Amos 3:9-15 — An Oracle of Divine Punishment, Part 2

February 28, 2013

The second major section of Amos (chapters 3-5) contains three oracles describing the punishment, sin and lament of the northern kingdom of Israel. Each begins with “Hear this word!” (3:1; 4:1; 5:1). In many ways, this is the heart of Amos’s work as it lays out Yahweh’s case against Israel. We might even imagine Amos […]


Amos 3:1-8 — An Oracle of Divine Punishment, Part I

February 20, 2013

The first two chapters of Amos set Israel’s sins within an international context.  As they heard Amos condemn one after another of their regional neighbors they were no doubt alarmed that Israel was included in the list and received the most attention. Israel is the focus of Amos’s concern. The second major section of Amos […]


Job 8: Bildad Takes a Stab at Job

September 16, 2011

Whatever God does is just. God destroyed your life. Therefore, you deserved it.  That is a summary of Bildad’s response to Job’s harrowing lament and plea for wisdom as well as sympathy from his friends in Job 6-7. The hidden premise is that God only destroys the life of the wicked. Somebody, somewhere sinned. With shocking […]


Jesus’ Eyes: Do You Know “the Look”?

October 30, 2008

One of the most vivid scenes in Luke is Peter’s 3x denial, particularly “the look.”          ”The Lord turned around and looked straight at Peter” (Luke 22:61, GNB). The verbs are intensive, descriptive, and full of significance.  “Turned around,” which is actually a participle in the Greek text, involves twisting or reversing; it is turning the back 180% […]