Morning Musing: Zephaniah 1:2

“I will completely sweep away everything from the face of the earth — this is the Lord’s declaration.”
— ‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭1:2‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

So often, when people think about the prophets, they imagine a bunch of bearded, angry men who sit around condemning everyone and warning all who will listen that God is going to destroy everything in judgment. And as we have been on this journey through the prophets over the last few months, we have mostly discovered this image isn’t at all true. There has certainly been the promise of judgment, but there has been a whole lot more than that. As we come to Zephaniah, though, all that seems to fly out the window. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Micah 7:6

“Surely a son considers his father a fool, a daughter opposes her mother, and a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own household.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Every family has a worldview. It may be a jumbled mess, but every single family has a set of things that they believe together. Children raised in that house assume on that worldview until they are old enough to question it. At that point they may consciously own it, but they might also reject it. Eventually, families often expand by marriage. This introduces new worldviews into the mix. Hopefully the two or more worldviews are similar, but they may not be. The result of all this is often chaos and conflict. Why am I starting with this when it doesn’t at all seem to be Micah’s point? Because it was Jesus’ point a few hundred years later.

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Morning Musing: Micah 7:1

“How sad for me! For I am like one who — when the summer fruit has been gathered after the gleaning of the grape harvest — finds no grape cluster to eat, no early fig, which I crave.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

If there’s any one word that is most often used to describe the Old Testament prophets, what do you think it would be? For me some words like judgmental and mean come to mind. That’s the kind of characterizations I often see them given in the culture at large. If there was a single word that was most used, though, it would be the word angry. That word is common. But is it right? Maybe not. Let’s talk about it.

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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: Amos 2:4

“The Lord says: I will not relent from punishing Judah for three crimes, even four, because they have rejected the instruction of the Lord and have not kept his statutes. The lies that their ancestors followed have led them astray.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Are you a good test-taker? Or are you someone who tends to freeze up when you are put in pressure situations like that? Your answer here really doesn’t have anything to do with how smart you are. I had good friend in high school who was crazy smart, but who struggled mightily to get a decent score on his ACT because he wasn’t a good test-taker. Okay, but why do they have tests in school? Why not just teach the stuff and move on? Because, like it or not, tests are the best way to hold students accountable for what they should have been learning. Without tests there’s no way to really be sure we’ve learned anything. Holding students accountable for what they’ve learned is important. Judah learns that here the hard way.

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