The Minor Prophets #2

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This entry is part 2 of 32 in the series The Minor Prophets

When men forget God their society heads for ruin. And so, at critical junctures, here comes a prophet to call us to our senses. That’s the good news—the prophet comes. The bad news is that people hardly ever listen to the prophets; they’re just like a voice crying in the wilderness. God rarely picks a Billy Graham to serve as a prophet. The reason I think is quite simple: it is the message that is the thing, not the messenger. Be careful not to despise the messenger. If God ever does decide to send us a message, it will likely come from someone we don’t respect.

Take the prophet Amos as an example. He was about as unlikely a prophet as you would ever find. He was a sheep herder and a fruit picker with no formal training as a preacher. He had no degree after his name and no obvious qualifications for the job. It was just that, one day, God decided it was time to say something; so he reached into his toolbox and selected the man he wanted for the job.

Amos began his prophecy with a fascinating theme. He used a Hebrew idiom: For three transgressions and for four, and then he began to outline what was coming and why it was coming. I don’t know if the numbers are symbolic in this case or just a way of saying, for an abundance of transgressions I’m going to visit these people. It’s a passing interest that both three and four and the sum of these—seven—is suggestive of a whole. I don’t know if that was God’s intent but it’s clear enough what He was saying, because transgressions were getting out of hand and some important things were going to happen.

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Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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