 6/26/2016 after the Brexit vote. The nation was not given the right to choose their anointed leader because one out of two candidates opted to hand over the leadership without further contest as a result of media pressure. The initial prophetic move became stagnated until today.  In the same year there was another election that started a second prophetic move which again was bitterly countered by the media. Just as predicted, the move seemed even more impossible than Brexit. But it has moved and is still moving strong.

Personally, the watchman watches the global economy. When nations are strong and booming in their respective economy, the global economy booms and more people on earth will benefit. When nations are weak in economy and continue to live by debts, donations and social welfare handouts, poverty and related evil grow deep roots and human sufferings increase.

I ask the Lord what to pray when I pray for national leaders. The word I was reminded of is “BOLDNESS”, which was what the disciples prayed for in Acts 4:29. “Grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word”.

Deuteronomy 8:18 But you shall remember [with profound respect] the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore (solemnly promised) to your fathers, as it is this day.

Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the Lord brings [true] riches, And He adds no sorrow to it [for it comes as a blessing from God].

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even while we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

AAAJ watchman

UKGOD SPOKE TWICE.
What should a nation do to become great again?
1. I am reminded of the successful examples in the Book of Ezra and Book of Nehemiah.
Rebuild your Temple of God/churches. Rebuild your walls: physically by demarcation and sovereignty over your borders (spiritual defense too).
I pray the Lord’s Spirit be poured out mightily upon you.
When you align with God’s plan and His words you will be great again.
Prosperity and peace.
Booming trades and bountiful harvests.
No one will lack.
You will be the head and not the tail.

2. READ THE BIBLICAL LESSONS ON EXCELLENT EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL NATIONAL LEADERS: FINANCE MINISTER Joseph, PRIME MINISTER Daniel and his friends, COMMANDER prophet Samuel, SPIRITUAL LEADER prophet Elijah, EDUCATIONIST Scribe Ezra, CIVIL GOVERNOR Zerubbabel, Nehemiah and many more.

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Daily Word: what has Mark 11:11 and Nehemiah 2:11 have in common? “Investigate, verify and act according to plan.”

nehemiah-218Jesus did something that Nehemiah did around 444BC. After He entered into Jerusalem, He inspected and verified first the actual condition of the Temple. Prior to this action, as recorded in Mark 11:9, 10 in acclaiming Jesus with the words of Ps. 118:25, 26, the people were publicly acknowledging Him as their Messiah. Hosanna, meaning “Save now” came to be a customary shout of praise like…but Jesus was not at all concerned with attending any celebration party after the brief interval at the gate, or seeking a personal glory through the people in Jerusalem who appeared to exalt him to the highest political position they could give to a fellow country man. Instead, He continued with His plan and carried it out quietly and effectively. The newly appointed Governor Nehemiah did the same thing. On arrival at Jerusalem, instead of attending a lavish inauguration party, he went out on his own in the quiet of the night and carried out his first hand investigation and proceeded with his plan without wavering. Nehemiah succeeded in re-building the wall of Jerusalem in 52 short days! Jesus completed His mission within the immediate holy passion week. Both were man of focused thoughts and action. No diversions or distractions ever succeeded in preventing them to finish their race and achieve their one utmost important goal.

Mark 11:11 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

11 And He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around at everything, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve, since it was already late.

Nehemiah 2:11-20 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Inspecting the Walls
11 I came to Jerusalem, and after I was there for three days, 12 I got up during the night along with a few men. But I did not tell anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no animals with me except the animal I was riding. 13 By night I went out by the Valley Gate toward Jackal Spring and the Dung Gate, inspecting the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I moved on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, where there was not enough room for my animal to pass with me; 15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and returned to the Valley Gate. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, but as yet I had not told the Jews, the kohanim, the nobles, the officials or the rest of the workers.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in: Jerusalem is desolate and its gates have been burnt. Come! Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a disgrace.”

18 Then I told them how the good hand of my God was on me and the words that the king had said to me. Then they replied, “Let us begin building!” So they prepared themselves for this good work.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. They said, “What is this you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”

20 I responded to them saying, “The God of heaven will bring us success. We His servants will arise and build. But you have no part, right, or historical claim in Jerusalem.”

Jesus focused on God’s mission and plan (the big picture)
John 12:28 Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.”

John 12:49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it.

Daily Word: what the word 111 means to Jerusalem

nasaisrael1 Chronicles 11 recorded David and his mighty men who conquered the stronghold of Jerusalem. (Read the whole chapter)
1 Chronicles 11:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant with them there before the Lord, and they anointed [him] king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord through Samuel.
4 And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, that is Jebus, where the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, were.
5 Then the Jebusites said to David, You shall not come in here! But David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the City of David.
6 And David said, Whoever smites the Jebusites first shall be chief and commander. Joab son of Zeruiah [David’s half sister] went up first, and so he was made chief.
7 David dwelt in the stronghold; so it was called the City of David.

