Week 14

29 June - 5 July
Psalms 69 - 71, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah 1 - 10.32, Romans 12 - end, 2 Thessalonians, Proverbs 16

29 June
Amos 1 - 5.13Rom 12
30 June
Amos 5.14 - endRom 13
1 July
Hosea 1 - 6Rom 14
2 July
Hosea 7 - 11Rom 15
3 July
Hosea 12 - end
Isaiah 1
Rom 16
4 July
Ps 71.1 - 13Isaiah 2 - 5 2 Thess 1 *
2 Thess 2.1 - 2.12

5 July
Isaiah 6 - 112 Thess 2.13 - 3.18

* Reading split because of copyright restrictions on the Oremus Bible Browser


Psalm 69 is in two parts. In the first part, the psalmist is in a difficult place, insulted by people who shame him without cause. He seeks deliverance, calling down God's wrath on his enemies. The second part resembles Psalm 22, which we use in the liturgy for the Maundy Thursday eucharist, and which Jesus quotes on the cross.
Psalm 70 is an individual prayer asking God to come to the psalmist's aid quickly.
Psalm 71 repeats sentences from Psalms 22 and 13, both psalms of lament. It too is often used in Holy Week liturgies.


This week, we move away from the historical books, to hear what the prophets who wrote during the period covered by 2 Kings make of Israel's situation, starting with Amos and Hosea, and starting Isaiah 1 - 39.


It was the prophet Amos who wrote: 'Let justice well up as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.' This is central to his preaching. He lived in a place called Tekoa, a small town a few miles south of Jerusalem, in the reigns of Uzziah, king of Judah (783-742BC), and Jeroboam, king of Israel (786-746BC). This was a time of relative peace and prosperity in both kingdoms.
Amos compared hearing the voice of the Lord to a roaring lion, and we should read the book with the sound of a mighty, roaring lion in the background. He accuses the people of treating the poor and powerless with injustice, of finding security in physical defence systems instead of in God, who enjoy an affluent lifestyle, whose religion is not what God wants.


Hosea is a little later than Amos, living in the northern kingdom of Israel. About 735BC, peace began to give way to troubled times, with assassinations and chaotic government. 
Obeying God, Hosea married a woman of doubtful virtue. Their three children are given names which announce doom for the nation, which is to be punished because it has been unfaithful to the Lord. Hosea's marital situation, with its lack of fidelity, is analogous to the situation between God and Israel, with God's forgiving love shown through Hosea's love for his wife, despite everything.

Isaiah 1 - 10.32

The book of Isaiah is a major prophetic work, of great importance to Christians. What we have now is actually three books in one. The first part, chapters 1 to 39, comes from the 8th century BC, while chapters 40 to 55 come from the period of the exile and chapter 56 to 66 from the post-exilic period. These are not strictly separate, as three separate books would be, but show evidence of commenting upon earlier writing and editing of it by later writers.
Certain key themes run across all three: God as the Holy One of Israel, sin and forgiveness, devastation then restoration and salvation, and the final destiny of Zion.
First Isaiah prophesied to Judah and Jerusalem during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, which puts his work between about 740 and 700BC.  The reign of Uzziah, despite being generally a time of peace and prosperity, saw the rise of Assyria to the north. The northern kingdom of Israel and Syria joined forces against Assyria, and tried to get Judah to join them. Isaiah sees the Assyrians as an agent of God's judgement against the people.

Romans 12 - end

Chapters 12 - 15 apply Paul's theological exposition from the earlier chapters to the life of the Christian community in Rome. Chapter 16 contains his greetings to people he knows there.

2 Thessalonians

So far, we've read letters which are attributed to Paul himself. With 2 Thessalonians, we start on letters whose authorship is less certain. However, this is not an issue for us, as disciples rather than as theologians. It is included in the Bible, so it is provides the word of God for us, whoever the actual author may have been.
The Thessalonians appear to have been told that Jesus had already returned for the second coming, and the letter is written to counter this false claim. They are to stand firm in their faith.

Proverbs 16

This chapter is a collection of sayings about God and he king,

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