Amos, Bite-Sized Exegesis, Old Testament, Sermons and Lessons

A Plumbline in the Midst of My People – Amos 7:1-9

In Amos 7:1-9, God shows the prophet three versions of judgment, the last of which is the famous plumbline vision. Not only do we see in this exchange an example of prophetic intercession for a sin-sick society, we also see God’s plan for “separating the wheat from the tares” using prophets and their message as the litmus test – those who accept the prophet will be spared, while those who reject the prophet will be punished.

Amos, Bite-Sized Exegesis, Old Testament, Sermons and Lessons

“We Must Not Mention the Name of the LORD” – Amos 6:9-11

Even after the destruction of Samaria, Amos is depicting the Israelites as not only not returning to God but actively avoiding turning to God out of Genesis 3-like fear. Rather than turning to God, those with wicked and foolish hearts look at their sufferings, which they brought on themselves by their own wickedness and foolishness, and they blame God.

Amos, Bite-Sized Exegesis, Old Testament, Sermons and Lessons

I Despise the Excellence of Jacob – Amos 6:7-8

Whatever strength you feel you possess that you can boast in, God does not think much of it. God is not against your strengths and talents, but when you rely on them rather than on him to secure and defend your prosperity, God says that all your excellence, all that in which you would take pride, is nothing next to his power. Your mighty fortress will not secure you against his justice.

Amos, Bite-Sized Exegesis, Old Testament, Sermons and Lessons

Ignoring the Evil Day – Amos 6:3-6

There was a willfulness to the ignorance of the wealthy Israelite elite. It is not simply that they were unaware of the problems of their people and of their time. The evidence was all around them, as Amos had been pointing out, yet they were refusing to acknowledge that evidence, choosing instead to live in a constructed reality that was favorable to them. They only saw their own wealth and apparent safety, because that was all they wanted to see.

Book and Product Reviews, Ephesians, Karl Barth, New Testament, Sermons and Lessons, Theologians

Seated in the Heavenlies – Karl Barth’s July 26, 1914 Sermon

Karl Barth’s sermon from July 26, 1914 (just days after Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to Serbia and just days before World War I finally erupted), is a reflection on the seeming incongruence of Ephesians 2:4-7 – and especially the idea that God has set us in the heavenly realm with Jesus – with the fearful turbulence of the times.