Guards were set up to watch over the City.
All these chosen to be keepers at the thresholds were 212. This is recorded in 1 Chronicles 9:22 (AMPC)
9:2 Now the first [of the returned exiles] to dwell again in their possessions in the cities of Israel were the priests, Levites, and the Nethinim [the temple servants].
9:22 All these chosen to be keepers at the thresholds were 212…
26 But these Levites, the four chief gatekeepers, were in charge of the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.
27 They lodged round about God’s house, for the duty [of watching] was theirs, as well as the opening of the house every morning.

Stronghold background (war with Philistines)
1 Chronicles 10
10:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel...13 So Saul died for his trespass against the Lord [in sparing Amalek], for his unfaithfulness in not keeping God’s word, and also for consulting [a medium with] a spirit of the dead to inquire pleadingly of it,
14 And inquired not so of the Lord [in earnest penitence]. Therefore the Lord slew him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Original background (During Abraham’s time) Genesis 14:18 Melchizedek king of Salem [later called Jerusalem] brought out bread and wine [for their nourishment]; he was the priest of God Most High,
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a word of warning from Jesus

Matthew 21:5 Say to the Daughter of Zion [inhabitants of Jerusalem], Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey [a beast of burden].

Matthew 23:36 Truly I declare to you, all these [evil, calamitous times] will come upon this generation.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, murdering the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a mother fowl gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused!
38 Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate (abandoned and left destitute of God’s help).
39 For I declare to you, you will not see Me again until you say, Blessed (magnified in worship, adored, and exalted) is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!
Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [astrologers] from the east came to Jerusalem, asking,…

Seven years of building prosperity

joseph-building-wealthPharaoh’s Dreams: Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. 2 Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 3 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. 4 And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke. 5 He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good. 6 Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 7 And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream. 8 Now it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.

9 Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: “I remember my faults this day. 10 When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker, 11 we each had a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12 Now there was a young Hebrew man with us there, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 And it came to pass, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.”

14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.”

16 So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Behold, in my dream I stood on the bank of the river. 18 Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 19 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows. 21 When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven heads came up on one stalk, full and good. 23 Then behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24 And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. 28 This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. 31 So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. 32 And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

33 “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”
Joseph’s Rise to Power

37 So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. 48 So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. 49 Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.

50 And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh:[a] “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” 52 And the name of the second he called Ephraim:[b] “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

53 Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” 56 The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses[c] and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57 So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.
Footnotes:

Genesis 41:51 Literally Making Forgetful
Genesis 41:52 Literally Fruitfulness
Genesis 41:56 Literally all that was in them

New King James Version (NKJV) Genesis 41

“I will plant in the wilderness; That they may see and know,”

