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 ...
I think one major problem with attempting to understand the Bible today, is the modern reader’s approach to the text. There seems to be this unspoken and wrong perspective that “the Bible was written just for me”. We read the passage and immediately attempt to apply it to our lives without giving thought to who the original ancient audience was, or the historical context in which it was written. This can lead to misunderstanding the message of God’s Word.
Let me say it more plainly. The book of Amos was not written to America, period. We have overwhelming ...
We will be looking at Amos 6:9-11. I covered Amos 6:1 in the devotional called “Amos - Chapter 6 Advocates”, but I missed a significant observation. Here is Amos 6:1 again.
6:1 Woe to you who are at ease in Zion,
And trust in Mount Samaria,
Notable persons in the chief nation,
To whom the house of Israel comes!
We know that Amos is addressing the Northern Kingdom Israel in chapter 6, but I failed to point out that Zion is in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The fact that both capital ...
I have a confession to make. It is a struggle for me to maintain a consistent Bible and prayer devotional life. Maybe the word “struggle” isn’t strong enough. Most of the time it is a real battle for me to do it. Now that I’ve made my confession, let me ask you a question. Do you have a consistent devotional time with God through reading the Bible and prayer? Do you struggle or even battle to maintain it?
There are possibly two many reasons (or sometimes excuses) to list as to why I struggle, but I think they all fit under two broad categories. One category ...
We’ve learned some interesting things by considering from the first word to the semicolon in Amos 6:8. Instead of just saying, “God says:”, the prophet Amos introduces what God says with rich and deep meaning. This isn’t just God, it is Adonai Yahweh, Yahweh Elohim. And He didn’t just say something, He swore by Himself. Aside from being Master Yahweh, Yahweh the most powerful, He is also Yahweh the most powerful over all the armies!
Moving on from Amos’ introduction of God, let’s spend some time considering what Amos has quoted God as having said.
Last time we looked at the first three words in Amos 6:8. We discovered together that Lord GOD can accurately be translated Master Yahweh. Now that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the God being mentioned here is indeed THE covenant God of Israel, THE one and only creator and master of the universe, let’s consider the first phrase of the sentence, which is from the first word to the first comma, “The Lord GOD has sworn by Himself”.
Amos 6:8 The Lord GOD has sworn by Himself,
The LORD God of hosts says:
“I abhor the ...
To date, I have written twenty four devotions on the book of Amos. There are nine chapters and we are currently working our way through chapter six. I have no idea how many more it will take to get all the way through the book. I’m not even sure we will make it all the way to the end. When I embarked upon this particular adventure, I did so because I felt it is one of the lesser known books in the Old Testament. If you’ve read the Bible through devotionally you’ve encountered the book, but unless you’ve spent some time studying it you’ve missed some real ...
We have been studying the book of Amos. Last time we got our feet wet in the first few verses of chapter six, so it makes sense we would continue our study of Amos six by first considering a verse in the New Testament book of Matthew, right? Well, we’ll see.
Almost every well built road has three main characteristics. One, the road itself, a left ditch, and a right ditch. When you think of the ditches on either side of the road what immediately comes to mind? Do you see the ditches as a bad thing? If you answered yes, you are probably thinking about staying on ...
I’m sure you’ve heard a sentence or phrase that rang true with you and captivated your attention. You only needed to hear it that one time for it to be indelibly inscribed in your memory. One such sentence was said by my Pastor. He said, “review is the mother of all learning”. Though that particular sentence may not qualify as christian dogma, I think we can easily recognize the truthfulness of the statement, and add it to our bag of study tools.
You’ll remember that Yahweh sent Amos, a wealthy sheep breeder and arborist from Tekoa (in the Southern ...
Have you ever heard the old adage “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me”? We used to repeat it all the time as kids. I’ve probably even called to mind this catchy saying as an adult, treating it as a magical power that would somehow protect me from the insults of others. Parents teach their kids to recite this at a very young age, presenting it as a truth to be relied upon. The problem is not only is it not true, but it is an out and out lie. This phrase, as well meaning as it may be, contradicts what the Bible tells us about our ...