Emmanuel Church Canterbury

Talks

Talk
The Lion has roared: Prepare to meet your God
The Lion Has Roared
Bible Passage

Amos 4 (Listen)

4:1   “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan,
    who are on the mountain of Samaria,
  who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
    who say to your husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!’
  The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness
    that, behold, the days are coming upon you,
  when they shall take you away with hooks,
    even the last of you with fishhooks.
  And you shall go out through the breaches,
    each one straight ahead;
    and you shall be cast out into Harmon,”
      declares the LORD.
  “Come to Bethel, and transgress;
    to Gilgal, and multiply transgression;
  bring your sacrifices every morning,
    your tithes every three days;
  offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened,
    and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
    for so you love to do, O people of Israel!”
      declares the Lord GOD.

Israel Has Not Returned to the Lord

  “I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
    and lack of bread in all your places,
  yet you did not return to me,”
      declares the LORD.
  “I also withheld the rain from you
    when there were yet three months to the harvest;
  I would send rain on one city,
    and send no rain on another city;
  one field would have rain,
    and the field on which it did not rain would wither;
  so two or three cities would wander to another city
    to drink water, and would not be satisfied;
  yet you did not return to me,”
      declares the LORD.
  “I struck you with blight and mildew;
    your many gardens and your vineyards,
    your fig trees and your olive trees the locust devoured;
  yet you did not return to me,”
      declares the LORD.
10   “I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
    I killed your young men with the sword,
  and carried away your horses,1
    and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils;
  yet you did not return to me,”
      declares the LORD.
11   “I overthrew some of you,
    as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
    and you were as a brand2 plucked out of the burning;
  yet you did not return to me,”
      declares the LORD.
12   “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
    because I will do this to you,
    prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
13   For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind,
    and declares to man what is his thought,
  who makes the morning darkness,
    and treads on the heights of the earth—
    the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!

Footnotes

[1] 4:10 Hebrew along with the captivity of your horses
[2] 4:11 That is, a burning stick

(ESV)

Matthew 3:1–12 (Listen)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

3:1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”1 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

  “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
  ‘Prepare2 the way of the Lord;
    make his paths straight.’”

Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Footnotes

[1] 3:2 Or the kingdom of heaven has come near
[2] 3:3 Or crying: Prepare in the wilderness

(ESV)