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.
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.
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.
Angels. What are they? Where do they come from? What’s their deal? Today we are going to answer none of these questions, because the first two chapters of Hebrews don’t answer them either, except as they relate to humanity and Jesus Christ. Angels, for the author of Hebrews, are not that important in themselves. But understanding angels can shed some light on other important topics, so we and the author of Hebrews alike shall concern ourselves with them.
Are we finished with All the Paul? To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure, and that’s because of the letter to the Hebrews. The author doesn’t identify himself, and while some scholars think Paul wrote it, others think he didn’t, and still others, even after all their studies, maintain there isn’t enough evidence to reach a conclusion either way. Personally, I’m disinclined to think that Paul wrote it, based on style, tone, the way the author uses Old Testament quotations, and what I would consider a less Greek-influenced theology. But just in case, we’re going to include it in our All the Paul study–or, more accurately, we’re going to start a new study titled “Possibly More of the Paul.”
So, generous Chocolate Book supporter Matt Rizkallah sponsored a scripture doodle via my Patreon. For his doodle verse, he chose Psalm 51:6: “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” And…oh no, what have I done.