In this world, hating God is a very popular choice and plenty of people are reveling in it quite joyfully. So how should we as Christians respond to this? Clearly we should be siding with God whenever sides are being drawn, but what exactly does that look like in the day to day? Does it mean we’re supposed to go around seething over the fact that a bunch of people are hating God out loud? Does it mean we’re supposed to organize public protests whenever some law comes out which promotes a reversal of God’s moral code? Does it mean we should be trying to avoid rubbing our holy elbows with the elbows of snarky sinners? What exactly does God want from us in this area? Continue reading Aligning with a God of Extremes: How should we respond to spiritual rebellion?
The prophet Amos lived and preached during the lifetimes of the prophets Hosea and Isaiah. While Isaiah was hanging out in the southern part of Israel (aka Judah), Amos and Hosea were in the north. Amos was a shepherd, and in his short little book Yahweh prophesies disaster for eight different nations: Israel, Judah, and their surrounding neighbors. It’s bad news in the book of Amos, and in Chapter 2, Yahweh stops talking about neighboring kingdoms and focuses in on His chosen people. As usual, they’re wallowing in spiritual rebellion. Continue reading Amos 2-4: Yahweh’s Wrath in Context
Whenever one of our Gods is speaking, it’s thrilling. Today Christians have an obnoxious practice of only highlighting Jesus’ words in red as if He is the only God we care about. Well, no, we have three Gods, and we should be giving Them all equal attention and honor. If we were doing it right, we’d highlight Yahweh’s words as well, and then we’d be amazed at how much color would fill the Old Testament. Not only does Yahweh do far more talking than Jesus in the biblical records, we have records of Him speaking over a span of thousands of years and about a broad range of issues. It is really from Yahweh that we learn who a true God is—what He cares about, what pleases Him, and what He wants from us humans. In the Old Testament, Yahweh provides us with a fabulous introduction to the Character of all three of our glorious Creators, and if you really want to dive in to some rich dialogue from Him, then the Old Testament prophetic books are the place to go. In historical books like Chronicles, Samuel, and Joshua, we find heavy narration with some dialogue sprinkled in. But the prophetic books contain far more dialogue than narration. In fact, some of the shorter ones are all dialogue with no narration at all, and this is what makes them so thrilling. The longer Yahweh talks, the more details He shares about His point of view, and the better we can understand Him. Continue reading Jeremiah 2-3: Yahweh Justifies His Wrath
God demands that we live in alignment with Him. Living in alignment with God means viewing other creatures the way that He views them. Now we can only do this to a limited degree, because God never fills us in on the whole picture of how He views someone else. Instead He just gives us a few general guidelines, yet these guidelines are enough to keep us out of trouble. Continue reading The Enemies of God