If there’s one minor prophet you’re already familiar with, it’s probably Jonah. While the bulk of the minor prophets comprises divine messages of judgment, mercy, and calls to repentance, Jonah is largely historical narrative. When you add that it requires very little background knowledge to understand, you’ve got a prime candidate for a children’s Bible story lesson. Plus, it’s got a big ol’ miracle fish.
Now it’s time for another installment of Totally Hip Gratitude, our questionably-named study on thankfulness in the Bible. Today we’re looking at the first time in the Bible that someone explicitly makes a verbal statement of thanks to God. It’s King David, and you’ll find it in 2 Samuel 22.
Welcome to Obadiah, the shortest book in the Old Testament. We’ll be saying goodbye to it before we know it, but in the meantime, let’s see what we can dig up. It’s primarily a prophecy of judgment against the nation of Edom, although it also mentions the southern kingdom of Judah.
Welcome back to another installment of Totally Hip Gratitude, the series on thankfulness whose name the more I think about it seems increasingly stupid. I don’t think it lands that it’s a play on the 90s’ obsession with edginess and attitude, juxtaposing it with the humility of sincere appreciation. But there’s no going back now! And in today’s post, we’re going to look at a passage that the NASB labels a song of thanksgiving, even though it doesn’t use the word “thank.”
Remember Psalm 139, the “birthday psalm,” so called because it’s about God creating King David in his mother’s womb? I’m pretty sure Amos 9–the final chapter of the book of Amos–directly refers to it. As the chapter begins, Amos sees the Lord standing next to an altar. Perhaps Amos is still in Vision Mode, or perhaps this constitutes a full-blown theophany in the vein of Genesis 18. But more important than how the Lord appears to Amos is what he has to say to the prophet.
I’ve recently found some weird comments caught in my spam filter. They all list “linux” top-level domains as their websites, linux.ca or linux.co.uk, and the name the would-be poster provides invariably conflicts with their email address. For example, “Jack’s” email username is “jill_bateman.” Another “Jack” provides his or her (or, more likely, its) email username as “solomonbelt.” Are they the same Jack, attempting to post from two different IP addresses, one of which is in the UK, and the other of which is in Buffalo, NY? Or are they two different Jacks? One commenter gives their name as “http://technorati.com,” after giving “linux.ca” as their website. Which one is it, Technorati? If that’s even your real name.
A few days ago, I happened across some item from my school days. No, I don’t remember what it was. And while I could make this post more interesting by making up some specific item, we here at Chocolate Book are all about truthfulness over entertainment value. Anyway, whatever this item was, it amazed me to think that there were twelve years of my life where I spent one-fourth of the year not working. No obligations! But now those days are gone forever.
If you want to argue that God changes his mind, you’re probably going to turn to Exodus 32. In this well-known passage, after the Israelites make a golden calf and start worshipping it, Moses apparently talks God down from destroying them and starting a new nation with Moses. The text even comes right out and says it: “So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people” (Exodus 32:14). But if you wanted to argue your case without reaching for the low-hanging theological fruit, you might opt to look at Amos 7.
Sometimes I wonder just how typical my youth group was of youth groups in the 90s. A big part of the culture was the push to get out of your comfort zone. Whether evangelism, or service projects, or leading a Bible Study, everyone was striving to be Peter on the water, walking out to Jesus; the prevailing catch phrase was “Get out of the boat.” I bought into it, in word and deed disdaining that oft-reviled “comfort zone,” but as soon as I left for college, I severely dialed back my zeal for discomfort. And in retrospect, I think it was because a part of me was never entirely on board with getting out of the boat.
Today, seeing as we’re studying a Jewish prophetic work from the eighth century BC, let’s talk about the Roman Empire.