Prepare to meet your God!
Scripture reading for September 12th: Amos 3-5
Amos was a country preacher who used plain language that cut to the chase! Country people don’t beat around the bush. They call it like it is. This is a good trait, but sometimes lacks tact in the eyes of those who are more refined! Amos likely made a few people pretty mad! In Amos 4:1 he called the women of Samaria “cows”. These women were likened to the well-fed cattle of Bashan, a farming area east of the Sea of Galilee. They were demanding drinks from their husbands and were oppressing the poor and needy while they enjoyed an abundance. Amos promised them that God’s punishment was on the way.
Amos told the people to go up to Bethel and sin. They were religious people who loved to put on a show. They boasted about their offerings as if they had produced them all by themselves. God had tried to correct them and get their attention, but to no avail! They would not return to God with humble and contrite hearts! (Amos 4:6, 9, 11) God had sent famines, plagues, war and trouble to wake them up but they failed to respond. The final call was for them to prepare to meet their God! (Amos 4:12) God had power that should have been revered! He was now ready to call them to stand before Him in judgment and the results would not be pretty!
These religious people said that they longed for the day of the Lord! Amos told them that it would be a day of darkness, not light for them! (Amos 5:18) It would be like a man fleeing from a lion, only to meet a bear. Because their hearts were not in their religious devotion and assemblies, God hated their songs, festivals, feasts and offerings! He wanted justice and righteousness, not a religious show! (Amos 5:24)
As we read about this farmer-preacher, we see that he spoke truth in plain language. The times he lived in were a lot like ours. We need to be sure we are seeking the Lord with our hearts, and not just words and ritual. We must hate evil and love good! We should be working in our day for justice and compassion for the poor. The day of the Lord is coming! Will you be ready?
“. . . prepare to meet your God, O Israel.” Amos 4:12b