Retaliation

Kelly Slaybaugh

Read: Obadiah 15-21 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. (v. 15) One of the hardest things our son had to learn in sports was to not retaliate. During heated games when he was fouled, he was tempted to lash out in frustration at the offender. As parents, we worked hard to explain it was the referee’s …

Hiding Places

Kelly Slaybaugh

Read: Obadiah 1-9 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” (v. 3) When I was a child, I thought the greatest hiding place was the space under my bed. Through the thin edge of my bedspread that dangled to the floor, I could see the outline of my parents walking by, but I …

False Comfort

Kelly Slaybaugh

Read: Amos 6:1-7 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria. (v. 1) I knew the risk. The yellow fuel warning light was illuminated in my car. But I had driven many times before while the light was on and had never run out of gas. Because I had gotten away with it before, I believed I could do it again. A few miles down the road, my …

True Riches

Kelly Slaybaugh

Read: Amos 5:11-15 Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. (v. 11) According to the Wall Street Journal, the collective wealth of Americans set a new record in 2018 by exceeding $100 trillion. As a country, the United States has been blessed with abundant wealth. The …

Privileged Status

Kelly Slaybaugh

Read: Amos 3:1-10 Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel. (v. 1) American Express coined the slogan, “Membership has its privileges.” This implies that members enjoy certain benefits non-members cannot enjoy. Belonging to this group has advantages. In a way, this is how the Israelites viewed their relationship with God. They were chosen to be in covenant with God and therefore they enjoyed his favor and blessings that others did not receive. Unfortunately, …

It’s Not Fair!

Kelly Slaybaugh

Read: Joel 2:28-32 . . . everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. (v. 32) In our world, we value fairness. It seems fair to us when bad people suffer, and good people prosper. We can even make ourselves the judge and jury, declaring in our hearts and minds who is deserving of good things and who is not. The prophet Joel foretells there will be a time when God’s Spirit will be poured out …