This devotional tool is an excellent way to learn the Bible, immerse yourself in the entirety of Scripture and gain spiritual wisdom throughout the entire year. Each day, we will feature a 10- to 15-minute excerpt from The Listener’s Bible (NIV 1984), narrated by Max McLean, which will culminate in a complete reading of the entire Bible over 12 months.

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Scripture for Wednesday, July 18
Amos 6:1-7:17, Romans 4:16-5:11, Psalm 86:11-17

Read along:

Amos 6-7:17

Amos 6

 1 Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
   and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
you notable men of the foremost nation,
   to whom the people of Israel come!
2 Go to Calneh and look at it;
   go from there to great Hamath,
   and then go down to Gath in Philistia.
Are they better off than your two kingdoms?
   Is their land larger than yours?
3 You put off the evil day
   and bring near a reign of terror.
4 You lie on beds inlaid with ivory
   and lounge on your couches.
You dine on choice lambs
   and fattened calves.
5 You strum away on your harps like David
   and improvise on musical instruments.
6 You drink wine by the bowlful
   and use the finest lotions,
   but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
7 Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
   your feasting and lounging will end.  8 The Sovereign LORD has sworn by himself—the LORD God Almighty declares:

   "I abhor the pride of Jacob
   and detest his fortresses;
I will deliver up the city
   and everything in it."

 9 If ten men are left in one house, they too will die. 10 And if a relative who is to burn the bodies comes to carry them out of the house and asks anyone still hiding there, "Is anyone with you?" and he says, "No," then he will say, "Hush! We must not mention the name of the LORD."

 11 For the LORD has given the command,
   and he will smash the great house into pieces
   and the small house into bits.

 12 Do horses run on the rocky crags?
   Does one plow there with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
   and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness—
13 you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar
   and say, "Did we not take Karnaim by our own strength?"

 14 For the LORD God Almighty declares,
   "I will stir up a nation against you, O house of Israel,
that will oppress you all the way
   from Lebo Hamath to the valley of the Arabah."

Amos 7

 1 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king's share had been harvested and just as the second crop was coming up. 2 When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, "Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!"

 3 So the LORD relented.

   "This will not happen," the LORD said.

 4 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. 5 Then I cried out, "Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!"

 6 So the LORD relented.

   "This will not happen either," the Sovereign LORD said.

 7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. 8 And the LORD asked me, "What do you see, Amos?"

   "A plumb line," I replied.

   Then the Lord said, "Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

 9 "The high places of Isaac will be destroyed
   and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined;
   with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam."  10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: "Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. 11 For this is what Amos is saying:

   ""˜Jeroboam will die by the sword,
   and Israel will surely go into exile,
   away from their native land.'"

 12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, "Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. 13 Don't prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king's sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom."

 14 Amos answered Amaziah, "I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, "˜Go, prophesy to my people Israel.' 16 Now then, hear the word of the LORD. You say,

   ""˜Do not prophesy against Israel,
   and stop preaching against the house of Isaac.'

 17 "Therefore this is what the LORD says:

   ""˜Your wife will become a prostitute in the city,
   and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword.
Your land will be measured and divided up,
   and you yourself will die in a pagan country.
And Israel will certainly go into exile,
   away from their native land.'"

Romans 4:16-5:11

 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." 23 The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Romans 5

 1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Psalm 86:11-17

 11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
   and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
   that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
   I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
   you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.

 14 The arrogant are attacking me, O God;
   a band of ruthless men seeks my life—
   men without regard for you.
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
   slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
   grant your strength to your servant
   and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
   that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
   for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.