isaiah-411720“The poor and needy seek water, but there is none,
Their tongues fail for thirst.
I, the Lord, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18
I will open rivers in desolate heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water.
19
I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree,
The myrtle and the oil tree;
I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine
And the box tree together,
20
That they may see and know,
And consider and understand together,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.
~~~Isaiah 41:17-20 (NKJV)

Today’s Sword of the Spirit: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper”

isaiah-5417-no-weapon-succeeds-against-youToday’s Sword of the Spirit for the side who aligns with our God.
For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

11
“O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.
12
I will make your pinnacles of rubies,
Your gates of crystal,
And all your walls of precious stones.
13
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.
14
In righteousness you shall be established;
You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
And from terror, for it shall not come near you.
15
Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.
Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.

16
“Behold, I have created the blacksmith
Who blows the coals in the fire,
Who brings forth an instrument for his work;
And I have created the spoiler to destroy.
17
No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.
(Sword of the Spirit from Isaiah 54:10-17 NKJV)

Day Four (revised 11/4/2018) : Woe to you who are at ease in Zion; you who heard and did nothing;

Amos 6-1Amos 6:1 King James Bible
Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

Judges 5 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Song of Deborah
5 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:

2 “Israel’s leaders took charge,
and the people gladly followed.
Praise the Lord!

3 “Listen, you kings!
Pay attention, you mighty rulers!
For I will sing to the Lord.
I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel.

4 “Lord, when you set out from Seir
and marched across the fields of Edom,
the earth trembled,
and the cloudy skies poured down rain.
5 The mountains quaked in the presence of the Lord,
the God of Mount Sinai—
in the presence of the Lord,
the God of Israel.

6 “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
and in the days of Jael,
people avoided the main roads,
and travelers stayed on winding pathways.
7 There were few people left in the villages of Israel[a]—
until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel.
8 When Israel chose new gods,
war erupted at the city gates.
Yet not a shield or spear could be seen
among forty thousand warriors in Israel!
9 My heart is with the commanders of Israel,
with those who volunteered for war.
Praise the Lord!

10 “Consider this, you who ride on fine donkeys,
you who sit on fancy saddle blankets,
and you who walk along the road.
11 Listen to the village musicians[b]
gathered at the watering holes.
They recount the righteous victories of the Lord
and the victories of his villagers in Israel.
Then the people of the Lord
marched down to the city gates.

12 “Wake up, Deborah, wake up!
Wake up, wake up, and sing a song!
Arise, Barak!
Lead your captives away, son of Abinoam!

13 “Down from Tabor marched the few against the nobles.
The people of the Lord marched down against mighty warriors.
14 They came down from Ephraim—
a land that once belonged to the Amalekites;
they followed you, Benjamin, with your troops.
From Makir the commanders marched down;
from Zebulun came those who carry a commander’s staff.
15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah and Barak.
They followed Barak, rushing into the valley.
But in the tribe of Reuben
there was great indecision.[c]
16 Why did you sit at home among the sheepfolds—
to hear the shepherds whistle for their flocks?
Yes, in the tribe of Reuben
there was great indecision.
17 Gilead remained east of the Jordan.
And why did Dan stay home?
Asher sat unmoved at the seashore,
remaining in his harbors.
18 But Zebulun risked his life,
as did Naphtali, on the heights of the battlefield.

19 “The kings of Canaan came and fought,
at Taanach near Megiddo’s springs,
but they carried off no silver treasures.
20 The stars fought from heaven.
The stars in their orbits fought against Sisera.
21 The Kishon River swept them away—
that ancient torrent, the Kishon.
March on with courage, my soul!
22 Then the horses’ hooves hammered the ground,
the galloping, galloping of Sisera’s mighty steeds.
23 ‘Let the people of Meroz be cursed,’ said the angel of the Lord.
‘Let them be utterly cursed,
because they did not come to help the Lord—
to help the Lord against the mighty warriors.’

24 “Most blessed among women is Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite.
May she be blessed above all women who live in tents.
25 Sisera asked for water,
and she gave him milk.
In a bowl fit for nobles,
she brought him yogurt.
26 Then with her left hand she reached for a tent peg,
and with her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera with the hammer, crushing his head.
With a shattering blow, she pierced his temples.
27 He sank, he fell,
he lay still at her feet.
And where he sank,
there he died.

28 “From the window Sisera’s mother looked out.
Through the window she watched for his return, saying,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why don’t we hear the sound of chariot wheels?’

29 “Her wise women answer,
and she repeats these words to herself:
30 ‘They must be dividing the captured plunder—
with a woman or two for every man.
There will be colorful robes for Sisera,
and colorful, embroidered robes for me.
Yes, the plunder will include
colorful robes embroidered on both sides.’

31 “Lord, may all your enemies die like Sisera!
But may those who love you rise like the sun in all its power!”

Then there was peace in the land for forty years.

Footnotes:
5:7 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
5:11 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
5:15 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac version, which read searchings of heart; Masoretic Text reads resolve of heart.

Day 7: Amos 3 and Psalm 149 “To bind their kings with chains”

Amos 3 (NKJV) Authority of the Prophet’s Message
Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying:

2 “You only have I known of all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey?
Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing?
5 Will a bird fall into a snare on the earth, where there is no trap for it?
Will a snare spring up from the earth, if it has caught nothing at all?
6 If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid?
If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
7 Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
8 A lion has roared!
Who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken!
Who can but prophesy?

Punishment of Israel’s Sins
9 “Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod,[a]
And in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say:
‘Assemble on the mountains of Samaria;
See great tumults in her midst,
And the oppressed within her.
10 For they do not know to do right,’
Says the Lord,
‘Who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.’”
11 Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“An adversary shall be all around the land;
He shall sap your strength from you,
And your palaces shall be plundered.”
12 Thus says the Lord:

“As a shepherd takes from the mouth of a lion
Two legs or a piece of an ear,
So shall the children of Israel be taken out
Who dwell in Samaria—
In the corner of a bed and on the edge[b] of a couch!
13 Hear and testify against the house of Jacob,”
Says the Lord God, the God of hosts,
14 “That in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions,
I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel;
And the horns of the altar shall be cut off
