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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

13 June 2006

Lo-Ammi, Simony, and Wise Little Things

Q: After our Bible study, we have three weekly questions to answer. Who was Loammi? Who wanted to buy the power of the Holy Spirit? And where does it say there are four things which are little upon the earth, but are exceedingly wise and what are they?

Hosea's FamilyA: Lo-Ammi was one of Hosea’s children by Gomer, the prostitute he married. Hosea 1:2-2:23 tells of Jezreel (“God sows”), Lo-Ruhamah (“She has not received mercy”), and Lo-Ammi (“Not my people”). These were names of judgment pronounced upon God’s rebellious people Israel.

Yet the Lord also promised that He would reclaim His people and would show them mercy in the “great ... day of Jezreel,” when He would sow vengeance upon His enemies and salvation for His own (1:11). As a pledge of His promise, the Lord also said, “I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’ (2:23)”

Simony PunishedSimon the Magician (Acts 8:9-24) wanted to buy the Spirit’s power. His name remains in the Christian church through the term “simony,” the act of buying religious offices or privileges. Unlike some who persist in such wickedness, Simon repented (v. 24), saying, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

Proverbs 30:24-28 provides the answer for your final question: “Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; the rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; the locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank; the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces.”

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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