The autopost through Posterous still isn’t formatting right here, so catch the post on my little spot there.

UPDATE: Posterous content got imported to Posthaven. Link has been updated. Great outline there, do check it out. Oh, hey, here’s the outline, in case the latter goes under too. Title, from Portuguese: “God the Breaker;” text, Micah 2.13.

  1. FUTURE. Micah’s prophecy about both God’s punishment and his rescue of his people were yet future, sign that God is sovereign, in control of history and our affairs. We speak of providence today. It’s a code word to say that God still is working, is still in charge, still moves nations and men and affairs toward the goal he has established. The book of Revelation is kin to Micah’s prophecy, painting a picture of suffering and of the need for faithfulness, a message that opens the window to what God is doing in the world, a call to faithfulness to the Lord and his work. “To be sure, my commands bring a reward for those who obey them” (Micah 2:8).
  2. DIVINE. The series of third-person singular verbs highlights that it was God’s action that changed the people’s situation. The phrase sometimes used in Portuguese, that a situation can change only by God himself (só Deus mesmo), seems to carry more despair than hope. But God does act, even today, in his people’s lives.
  3. COMPLETE. The Portuguese versions have “opens a way,” one translates the phrase as “make an opening.” These are very weak for the impact of the verb, which transmits the idea of a complete defeat for the enemy. Much like a brother in Christ who uses explosives to break boulders and rocky ground for buildings or highways. This violent action is God’s to overcome, much like the atomic bomb in WWII resulted in unconditional surrender of Japan.
  4. SUDDEN. Though God does not always act in sudden and quick motions, he does so here. Just as in 2 Kings 7, when, after a long period of siege, God caused the Syrian army camped around Samaria to flee, resulting in the immediate relief of the inhabitants of the city. God may, though there’s no guarantee that he will, act in our lives so suddenly and reverse our fortunes, alleviate suffering, provide solutions. We expect things to happen slowly, often expressing doubt at God’s power, like the Samaritan king’s right-hand man, “even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?” (2 Kings 7:2).

Some days ago, I was looking through the book by our brother Jack Wilhelm, Paul’s Conversion and Missionary Journeys, and noticed a list of the five acts of worship in 1 Corinthians.

I’ve since loaned out the book, so I can’t reproduce his list exactly, but it wasn’t difficult to open Paul’s letter and find several passages that show how the Corinthian church, in spite of its errors, still practiced all the essential acts in its meetings, as we do today. Continue reading