What the Lord Requires

READ : Micah 5-7 Today’s Scripture includes two famous passages. The first predicts that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. It was a passage which the Jewish Bible scholars of Jesus’ day knew so well that they could tell the wise men where to find the newborn King of the Jews. It was not a prominent place. God prefers to use the lowly. The second passage is a request to know what God wants of us. Does he want …

Powerful Preaching

READ : Micah 1-4 The prophets were powerful preachers speaking with conviction, “Thus says the LORD.” The key to that power is found in Micah 3:8, “I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.” A preacher must be filled with the Spirit to preach effectively. How can this happen? Filling with the Spirit is a result of wanting to be filled …

Disobedient Prophet

READ : Jonah The Lord says to Jonah, “Go to Nineveh.” How often in the Bible we hear God saying to someone, “Go.” We are inclined to sit back comfortably in the status quo, but the Lord says to us, “Go, I have something for you to do; be up and doing it.” Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, a cruel nation that was a great threat to Jonah’s nation. Jonah was patriotic. He knew if the Assyrians continued in …

Winners and Losers

READ : Obadiah The Bible teaches that all deserve punishment, and that God graciously intervenes in the lives of some, while he allows others to continue in the way in which they choose to go and suffer the consequences. Obadiah illustrates that concept. Both Edom and Israel deserve destruction. For Edom that destruction is permanent, as they justly deserve. For Israel, there is a period of punishment, but they will be restored. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau. They …

Seek God and Live

READ : Amos 5-9 Woe to those who have an attitude of spiritual complacency, living in luxury as do so many of us but not deeply concerned about the sad condition of the church and the nation. “Woe to those who lie upon beds of ivory . . . sing idle songs . . . drink wine in bowls . . . but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!” (6:4-6). Amos calls for social justice. “You trample upon …

Prepare to Meet Your God

READ : Amos 1-4 Amos is a prophet from Judah who is called to preach to Israel. He knows how to get attention. He begins by condemning the sins of the neighboring nations. Then he moves on to the sins of Judah. The Israelites are listening with approval. But then Amos shifts to preaching about their sins. Their foremost sin was oppressing the poor (2:7a). Amos preaches social righteousness. He makes it clear that God condemns those who take advantage …