Selected Sunday Scriptures- #70

Today’s post will feature a number of different verses and passages, most of them on the shorter side. I begin with this verse from Proverbs:

When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
    but when the wicked prevail, people go into hiding.

(Proverbs 28:12)

This verse is both very deep, and highly applicable in the present age. A great deal can be discerned about the moral character of a time period, and the leadership in charge, by observing how people act. When righteous people go into hiding, then you can be sure that their rulers are wicked. Many Christians, especially those holding orthodox beliefs, have to hide much of themselves right now in the West. While they are not fully in hiding, that they have to hide aspects of their belief or faith serves as a strong testament to the wickedness of this age and its rulers. We will know that things have truly turned a corner when this is no longer the case.

Then there is this passage from the prophet Amos:

On that day I will raise up
    the booth of David that is fallen,
and repair its breaches,
    and raise up its ruins,
    and rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 in order that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations who are called by my name,
    says the Lord who does this.

13 The time is surely coming, says the Lord,
    when the one who plows shall overtake the one who reaps,
    and the treader of grapes the one who sows the seed;
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
    and all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
    and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
    and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them upon their land,
    and they shall never again be plucked up
    out of the land that I have given them,
says the Lord your God.

(Amos 9:11-15)

While I understand the literal meaning of the phrase “he one who plows shall overtake the one who reaps“, and the phrase after it, I wonder if there is an allegorical meaning as well.  I’m curious if any of my readers can clue me in to one. I ask because the last verse reminds me of what Jesus told Peter in the Gospel of Matthew:

17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

(Matthew 16:17-18)

The mention of the booth (or house) of David earlier by Amos suggests a Messianic message here. So I’m wondering if this passage is a foretelling of the creation of the Church- that new and lasting Israel which God intended.

Finally I close with this small passage from the First Letter of St. Peter:

13 Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14 Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15 Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21 Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.

(1 Peter 1:13-21)

Something that many of us are apt to do is to “check out holiness at the door” when we leave Church. But we are called to be holy in all our conduct, which of course means at all times and places. Sadly, this idle approach to holiness even carries across to our reverence. I find that something sadly lacking in most Christians these days. We have lost our sense of the sacred, and this is something I think plays a significant role in the deterioration of the faith. After all, if you are not offended by the irreverence of a “Jesus is my Boyfriend” song, what will offend you? I suspect rather little.

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