Digging in Deeper: Amos 8:11

“Look, the days are coming — this is the declaration of the Lord God — when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Did you ever get separated from your parents when you were a kid? I’ll tell you a story of my own in just a second, but there are few things that feel scarier than that. This fear is not rooted primarily in the thought of what could happen to you without them nearby, but rather in something entirely simpler than that: being alone. We weren’t made to be alone. Being separated from people is scary. Feeling separated from God should be even more so. He obviously thinks so in light of what He says to the people here.

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Digging in Deeper: Amos 4:6

“I gave you absolutely nothing to eat in all your cities, a shortage of food in all your communities, yet you did not return to me. This is the Lord’s declaration.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

“This is for your own good.” Did you ever hear that growing up? I’m grateful to say I don’t think I did. But what is usually the context of that particular gem of parental wisdom? It means something is about to happen that you aren’t going to like–probably a punishment of some kind. And if someone saw the outcome of whatever “this” was without the appropriate context, whoever did it was probably going to look pretty bad. That’s kind of the situation we have here.

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Digging in Deeper: Hosea 7:13

“Woe to them, for they fled from me; destruction to them, for they rebelled against me! Though I want to redeem them, they speak lies against me.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

This verse starts out the way most folks expect the prophets to go. There goes God judging the people again, promising doom and destruction on them. It ends the way we would expect something from the prophets to end. There goes God again, accusing the people of wrongdoing. It’s that thing in the middle that catches us off guard. God wants to redeem them? Wait, what? Let’s look into that one a bit more.

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Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 3:2-5

“And sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.”  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

This is one of those detail notes that is easy to ignore but which appears fairly often in the history books of the Old Testament. It’s a list of names, half of which you can’t pronounce unless you really stop and think carefully through all the letters. Generally speaking, once we’ve gotten past reading Hop on Pop, we don’t like having to sound out unfamiliar words, so we skip them and don’t think about it any further. And while, to be honest, we can do this with many of the genealogy lists we find, this one is worth giving a bit more of our attention. Rest the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:9, 13

“But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction. . . .And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, ‘Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.'”‬‬  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What were God’s instructions to Saul? He was to destroy everything when he attacked the Amalekites. Everything is a hard word to misinterpret. In pretty much every occasion it means…everything. It doesn’t leave anything out. Now, perhaps it can be used hyperbolically, but that wasn’t how God used it in His instructions to Saul. He meant everything. And Saul didn’t obey. Read the rest…