Joel 3:18-21 — The Lord Dwells in Zion

May 24, 2014

Joel begins with lament over the famine and drought as Yahweh’s army threatens Jerusalem with desolation, but it ends with abundance and water-filled ravines as Egypt and Edom become a wilderness. This reversal happens because “Yahweh dwells in Zion.” “In that day,” Joel announces, the fortunes of Israel are reversed. “That day” links Joel 3:18 […]


Joel 3:1-17 — The Nations Held Accountable

May 16, 2014

In the first half, Joel called Israel to lament and repentance, to fasting and assembly (Joel 1:1-2:17). In the second half, Joel assures Israel that their gracious and compassionate God will “restore their fortunes.” Yahweh promised a new creation where even the soil and animals as well as the people will rejoice (Joel 2:18-27). Yahweh […]


Joel 2:28-32 — I Will Pour Out My Spirit On All Flesh

May 7, 2014

Joel’s lament liturgy in the first half of the book envisioned the devastation of Israel by a locust plague (or perhaps an invading army). That impending disaster also represented a future apocalyptic disaster. Joel is working at two levels–the immediate moment but also a future cataclysm. Israel’s response to such news, as with all other […]


Joel 2:18-27 — The Promise of New Creation

April 23, 2014

Joel’s propehtic liturgy previously announced the coming of the great “day of the Lord,” which functions at multiple levels. On the one hand, it envisions any impending disaster that is coming upon Israel–whether it is a locust plague, an invading army, or some other communal crisis. On the other hand, it describes an apocalyptic event […]


Micah 4 – Hope Despite Injustice and War

October 17, 2013

While the Jerusalem Micah knew was built by blood, destined for destruction, and soaked with injustice (Micah 3:9-12), the future Jerusalem is exalted above the mountains, committed to God’s agenda for the world, and enacts peace within the world. Rather than present injustice and war, the future Jerusalem secures justice and peace. The contrasts are […]


New Creation: A Theological Summary

September 24, 2013

“There is the earnest preaching of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come; the development of the guilt of man, the grace of God, the love of Christ, the mystery of the Cross, sin pardoning mercy, adoption into the family of God, with the unction of the hope of the resurrection to everlasting life, of the […]


G. C. Brewer on the New Heavens and New Earth

March 16, 2013

I’m seeking some help regarding G. C. Brewer’s (1884-1956) undertstanding of the earth. Concerning Isaiah 65, 66, 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 21, Brewer wrote (Gospel Advocate [4 April 1946], 314): “The New Testament references describe a condition that will come after the destruction of the present heaven and earth. That this earth—this existing order of […]


Reading Zechariah 9-14 – What? Where? When?

May 24, 2012

My Wednesday evening class–about 25 of us on average–have walked through Zechariah together. We began in January and finished Zechariah 14 last week (May 16). They are a patient bunch! It has been an exciting ride. The good news present in Zechariah is tailored for a disappointed people. Their hopes, dreams and expectations had not […]


Mark 12:18-27: Who is Your God?

May 10, 2012

In this story Jesus confronts the limiting rationality of Sadducees who think it impossible that God should raise the dead. Their theology is limited by their own experience and rational argumentation. I dare say that is not too uncommon in our present moment as well. For example, it is not unusual to hear, “If God is like […]


Zechariah 12:1-8 — Jerusalem and the House of David Redeemed

April 20, 2012

Zechariah 12-14 is the second oracle of the second half of the book of Zechariah. The first half of Zechariah contained eight visions (Zechariah 1-6) and four messages (Zechariah 7-8). The second half of Zechariah comes in the form of two oracles (the Hebrew term only occurs in Zechariah 9:1, 12:1 and Malachi 1:1). The […]