John Ritenbaugh observed that ancient Israel had regarded Bethel (as well as Gilgal and Beer Sheba) as a sacred shrine (a place where Jacob had been transformed —his name changed to Israel) but were not becoming spiritually transformed as a result of. . .
How can we evaluate whether our Feast is 'good' or not? God's criticism of Israel's feasts in Amos 5 teaches what God wants us to learn from His feasts.
If we go to the Feast with the goal of physically enjoying, we may lose out on both the spiritual and physical benefits. 'Going through the motions' defiles it.
John Ritenbaugh warns the greater Church of God that since we constitute the Israel of God, the book of Amos directly applies to us. The pilgrimages to Gilgal made by the people of ancient Israel were repulsive to God because no permanent change (in terms . . .
John Ritenbaugh points out that Amos severely chides Israel for exalting symbolism over substance, superstitiously trusting in locations where significant historical events occurred: Bethel- the location of Jacob's pillar stone and Jacob's conversion; Gilg. . .
Amos gives a series of dire warnings, beginning with Israel's enemies, but concluding with a blistering indictment on Israel herself for her hypocrisy.
Just because we keep God's feasts does not necessarily mean we are in sync with God's Law or intent. The Israelites kept the feasts in a carnal manner.
Sometimes, we get down because we think that all our labors for God have gone unnoticed. Elijah did, and his story points out a major lesson we all would do well to heed today.
The book of Amos is an astounding prophecy, closely paralleling the conditions in the Western world today. Amos reveals how unrighteousness undermines society.
An entire chapter of Genesis is devoted to the sexual violation of Dinah and its consequences. Who bears the responsibility for this grievous crime?
Rather than having an apathetic relationship toward God, we must ardently, earnestly, and fervently seek God in order to imitate His behavior in our lives.
Kim Myers, reflecting on Amos's prophecy to ancient Israel in Amos 5:11, castigating the leaders for their shabby treatment to the poor and destitute in society, draws a parallel to America's leaders today, allowing or creating situations in which the rich. . .
Martin Collins, continuing his analysis of Hosea's prophecies, points out that modern Israel is repeating the same sins as ancient Israel, and that the Prophet's metaphors of the promiscuous wife, stubborn heifer, and rebellious child, all apply to America. . .
The people to whom Amos writes have the mistaken assumption that because they have made the covenant with God, they can bask in a kind of divine favoritism.
Even though Jacob's offspring have had a special relationship with God, their carnal nature led them to test God's patience, growing more corrupt than even Sodom.
Israel had every opportunity that the Gentiles did not have. God gave the Israelites gifts to live a better way, but they completely failed to reflect Him.
Jeroboam, pragmatic and fearful, established a more convenient idolatrous festival to prevent his people from keeping the real Feast of Tabernacles in Judah.
John Ritenbaugh observes that ancient Israel had at the core of its religion (as well as its dominant cultural norm) an obsession to serve or please the self at the expense of justice and truth and the best interests of the socially disadvantaged. Because . . .
God, through His prophets, warns that He will chasten His people with increasing severity until they repent and begin to reflect His characteristics.
Feelings and emotions may throw our faith off course. Our moods are mercurial and we must control them with daily prayer and Bible study.
Paul refers to the church as 'the Israel of God.' Why not 'the Judah of God'? Why did God not inspire Paul to call the church "the Jacob of God"?
John Ritenbaugh discusses the limited window of opportunity recipients of a dire prophecy have to take action. The one who hears the warnings does not have an abundance of time to repent and return to God. A lion's threat is not idle. If no action is taken. . .
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