Commentaries Written by Scott Hoezee

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Hosea 11:1-11 Sermon Commentary

Proper 13C

When trying to teach seminary students some techniques for effective Bible reading, Hosea 11 is a chapter I often assign.  I ask students to ponder the text and to then make a recording for me of what they would deem to be an effective interpretive reading.  I am often floored by how bloodless some such…

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Hosea 1:2-10 Sermon Commentary

Proper 12C

We teach a certain rule-of-thumb to our seminary students.  We talk about it as colleagues in ministry.  And deep down we intuitively know this truth anyway.  We preachers know that it’s at best dicey to use our spouse and children as sermon illustrations, exemplars of behavior good or bad, or just generally as the starting…

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Psalm 138 Sermon Commentary

Proper 12C

Psalm 138 has features shared by many psalms of praise.  There are vows to praise God.  There are references to the poet’s motivations for praising God.  There is the ardent hope that eventually all the earth and all the kings and peoples of the earth will learn to praise Israel’s God as well.  Like most…

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Psalm 15 Sermon Commentary

Proper 11C

By my count nearly one-third of the 150 Psalms—44 out of 150—never appear across the three-year Cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary.  But there are some that come up with frequency, and Psalm 15 is one such poem from the Psalter as it occurs once in each of the Lectionary Years A, B, & C….

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Amos 8:1-12 Sermon Commentary

Proper 11C

The Old Testament is downright chock-full of God’s overweening concern for that traditional triplet of the widows, the orphans, and the resident aliens within Israel.  Each group was vulnerable in the ancient Near East. By tradition, Israel was a male-dominated society.  Family and inheritance were key factors in a person’s having a stable place in…

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Psalm 25:1-10 Sermon Commentary

Proper 10C

In his book years ago The Closing of the American Mind Allan Bloom lamented the decline of true education in this nation’s colleges and universities. Bloom decried the way many professors had dispensed with the traditional canons of literature in favor of whatever was trendy and vogue. He mourned the fact that critical thinking and…

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Amos 7:7-17 Sermon Commentary

Proper 10C

It just doesn’t pay to tell a prophet to shut up.  Things tend to get worse.  Or at least that is so with a true prophet of God.  Hucksters, fakes, charlatans can be intimidated.  They will flee when threatened.  They will say nicer things for a price. But not so the true prophets of God…

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2 Kings 5:1-14 Sermon Commentary

Proper 9C

Martin Luther King, Jr., once preached a sermon on this text from 2 Kings 5, and I’m grateful to Richard Lischer for calling attention to it in a lecture he gave while working on his book The Preacher King.  In the classic style of preaching that Dr. King so well embodied, he picked up on…

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Psalm 66:1-9 Sermon Commentary

Proper 9C

A bit cheeky.  A goodly dose of chutzpah.  A tad forward.  You have to admire the psalmists who on many occasions are not the least bit adverse to ordering the whole world to praise the God of Israel.  Make no mistake: all those “Praise the Lord” lines in so many of the psalms are in…

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2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 Sermon Commentary

Proper 8C

There’s no getting around it: this is a very curious story.  It’s also a story with some good old-fashioned suspense, a bit of intrigue, and some humor.  The writer tips off us readers right from the get-go of verse 1 to say that Elijah was departing via a whirlwind.  The way the writer just drops…

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