Revelation 6 – Divine Judgments on Empires

July 20, 2013

The Lamb, having taken the book of prophetic judgment from the hand of God, now begins to open it by breaking the seals. Systematically, the Lamb breaks one seal after another–six in Revelation 6. As each seal is opened John hears and sees a variety of images that evidence divine judgment or are related in […]


Revelation 5 – Worthy is the Lamb!

July 14, 2013

While Revelation 4 focused on the worth of the Creator who sits on the throne, Revelation 5 turns our attention to the dramatic investiture of the one who is worthy to break the seals and unroll the scroll. Revelation 4 portrays the reality of the heavenly throne room where the sovereign God, sitting on the throne, […]


Amos 6:1-14: The Second Woe

March 28, 2013

This is the second of two woe oracles in Amos. The first (5:18-20) was followed by a legal indictment (5:21-27). The second (6:1-7) is followed by a judgment pronouncement (6:8-14). Together, as the third major section of Amos, they lament Israel’s sin and warn the nation about impending doom. The woe oracle in Amos 6 itself falls […]


Amos 5:18-27: The First Woe

March 21, 2013

This text begins the third major section of Amos. In the first section (Amos 1-2) the prophet addressed eight nations and climaxed his message with an extended application to Israel. In the second section (Amos 3:1-5:17) the prophet declares the word of the Lord in three brief speeches (“hear this word” in 3:1, 4:1 and […]


Amos 5:1-17: Admonition and Lament for Israel

March 14, 2013

This is the third of Amos’s three prophetic speeches against Israel. They each begin with “Hear this word” (3:1; 4:1; 5:1). The first announced God’s coming visit in judgment against Israel. The second highlighted divine patience and persistence in seeking to turn Israel from its sins. The third is a divine admonition and lament for Israel. Harold […]


Amos 1:11-2:3 — Amos Addresses Edom, Ammon and Moab

January 16, 2013

Amos continues his prophetic word against the sins of the nations in Amos 1:11-2:3. He first addressed Damascus, Gaza and Tyre (Amos 1:3-10) which lie to the north and southwest of Israel and Judah.  Now he addresses Edom, Ammon and Moab which lie to the east and southeast of Israel and Judah. The pattern of […]


Reading Amos

January 2, 2013

How might a migrant worker convict luxurious homeowners about their oppressive lifestyles? What might a poor, rural believer say to wealthy, urban idolaters? Amos was neither trained as a prophet nor assumed the career of a prophet. He was a shepherd near the Judean wilderness six miles SE of Bethlehem in the backwater village of […]


Malachi 2:17-3:5 — When God Gets Weary

August 2, 2012

Humans have amazing potential. We were created to partner with God in the dynamic development of creation itself. Our dignity far exceeds our finitude and fallibility. We are God’s royal entourage crowned with glory and honor (Psalm 8). This potential for dynamic partnership with God, alas, also has the potential to frustrate, grieve and tire […]


Mark 11:12-26 — The King Comes in Judgment

April 2, 2012

King Jesus, riding on a donkey, triumphantly entered Jerusalem hailed as the one who would usher in the kingdom of David. Surrounded by an expectant crowd, he entered the temple, looked at everything, and went home for the evening. What did Jesus see? The next morning, Monday of Passion Week, Jesus tells us. The King […]


Zechariah 5:1-4 – A Curse on Economic Injustice

February 15, 2012

Standing in awe of God’s gracious Spirit empowering Israel’s relationship with Yahweh (Zechariah 4), something catches Zechariah’s eye. The first line of the sixth vision highlights the sudden appearance of a strange object. Literally, Zechariah turns around to see what caught his attention, looks up into the sky, “sees” something and “behold,” that is, astonishingly, […]