Revelation 9: Imagine Your Worst Nightmare

August 10, 2013

The fifth and sixth trumpets announce the ancient world’s worst nightmares. The terrifying images of Revelation 9 are worthy of our most horrifying apocalyptic movies. It seems 21st century western culture loves apocalyptic movies, whether it is the earth destroyed by a meteor, large armies battling for Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or the […]

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 […]

Amos 1:3-10 – Amos Addresses Damascus, Gaza and Tyre

January 9, 2013

International ethics are important to Amos.  He condemns violent aggression (perhaps even torture and wanton killing), enslavement of populations, and the slave trade. The oracles against the nations are intricately structured. They each follow the same rhetorical pattern. Address:  ”The Lord Says” Proverb:  ”Because of the three transgressions of … and because of four,  I […]

Malachi 2:10-16 – “Faithlessness” Subverts “Oneness”

July 26, 2012

“Faithless” is the word that dominates this section of Malachi. It occurs five times in Malachi 2:10-16 (10, 11, 14, 15, 16) and only here in Malachi. “Faithless” comes from the root bagad that means to deal with another treacherously. This word characterizes Israel’s covenantal relations and thus epitomizes what is broken in the life of post-exilic […]

The Flood Story — What Might We Learn?

July 6, 2012

This is not a children’s story. The animals going into the ark two by two do make a classic VBS song and it certainly makes a great flannel graph. But this story is more like a horror movie than a Disney cartoon. The story is important for our author. It takes up more space than […]

Osama bin Laden

May 2, 2011

“Got him!” The headlines fill our papers, newsrooms and social media. Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of 9-11 is dead. What should I do? Dance? Party? Shout “U-S-A” over and over? What should I feel? Pride? Joy? Satisfaction? Patriotic? Gratitude? I have mixed feelings. “Justice has been done,” says our President. Maybe so. One function […]