Commonplace Holiness Holiness woven into the fabric of life...

A Prophet at Prayer – Amos 7:1-6

Here we see the prophet Amos at prayer. Most often, in the book of Amos, we hear the prophet’s voice denouncing the nations and predicting their coming doom. Here we see him at prayer for the nation of Israel — pleading for them to be spared.

We often find mixed emotions among the prophets — I think of it particularly with Jeremiah, sometimes called the weeping prophet. In Jeremiah’s prophecies we find prophetic denunciations mixed with genuine expressions of sorrow for the fate of the nation.

Here we see Amos the intercessor praying that the nation of Israel will not be completely destroyed.

These verses introduce us to the record of four visions of the prophet Amos. They are: (more…)

Comments (1) | Trackback

The Danger of Forgetting the Poor – Amos 2:6-16

amos053The real heart of Amos’ prophecies was his message to the people of the northern kingdom of Israel (sometimes also called Ephraim, after its dominant tribe).

So, when we get to verse 6 of chapter 2, we come to the heart of Amos’ message. Everything has been a preparation for this. (You can find my comments on the earlier portions of this prophecy here: Amos 1:2, Amos 1:3-15, &  Amos 2:1-5.) The other nations have been condemned only to underline the message of judgement against Israel.

The dramatic, repeated formula appears again:

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה עַל־שְׁלֹשָׁה פִּשְׁעֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל־אַרְבָּעָה לֹא אֲשִׁיבֶנּוּ
“Thus says the LORD: For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn back….”

What had they done? (more…)

Comments (3) | Trackback

Who Speaks for God? – Amos 1:1

Amos0615The very opening words of the book of the prophet Amos raise a question for us. The question is this: Who Speaks for God?

The scholars often remind us that the prophets were people who spoke for God. Thus, they were primarily forth-tellers, not primarily fore-tellers. It is a point that needs to be repeated often. The word prophet does not mean “someone who predicts things.” It really means “someone who speaks the Word of God.” The prophets enabled the people to hear what God was saying to them at their own particular place and time in history.

For some reason, in the popular mind, prophesy has become connected with prediction. When popular preachers speak of what they call “Bible Prophesy” they are most often referring to Bible Apocalyptic: like the highly symbolic material in the book of Daniel or the book of Revelation. But, this is not the heart of prophesy.

The heart of prophesy is: “Thus says the LORD.” (more…)

Comments (1) | Trackback