Thursday, January 25, 2018

When is too much too much?

In solitude, perhaps like in Abraham’s case, Yhwh not only reveals His intentions but also invites prophetic participation in leading Amos into the realization that Israel has sinned themselves beyond the reach of prophetic intercession. From Amos’s two intercessions, we know that the prophet was fully committed to Israel, even if they could not bear him (cf. Amos 7:10). The overruling theological message of these visions is that when God’s word is consistently rejected, there comes eventually a time when the divine punishment can no longer be postponed. Like Abraham, Amos too is being taught by God about the meaning of divine mercy and justice (Gen 18:16–33). In contrast to Abraham, Amos is called to become a messenger of judgment and doom. This process, as we have seen, is also central to the intercessory ministry of Jeremiah. There too, the sinfulness of the people reached a level at which Yhwh had to prohibit his prophet from praying for his people (cf. Jer 7:16, 11:14, 14:11, 15:1).—Standing in the Breach, page 498

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