Warning and Hope

Rev. Jim Toole
Advent Sermon Series: Prepare the Way


For the first two weeks we focused on the persistent and unconditional love of God as we see it in the story of Jonah and then Hosea. But to be faithful to the genre of the Prophet literature and to the prophets themselves we have to look at the juxtaposition and tension between the themes of warning and hope, or you could say the themes of condemnation and redemption.

Micah 1-3 Condemnation of North and Southern Kingdom

Micah 4 & 5 Hope of Redemption

Theme: We must try to live out our faith in the middle of the tension between warning and hope.

So our hope is in the love, mercy and grace of our Savior.
But what is the warning? The warning we see in the prophets is the same warning for us. We must heed the warning about taking God for granted, turning our backs on God and worshipping other gods in our lives.

The primary message of the prophets to Israel is also a very appropriate message to many of us who easily get distracted away from God.

The word in Greek is μετάνοια: to change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought by turning towards God.

But some of us make the mistake of thinking of repentance as this one time big act. I repented and now I can move on. The greater reality is what I call the practice of Habitual Repentance.

Repentance is turning. Our faith life is about habitually turning back to our first love.