Amos 6:1-14 – Impending Doom

Read Amos 6:1-14

stormy sky

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a sense of “dread,” like there is some impending doom about to strike? That’s happened to me before, and it is totally unsettling. I often wonder where those thoughts come from. Perhaps I dreamt something horrific that I thankfully can’t remember. Whatever it is, this reading took me back to one of those moments.

How do you deal with impending doom? As a child growing up in the Midwest, I used to hate those news alerts during the summertime warning of a tornado in the area. Even more scary was hearing the sirens, grabbing the cats, and running for shelter in the basement. If you haven’t lived in tornado alley during the late spring into summer, it might be other weather warnings or fire drills at school bringing you fear.

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Amos 3:3-15 – Who is Guilty?

Read Amos 3:3-15

wooden judge's gavel

God found Israel so guilty of sinning he said, “My people have forgotten how to do right.” Do you ever look around at your fellow humans and think the same thing? There is certainly a lot happening in our day that is contrary to God’s will and intention for us.

We are all guilty. We are all sinners. Many will be in denial and try to condone their behavior. The Israelites were very good at doing that as we can see. God is calling them out, but are we not guilty, too, of listening to the world and following popular thought? Is even being tolerant of behavior we know to be sinful a sin?

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Amos 2:1-8 – A Wake-Up Call

Read Amos 2:1-8

alarm clock and coffee cup

For the Israelites hearing Amos’ words, was this the wake-up call that would finally work in bringing repentance? Amos saved the “best” for last. What were the Israelites thinking when they heard judgment against themselves? They had likely been thinking all this talk of judgment was only to the surrounding nations. But Israel and Judah were not immune to God’s raging anger.

In case you’d like to connect some dots like I did and realize who all the players are in this prophecy God gave Amos, let’s dig in a little bit. Some of these nations have ancestral connections to the Israelites. Edom and Israel are both descendants from Isaac: Edom from Esau, and Israel from his twin, Jacob. The Ammonites had descended from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his younger daughter. And finally, from this reading, the Moabites descended from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his older daughter. Lot was the nephew of Abraham.

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1 Corinthians 5:1-13 – Tough Love

Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-13

black and white hands holding a red rose with the words LOVE being projected

This was a hard text to read. It was confrontational and appears to be unloving. Where is the grace, mercy, and love? This is one of those texts we often disregard, believing it’s not relevant anymore. For me, because it is in the Bible, it’s important and eternally applicable. As far as I know, God hasn’t made any “amendments” to his word. So, let’s unpack it a bit.

When we read the Bible, it serves us well to always take things in context and understand what was happening in the world at the time the words were written. That does NOT give us liberty to disregard the parts that make us feel “uncomfortable.”

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2 Kings 15:1-38 – Slippery Slope of Sin

Read 2 Kings 15:1-38

chasm showing how our choice results in separation from God

We covered a lot of ground in the reading today. It seems like Chapter 15 opens and closes the kingly episodes as quickly as possible. The allegiance of the Kings of Israel shows us how weak Israel has become in terms of its faithfulness. It’s now a slippery slope toward the doom the prophets have been speaking of. I think the Israelites were in denial, not believing the seriousness of their offense to God.

We also hear briefly about a few of Judah’s kings. For this period at least, they are all pleasing God, to a point. None of these kings have done away with the pagan shrines. People were still able to spend time separated from God despite having a king that was pleasing God. Why do you think each king left the pagan shrines alone? Were they trying to “please” the people not realizing how hurtful it was to God?

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