Wednesday, October 16, 2013

when clean teath isn't a good thing

Good afternoon friends,
In today's reading Amos attacks the people of Israel for having a mismatch between their worship and their lives. When he talks about tithes and offerings, he suggests that people value their worship highly, but for selfish reasons. The truth is, if our faith and worship don't change our lives to lead us to treat our neighbors with justice, we aren't doing it right.

He also shows God using suffering to call the people back to God. Suffering is a challenge for our faith. The classic question is: "If God is all powerful and loving, why is there so much suffering?" I don't have an answer for that question, but we are going to spend the next several weeks in worship exploring faith and suffering. If suffering is a challenge for your faith, I'd encourage you to be in worship for the series. Since many people have questions about suffering, it would be a great series to invite a friend to. I can't promise answers, but I can promise thoughtful, biblical, honest engagement.

God bless,

Amos 4:1-13
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on Mount Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their husbands, “Bring something to drink!” 2The Lord God has sworn by his holiness: The time is surely coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks. 3Through breaches in the wall you shall leave, each one straight ahead; and you shall be flung out into Harmon, says the Lord. 4Come to Bethel—and transgress; to Gilgal—and multiply transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days; 5bring a thank-offering of leavened bread, and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel! says the Lord God.

6I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, yet you did not return to me, says the Lord. 7And I also withheld the rain from you when there were still three months to the harvest; I would send rain on one city, and send no rain on another city; one field would be rained upon, and the field on which it did not rain withered; 8so two or three towns wandered to one town to drink water, and were not satisfied; yet you did not return to me, says the Lord. 9I struck you with blight and mildew; I laid waste your gardens and your vineyards; the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees; yet you did not return to me, says the Lord. 10I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt; I killed your young men with the sword; I carried away your horses; and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils; yet you did not return to me, says the Lord. 11I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a brand snatched from the fire; yet you did not return to me, says the Lord.

12Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel! 13For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

1 comment:

  1. He speaks with such force and he is so literate that it
    is practically like a movie image. My minds eye clearly
    sees Amos delivering this message.