One of the most common themes that Amos spoke about was social justice. Oppression and exploitation would be punished. Pride and false security were also addressed, as well as meaningless worship rituals. These same issues exist today. God cares about the same things now as He did then.
Who are we willing to share God’s redemptive grace with? The serial killer on death row? The terrorists who endanger our nation? An ex-spouse? An obnoxious co-worker? Do you ever find your own sense of justice in conflict with God’s mercy and compassion? Are there people and places you refuse to deliver His message to? How active is your local congregation in reaching out to the “unworthy”? These are questions that the story of Jonah challenges us with.
I think what I appreciate most about Micah is the understanding he communicates about the nature of God. Even through all the dire things to come, he has hope, and that hope is based solely on the character of God. Who is a God like this? One whose love for us cannot be quenched. One who will not treat us like we deserve. One who will toss all of our garbage far beyond our reach into the depths of the sea. One who will let us bear the consequences just long enough to bring us to repentance, and then will raise us up. Who is a God like this? One full of compassion. One who does not stay angry forever, but delights in mercy.
And what does the God like this ask of me? To imitate Him. To be kind and fair, and to cut people some slack. To remember His character, and that He is God, and I am not.
Through real life metaphors of matrimony, Hosea delivers a powerful message about the unfaithfulness of the Israelites to their God. We get a glimpse of the unfathomable heart of God, and the depth of His personal grief over the idolatry of His people, by His description of it to us in terms of the agony of an unfaithful marriage. Through God’s instruction, Hosea plays the part of the faithful and forbearing groom, while Gomer fills the role of the adulterous two-timing wife, always chasing after the wind for the love that she had already been given. Forsaking true love for an infatuation with the inferior is an adulterous idolatry.
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:57
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