Joel may not spell out Israel’s sins as explicitly as Hosea does, but he certainly spells out the sins of the foreign nations.
If a punishment is going to be fair, whoever’s receiving the punishment needs to have committed a crime first, and the punishment needs to be commensurate with the crime. Thus, if a punishment is going to seem fair, it should be preceded by a statement of the charges of which it is claimed that the punished party is guilty. In other words, you’re going to look like a jerk if you punish someone without giving a reason. And that’s why, on the heels of Hosea 8’s big pile of Israel’s sins, we have Hosea 9’s prophecy of punishment.
Today’s Chocolate: Theo Orange 70% Dark Chocolate Today’s Passage: Hosea 6 Yesterday I posed some questions. Today God answers them. The previous chapter featured a simile in which God, as a lion, tore Israel to pieces as a consequence of their sin. I asked: does God intend to punish the people of Israel, to discipline them, or […]
I’m gonna ruin the magic today. I’ve been writing posts in advance lately and building up a buffer. But Hosea 5 stymied me. Some theodicy-related stuff was coming to a head, inside my head, and I’ve been sitting on it for two days without writing a post. I think I’m finally ready to tackle the chapter, though, so let’s return to the world to God chastening ancient Israel for their unfaithfulness.
It seems we’ve been flung back into the briar patch of controversial verses, and without the advantage of being rabbits. The middle chapter of Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians is rife with thorns, and here we are in the thick of the thicket, so let’s get to working our way through it.
As we’ve discussed before, human beings won’t praise a thing for no reason. To praise something is to express approval of it, to say that it’s great. And even when we praise insincerely—when we praise things that we don’t think are great—it’s to flatter or win the approval of someone else. We have motivations for doing things, and praising is no exception. When David praises God in Psalm 145, he praises because he thinks God is great. But why does he think God is great? What’s so great about God?
I’ve never been in a fistfight. One time I got into a tussle with my brother and shoved him into a pine bush (which I almost immediately regretted), but I’ve never thrown a real, honest-to-goodness, let’s-hurt-someone punch. David, on the other hand, has been in battles. He’s used a sling to kill lions and bears and a huge Philistine warrior; he’s picked up a sword and fought people who want to kill him. Dude wasn’t just a king and a musician, he was also a soldier. So, you know, psalms like Psalm 140 are a little foreign to me.
This is a weird scenario. It’s 5 AM on Saturday. I haven’t finished this post, and I was planning on waking up in a few hours to put it all together. But my muscles ache from ocean swimming yesterday, and I’m having trouble getting back to sleep while I wait for the Ibuprofen to kick in. So: it’s still dark outside, let’s blog about the Bible.
Here’s another call to worship, echoing similar themes as yesterday’s psalm. But what caught my eye was how it views “other gods.”
As I write this on a paper towel because I forgot to pack a notebook, it’s 9:40 AM. I’m in the Chicago O’Hare Airport, en route to visit my uncle’s family in Georgia, eating breakfast and checking out Isaiah 56 in the few hours until my connecting flight. Later, I’ll type this up and post it. Until then, I’m kinda missing that backspace key, but I’d sooner gnaw off my fingers than thumb-type a blog post on my phone.