If at some point in your life you’re going to be naming your children, here’s a tip from me: choose a different dominant vowel sound for each of them. ‘Cause when you’re yelling from the other end of the house, that vowel is pretty much all they hear. Unfortunately, my sister (Cassy) and I (Tim) could always tell which one of us was wanted, and had no excuse for ignoring the call. I didn’t learn that lesson, and named both our kids with the same dominant vowel. Now, they can always ignore me and legitimately claim they thought I was calling the other one.
The book of Amos – which we’ve been looking at this week – sees God calling to his people, Israel. But they weren’t responding. Maybe they heard his voice, but convinced themselves he was talking to one of the nations around them. (Think about all those judgement oracles against the surrounding nations we read over the past few days, before God ambushed them with an indictment on their own sin. And Israel and Syria do have the same dominant vowel sound.) Surely it can’t be us – we’re his chosen people! How can he bring judgement on us?