Sunday, May 31, 2009

Amos, Corinth Style

Message Paraphrase followed by practical loose paraphrase BC style just the general idea, not exegesis, you'll get the point...

1 "Listen to this, you cows of Bashan
grazing on the slopes of Samaria.
You women! Mean to the poor,
cruel to the down-and-out!
Indolent and pampered, you demand of your husbands,
'Bring us a tall, cool drink!'

Listen to this Corinthians, especially you leaders and well off business people who live in the nice homes in town, employers who don’t care for your employees and make it difficult for them to live while you live high off the hog...

2-3"This is serious—I, God, have sworn by my holiness!
Be well warned: Judgment Day is coming!
They're going to rope you up and haul you off,
keep the stragglers in line with cattle prods.
They'll drag you through the ruined city walls,
forcing you out single file,
And kick you to kingdom come."
God's Decree.

This is serious, I am God and I do this my perfect way:
Be warned, there is a consequence for what is happening in your city.
The people you’ve been neglecting have weakened you over all. You’ve become vulnerable and you are easy picking for all manner of destruction.

4-5"Come along to Bethel and sin!
And then to Gilgal and sin some more!
Bring your sacrifices for morning worship.
Every third day bring your tithe.
Burn pure sacrifices—thank offerings.
Speak up—announce freewill offerings!
That's the sort of religious show
you Israelites just love."
God's Decree.

I know what you’ll do, you’ll show up at church and sin some more.
You’ll sing your songs and give your tithes and have all sorts of concerts and religious celebrations, and you really think that all this is impressing me. Unfortunately it’s all talk no action. It was action that could have saved you but this is all you chose to bring.

6"You know, don't you, that I'm the One
who emptied your pantries and cleaned out your cupboards,
Who left you hungry and standing in bread lines?
But you never got hungry for me. You continued to ignore me."
God's Decree.

When people started going hungry in your town, that was Me asking you to respond, but you didn’t.

7-8"Yes, and I'm the One who stopped the rains
three months short of harvest.
I'd make it rain on one village
but not on another.
I'd make it rain on one field
but not on another—and that one would dry up.
People would stagger from village to village
crazed for water and never quenching their thirst.
But you never got thirsty for me.
You ignored me."
God's Decree.

When unemployment went up that was me giving you an opportunity to rally to me and to each other for the sake of your people, but you didn’t.

9"I hit your crops with disease
and withered your orchards and gardens.
Locusts devoured your olive and fig trees,
but you continued to ignore me."
God's Decree.

Even when I gave you plenty and I made the economy great, you invested greedily and misused the money on yourselves and your 401K’s instead of using it for the good of all, and look what happened. And even when I let all this economic disaster happen you still didn’t turn to me but just hunkered down and waited for the worst to be over.

10"I revisited you with the old Egyptian plagues,
killed your choice young men and prize horses.
The stink of rot in your camps was so strong
that you held your noses—
But you didn't notice me.
You continued to ignore me."
God's Decree.

So I let your young men and women go off and do whatever they wanted and they began getting addicted to drugs and diseased from sexual sin, they began getting pregnant and dropping out of school and their brokenness was painfully apparent and a scourge on your city, but you looked the other way hoping “they wouldn’t bother you” and you refused to turn to me and to them, and now look... you’re all affected.

11"I hit you with earthquake and fire,
left you devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah.
You were like a burning stick
snatched from the flames.
But you never looked my way.
You continued to ignore me."
God's Decree.

Even the natural disasters I allowed, hurricanes like Katrina and the others, the fires of the southwest, the floods of the Midwest, tornadoes and draught, you ignored it all, but I allowed it all... all so you would return to me, but you never got it... I let you be attacked on ever front, militarily, economically, morally, socially.... and none of it knocked you off your high horse, you never came back to me... And it was all a loving warning from me a desperate call from me to you, hoping you would return to me the one who loves you and has the perfect plan for your lives.

12"All this I have done to you, Israel,
and this is why I have done it.
Time's up, O Israel!
Prepare to meet your God!"

First you wouldn’t turn and make wrong things right... Now you can’t! You’ve gone too far and all that’s left is the pain and destruction of the choices you’ve made... to ignore me and all my ‘not so subtle’ hints and to go on acting like every thing was okay when it really really wasn’t... I was trying to get you to come to me and now that's all you have left.

13Look who's here: Mountain-Shaper! Wind-Maker!
He laid out the whole plot before Adam.
He brings everything out of nothing,
like dawn out of darkness.
He strides across the alpine ridges.
His name is God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

I’m God, I made everything. I designed the world including you. And this IS how it works, no matter what. I’m God.

1 - read/write comments:

Bobby Roach said...

this one hurts a bit, thanks Lord for reminding me.

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