And fall to the ground.
15 I will destroy the winter house along with the summer house;
The houses of ivory shall perish,
And the great houses shall have an end,”
Says the Lord.

Footnotes:
[a] Amos 3:9 Following Masoretic Text; Septuagint reads Assyria.
[b] Amos 3:12 The Hebrew is uncertain.

Psalm 149 (NKJV)
Praise to God for His Salvation and Judgment
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
And His praise in the assembly of saints.
2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3 Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.
5 Let the saints be joyful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
7 To execute vengeance on the nations,
And punishments on the peoples;
8 To bind their kings with chains,
And their nobles with fetters of iron;
9 To execute on them the written judgment—
This honor have all His saints.
Praise the Lord!

Day 8 Amos 2 and Psalm 49

Amos 2:1-16 Thus says the LORD:
“For three transgressions of Moab, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.

But I will send a fire upon Moab,
And it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth;
Moab shall die with tumult,
With shouting and trumpet sound.

And I will cut off the judge from its midst,
And slay all its princes with him,
Says the LORD.

Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of Judah, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they have despised the law of the LORD,
And have not kept His commandments.
Their lies lead them astray,
Lies which their fathers followed.

But I will send a fire upon Judah,
And it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.”

Thus says the LORD:

“For three transgressions of Israel, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they sell the righteous for silver,
And the poor for a pair of sandals.

They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor,
And pervert the way of the humble.
A man and his father go in to the same girl,
To defile My holy name.

They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge,
And drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.

“Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them,
Whose height was like the height of the cedars,
And he was as strong as the oaks;
Yet I destroyed his fruit above
And his roots beneath.

Also it was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt,
And led you forty years through the wilderness,
To possess the land of the Amorite.

I raised up some of your sons as prophets,
And some of your young men as Nazirites.
Is it not so, O you children of Israel?”
Says the LORD.

“But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink,
And commanded the prophets saying,
‘Do not prophesy!’

“Behold, I am weighed down by you,
As a cart full of sheaves is weighed down.

Therefore flight shall perish from the swift,
The strong shall not strengthen his power,
Nor shall the mighty deliver himself;

He shall not stand who handles the bow,
The swift of foot shall not escape,
Nor shall he who rides a horse deliver himself.

The most courageous men of might
Shall flee naked in that day,”
Says the LORD.

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Psalm 49 New King James Version (NKJV) The Confidence of the Foolish
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

Hear this, all peoples;
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 Both low and high,
Rich and poor together.
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will disclose my dark saying on the harp.
5 Why should I fear in the days of evil,
When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
6 Those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the multitude of their riches,
7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for him—
8 For the redemption of their souls is costly,
And it shall cease forever—
9 That he should continue to live eternally,
And not see the Pit.
10 For he sees wise men die;
Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish,
And leave their wealth to others.
11 Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever,[a]
Their dwelling places to all generations;
They call their lands after their own names.
12 Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain;[b]
He is like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the way of those who are foolish,
And of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah
14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave;
Death shall feed on them;
The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning;
And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave,
For He shall receive me. Selah
16 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich,
When the glory of his house is increased;
17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away;
His glory shall not descend after him.
18 Though while he lives he blesses himself
(For men will praise you when you do well for yourself),
19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They shall never see light.
20 A man who is in honor, yet does not understand,
Is like the beasts that perish.

Footnotes:
[a]Psalm 49:11 Septuagint, Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate read Their graves shall be their houses forever.
[b]Psalm 49:12 Following Masoretic Text and Targum; Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read understand (compare verse 20).

Day 9 The Lord roars from Zion: a message and a prayer response

Amos 1 New King James Version (NKJV) 1 The words of Amos, who was among the sheepbreeders[a] of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

2 And he said:
“The Lord roars from Zion,
And utters His voice from Jerusalem;
The pastures of the shepherds mourn,
And the top of Carmel withers.”
Judgment on the Nations
3 Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron.
4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael,
Which shall devour the palaces of Ben-Hadad.
5 I will also break the gate bar of Damascus,
And cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven,
And the one who holds the scepter from Beth Eden.
The people of Syria shall go captive to Kir,”
Says the Lord.
6 Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they took captive the whole captivity
To deliver them up to Edom.
7 But I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza,
Which shall devour its palaces.
8 I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod,
And the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;
I will turn My hand against Ekron,
And the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,”
Says the Lord God.
9 Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom,
And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
10 But I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre,
Which shall devour its palaces.”
11 Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of Edom, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because he pursued his brother with the sword,
And cast off all pity;
His anger tore perpetually,
And he kept his wrath forever.
12 But I will send a fire upon Teman,
Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.”
13 Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead,
That they might enlarge their territory.
14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah,
And it shall devour its palaces,
Amid shouting in the day of battle,
And a tempest in the day of the whirlwind.
15 Their king shall go into captivity,
He and his princes together,”
Says the Lord.

Footnotes:
Amos 1:1 Compare 2 Kings 3:4

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Psalm 67 New King James Version (NKJV) An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments.[a] A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah
2 That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
4 Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah
5 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
6 Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

Footnotes:
Psalm 67:1 Hebrew neginoth