86 results for author: Mark Hathaway


Amos – Chapter 8 – In that Day

If I’ve counted correctly, this is devotional post number forty in the book of Amos. A quick peek back to the first post introducing this fascinating little book, reminds us that the book was written around 760 B.C., a mere 38 years before its fulfillment in 722 B.C. when the Northern Kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians. Sadly, this ten of twelve tribes of Israel never has come back together as a people group, let alone a nation. Even today they seem all but forgotten.   But wait, you say, “Israel was in the land during the time of Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament”. True, however, they were not a sovereign nation, they ...

Amos – The Power of I don’t Know

I suppose I could choose to write about cultural issues impacting our lives today.  I could keep the message of these devotional posts up to date and modern. You know, something relevant to us living in today’s tumultuous world. I could find a verse or two that supports what I want to say and avoid the tough stuff. I think I could justify writing like that, after all, I’m not a Pastor, or a commentator, or expositor. These are devotional posts. I could keep it light, encouraging, and contemporary, leaving the tough stuff to my Pastor to deal with from his pulpit.   I could eat cream puffs every day and for every meal too - it would ...

Amos Chapter 8 – Fear

From our perspective, Amos chapter eight is a heartbreaking historical record of God’s judgment upon the nation of Israel. However, to the original biblical audience, it was a proclamation of future events. This proclamation of pending doom starts, interestingly enough with what will happen in the temple. The temple should have been filled with songs of praise and worship for a Holy God. The temple will instead resound with mournful deep crying the author calls “wailing”. Instead of people full of life living free before a Holy God the temple will be filled with the dead who will be thrown out in silence. In Amos 8:4-6 we find the message ...

Amos – Chapter 8 – Cornucopia

I love the fact that the Lexham English Bible (LEB) puts God’s Hebrew name Yahweh in where it belongs in the biblical text instead of using the English words Lord or God, which is why I chose it for this article. If you are unfamiliar with the LEB translation feel free to compare it to the translation you normally study. I would also encourage you to look up words in the source languages (Hebrew/Greek) to compare the LEB translation to the original biblical languages. I find the Lexham English Bible to be a very solid and good translation. You can check it out further at https://app.logos.com. Amos chapter eight begins with Amos seeing his ...

Amos – Chapter 7 – Go home

In today’s religious community it is all too common to find believers of differing viewpoints aggressively attacking one another.  Both sides don the cloak of righteous self-justification and pick up what they think is the sword of the Spirit. The successful arguer somehow believes that God is well pleased with the skill by which he dispatched his opponent. The superior sword yielding word combatant doesn’t even flinch at the sight of his bruised and bloodied opponent laying there defeated. This supposed winner isn’t even aware of the collateral damage he has caused in other believers, and worse yet, maybe the nonbelievers who witnessed the ...

Amos – Chapter 7 – Handling the Word of God

I’m currently auditing a class at Northern Plains Biblical Seminary. Our professor has been discussing spiritual warfare, which of course means he has spent some time in Ephesians chapter six. As I have reflected on the spiritual armor of God as it relates to our church culture today some critical issues have come into focus for me. The predominant thought bubbling to the surface in my mind concerning Ephesians six is, the modern church does not think correctly (Biblically) about spiritual warfare. Much of the church stumbles forward as if there is no such thing as spiritual warfare, or if there is it does not concern or affect the modern ...

Amos – Chapter 7 – Amos or Amaziah

There is a very loud and persistent cry in Chruch-anity today. TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO HEAR! GIVE ME A BIBLE FORMULA FOR MAKING MY LIFE BETTER! This religious posture has seeped into the church to the point that after a sermon, one common response among hearers is, “I didn’t get anything out of that sermon, how about you?” This “serve me” mentality makes the individual the center of the church and not Christ Jesus. This polluted perspective among so-called believers has persisted for so long that pastors all over the nation have bowed in acquiescence. Afraid of a mass exodus from the church, and with it financial support, the pastors have ...

Amos – Chapter 7 – Plumb Line

From the first chapter of Amos through the sixth chapter, the relationship between God and Amos, and Amos and the people he was sent to, was a simple line of communication. God spoke to Amos, Amos in turn, repeated what God said to the Northern Kingdom Israel. In Amos chapter seven we find a significant change in the way God related to His prophet. Because of God’s new treatment, the whole communication line was affected. Amos reacts to God’s new thing by relating differently to God, resulting in a change in the way the prophet was perceived by the people. Since chapter one Amos has been declaring, “Thus says the LORD”. As a matter of ...

Amos – Chapter 7 – Locust and Fire

Do you ever think about what you think about God? Maybe that sentence wasn’t very clear. Let me see if I can ask it another way. We all have an impression or default perspective about God - what He’s like, His nature, His opinion of us, how He will treat us, etc. Have you ever spent time thinking about your impression of God?  Have you spent time testing your default perspective of Him against His Holy Word as recorded in the Bible, to see if it is accurate?   A seemingly common perspective of God is, He is a very strict authoritarian with an almost impossible list of dos and don’ts. This divine dictator sits up in Heaven, ...

Amos – Chapter 7 – Vision

When we talk about the inspiration of scriptures, we are talking about the original autographs, written in the original source languages. The chapter and verse divisions were added much, much later, and are by no means inspired. Although incredibly useful, there are times when the demarcations land in an unfortunate, and dare I say wrong place. It is much too easy to trust those markers and not decide for ourselves the actual boundaries of a given scriptural discourse (logical chunk or passage). If we are not careful, the misplaced markers can pull us ever so slightly away from context.   Now that I’ve alerted you to the potential ...