Digging in Deeper: Amos 8:7

“The Lord has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: I will never forget all their deeds.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Christians like to talk about forgiveness. Our favorite subject on the matter is God’s forgiveness of us in Christ. Less enjoyable is the reminder that we are to be forgiving others the way Jesus has forgiven us. One of the biggest hangups people have when thinking about forgiveness comes from the fact that somewhere along the line of Christian history, a phrase developed that became associated with it. We are to “forgive and forget.” The challenge of that second part has kept many from even trying to walk this path. Amos here reminds us that this forgetting part was never supposed to be part of the deal. Let’s explore why that matters together.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Amos 8:1-2

“The Lord God showed me this: a basket of summer fruit. He asked me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ I replied, ‘A basket of summer fruit.’ The Lord said to me, ‘The end has come for my people Israel; I will no longer spare them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you really want to learn the nuances of a foreign language, one of the best ways to go about doing that is by learning to read its poetry. Poetry is heavily rooted in imagery and sound play. Because of this, while you can translate the poem in order to understand all the words and maybe even grasp the poet’s point, without knowing the original language, there are elements the poet intended to be understood in certain ways you are nonetheless likely to miss. This all comes into play in these couple of verse from Amos. Let’s talk about how and what it means for us.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Matthew 18:21-22

“Then Peter approached him and asked, ‘Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?’ ‘I tell you, not as many as seven,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things I love about being a parent is that I can occasionally convince my kids to watch movies that I enjoyed watching when I was growing up. It often serves as a nice dip into the pool of nostalgia. It also occasionally leaves me wondering what on earth my parents were thinking letting me watch some things…or at least how many things I watched they didn’t know about to stop me. My middle son recently watched through the entire Toby Maguire Spider-Man movies directed by Sam Rami. That trilogy of films, more than just about any others, helped to launch the modern superhero genre. Watching them again, they were all just as good as I remembered. More than that, though, watching them again was a reminder of just how Gospel-soaked they were. Join me in a quick trip down memory lane as we talk about how.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Amos 7:14-15

“So Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I was not a prophet or the son of a prophet; rather, I was a herdsman, and I took care of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock and said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”‘” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When we imagine the prophets of the Old Testament, we often picture wild-looking, old men who spent all their time walking around and shouting about God’s judgment and impending doom. We imagine men like Jeremiah who evidently spent their entire lives doing God’s work. Yet while there certainly were some like Jeremiah or Isaiah or Ezekiel, not all of them were. We discover this about Amos in a tense conversation he had with a false prophet in Israel. Let’s talk about his response and what it just might have to do with us.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Amos 7:12-15

“Then Amaziah said to Amos, ‘Go away, you seer! Flee to the land of Judah. Earn your living and give your prophecies there, but don’t ever prophesy at Bethel again, for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.’ So Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I was a not a prophet or the son of a prophet; rather, I was a herdsman, and I took care of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock and said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”‘” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We so often give attention to the messages of judgment the prophets brought to the people of Israel that we forget about the fact that they were real people living real lives and delivering messages to powerful people that they didn’t necessarily want to hear. Speaking truth to power is something we celebrate nowadays, but we like to tell the stories when doing it has a happy ending. It doesn’t always. Let’s take a look today at some of the pushback Amos received and how he responded.

Read the rest…