Amos 7:1 through 9:15

Boy does this section start out dire. God shows Amos a series of visions, beginning with locust infestation and consumption by fire. Amos pleads for Israel's sake. God relents. But then God says he will turn his face against Israel. They will be taken into exile and their king slaughtered. Amos gets busted by the temple priest for prophesying against the king, and responds with more prophecy - specifically against the temple priest. Then there is more prophecy about the inevitability of God's judgment.

The book ends on a hopeful note. God promises that Israel will reclaim its land and never again be uprooted. There will be abundance of harvest and a general contentment.

Several amazing truths are stated in this section. First of all, God is forgiving and can be lenient. Second, when punishment eventually comes, it may not be pretty. Third, don't tell prophets not to prophesy. Finally, God will eventually raise up and bless those who are faithful to him.

Amos 5:18 through 6:14

Amos starts each sub-section of this section with "Woe..." The first is "Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!" The day of the LORD is a day of judgment, where there will be plenty of weeping and gnashing of teeth. The Israelites felt that they would be exempt from judgment, but apparently will not. Amos says that Israel's offerings are detested since they are in action only and the Israelites have been worshiping other gods.

The second woe is "Woe to those who are at ease in Zion." Amos tells the Israelites to look to other countries who have already been overthrown and asks whether Israel is mightier or better than than them.

The third and final woe is "Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory." Israel has become fat and lazy and content in their wealth. In doing so they have neglected Yahweh. Amos warns of impending doom - the death of entire households - and concludes with more rhetorical questions and a dire warning that Yahweh will raise up against Israel a nation who will oppress them within their entire border.

This is particularly applicable in today's political atmosphere. The US should be careful how vigorously it exercises its power over weaker nations and examine its motives for various involvements worldwide. In addition, its citizens have become fat and lazy and content in their wealth. Many nations before us were more powerful and/or expansive (Rome, the United Kingdom, Germany, USSR) and they were put in their places.

Amos 3:1 through 5:17

Hear this word...

Amos tells the Israelites of their transgressions and the upcoming results, which are rather dire. He starts out cleverly with some no-brainer questions but then stabs right at the heart of Israel. He then calls for witnesses from neighboring nations and promises the defeat of Israel by an adversary. This will be a thorough defeat - one from which few will escape and none will be unaffected.

Amos then relays the many opportunities that Israel had to straighten up, but didn't. They were given many signs of hard times in the hopes that they would turn their ways around - but they simply didn't get the clues.

Finally, Amos relays how thorough and horrible of the eventual defeat of Israel will be and how corrupt those who live there are.

This section once again teaches a valuable lesson. Although we are God's covenant people and he loves us and we are secure in our salvation, earthly actions are not without consequence. Yahweh is patient and may be generous with warning signs but if we don't realize our wrongdoings, it is certain that there will be consequences.

It was a pleasant weekend

I had an action packed end-of-the-semester weekend. After my final, I hung out with a few friends. We went to dinner, came back to my house to watch a movie, hung out for a while, and then watched another movie. Saturday I went to the farmer's market for breakfast, went to Suburban Plight practice, hung out with Stevo, and played my first show for Suburban Plight in Long Beach. It was a really fun time and I'm looking forward to spending more time playing. This morning was church and this afternoon I cleaned the garage with the family. Dinner at Red Car capped off the evening and the weekend. I must say it has been one of my more enjoyable weekends in quite a while and I'm really looking forward to this summer.

I know I said Amos summaries by the end of the weekend but I'm going to give myself a day extension. Stay tuned...

One down, one to go

Well, the final went a lot better than I expected. Although I didn't think I had learned much, I at least knew my reference materials well enough to use them effectively (the final was open book, open notes). I very nearly completed the entire exam - which is unprecedented. I was writing down work on the last part of the last problem when time was called. I feel much better than I did after the midterm (mostly because I left almost half of the midterm blank). I have one final left on Friday for which I will study tonight and tomorrow...

Another semester is coming to a close...

Well, here I am a mere hour and a half before my first final this semester. I didn't study nearly as much as I should have and don't feel like I learned hardly anything. However, if graduate school has taught me anything it's that I seem to pull through somehow no matter how much I think I absorbed. I feel like I'm at least as well prepared as I was for the midterm and I got a low B on that. One more on Friday and I'm done for the summer.

On another note, I have been auditioning on bass guitar for Suburban Plight, a Torrance band, for the last month or so. We have a show on Saturday night which will be my first time playing in front of a crowd since Sunday morning (hahaha, I play at church) and their first show since November. I am very excited and feel I may finally have found a niche - it really has given me a sense of purpose musically and I always find playing to be a stress-relieving experience.

I gotta get rid of the orange bug. It smells foul - like old VW of course but it's a smell I no longer relish. In addition, it's impossible to haul my half-stack amplifier in there. I'm looking to find a mid-90's Accord wagon. Hondas just work.

I'm a bit behind on Amos blogging. Two more big idea posts are forthcoming. Look for them this weekend at the latest.