Thursday, July 14, 2011

The discipline of the LORD

“It is this other way [YHWH appearing in discipline] that can be regularly discerned within the Twelve. In contrast to Joel and Jonah, the prophets Hosea, Amos, and Micah receive little response to their calls to repentance, and Amos 4 shows that the people have not even responded to the divine discipline they have experienced so far. This lack of response leads to his call for them to prepare to meet their God, a call with double entendre, suggesting a final hope for repentance along with an expectation of climactic divine discipline. Thus, while holding out hope for repentance alongside the announcement of judgment, Hosea, Amos, and Micah all look to a severe divine discipline from which will emerge a penitent and faithful community, often associated with the Day of the Lord. Though Joel and Jonah have provided some hope for the validity of human response in the first half of the Twelve based on the gracious character of Yahweh, it is ironically the recitation of the character creed of Exodus in the seventh book (Nahum) that signals a shift in the Twelve away from human penitence and to divine discipline.”—A Severe Mercy, pages 348

<idle musing>
The shift in emphasis is interesting, as is the multiple uses of the Exodus character creed (I am slow to anger...). It is indeed a promise and a threat—reminds me of Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16:

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.

</idle musing>

No comments: