That feeling when you running away from a lion and meet a bear
The Bible has a lot of prophesy. There is a bit of future telling in it, which is quite chilling. A lot is doom and gloom.
After just a few chapters of it I’m already starting to worry about prophesy fatigue. Many chapters to go. I launched on this project in faith that God would bless the reading of all his word…
I had an epiphany about the tone of prophesy today though. I’m a father, God is our father, it’s father talk, simple as that.
Condemnation: “Get out of bed! Get a job! You’ll never be anything if you don’t get moving! You’re going nowhere, son!”
Tenderness: “I love you, I raised you, you mean the world to me…”
Cruel to be kind: “…that’s why I have to lock the computer in a cupboard / you can’t go out till you pack the dishwasher”
Hyperbolic poetry of frustration: “I’m going crazy! You never lift a finger! If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 1000 times! Are you deaf!”
That’s pretty much Amos 5 in a nutshell. Some moments of vividness and beauty my rants rarely aspire to. The turn to tender includes describing Israel (ironically?) as a fallen virgin, lying on the ground, beaten with none to help her up.
He just wants them to be fair, to treat the poor without exploitation, to not be greedy. He can’t stand their noisy singing with stringed instruments when they hate justice (so culturally impenetrable, can’t possibly unpack that one for the modern world!)
Bad stuff is coming and then the day of the lord is coming, which will be like running from a lion into a bear, or getting to the safety of home and finding a snake there. I think this day of the lord will be the exile and the destruction of Jerusalem, in their near history. And in the longer view of history it’s our death, like the bumper sticker: shit happens, then you die.
God just wants me to be a decent human being. I’m the one who made up reading a random slab of the word at a random time of day, and here am I all “I’ve done my god ritual, where’s my neat package of blessing, I’m getting tired of prophesy so you better deliver!” as if it’s his fault!
He just wants me to be decent.