Thursday, October 23, 2008

Message of the Prophets

I have been focused for most of three days in a study of the minor prophets.  Some of them, particularly Amos, spoke words that would be every bit as relevant today if they were spoken on the steps of Wall Street or in the halls of Congress.

Several messages seem to run like a thread throughout the prophets -- even as they spoke to different audiences about differing issues.  One theme is this:  God desires mercy -- not sacrifice.  Our obsession with what we do for one or two hours a week "in church" flies in the face of God's priority -- which is how do you treat people

Another theme is justice.  This is similar to the idea of mercy.  God wants us thinking communally.  What is best for the whole -- not just what is best for me and mine.  That's something to consider at election time.

Another theme is that God wants humble people.  As James wrote:  "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."  This was played out in God's dealing with nations in the days of the prophets.

Maybe it boils down to this:  God wants people who reflect His heart.  He wants us to love people the way He loves people.  So there it is.  Summed up by Micah (6:8):  "He has shown you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."  


Josh Ross said...

Yah...the prophets speak directly into the 21st century. They will preach well today. However, if preacher's REALLY preach them, they might not have a job anymore.

Jonathan said...

ain't that the truth...hosea and amos are pretty blunt in what they have to say!

Jeff said...

I'm sorry I am missing this study but I love being with my son and his peers. I'll have to put in some time studying these books.

I love your last paragraph. We could really make things much simpler if we only wanted to.