Tag: seek good
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
Scripture reading for September 14th: Amos 3-5
If you knew that you would die today and face God, how would you spend your last hours? Do you have issues that you need to settle? Are you prepared at this moment to deal with God concerning your life, conduct, stewardship, and state of your soul? As we read the words of Amos today, let these thoughts examine your heart.
Having a close relationship with God is a blessing, but also brings great responsibility. God had chosen to dwell with Israel above all families of the earth. (Amos 3:2-3) They knew Him, His laws, and His ways better than any other peoples of the earth. There was a covenant agreement that was made at Mt. Sinai through Moses that bound them together. They had agreed to walk together! Because of this, God had a responsibility to punish Israel for her sins. He also promised to warn His people about the coming punishment by raising up prophets who would speak clearly for Him. (Amos 3:7)
Amos began to speak to God’s people as God spoke to him. Amos warned the people of coming judgment by war. (Amos 3:11-12) They would be overrun by the enemy. Their altars at Bethel would be destroyed and their mansions demolished. The women of Israel were also singled out because of their oppression of the poor and needy. They loved to drink alcohol and live a luxurious lifestyle, but neglected God’s law. The people went through religious motions, but their hearts were far from God. (Amos 4:1-5)
God had tried often to get their attention. He withheld rain from the land and brought famine. He struck gardens with blight and mildew and sent plagues among them. Some he overthrew like Sodom and Gomorrah, and snatched them from the fire! Yet the people failed to get the message and return to Him! (Amos 4:7-11)
“”Therefore this is what I will do to you Israel, and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.” He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals His thoughts to man, He who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth–the Lord God Almighty is His name! “ (Amos 4:12) Take time today and examine your life. Has God been trying to get your attention? Are you harboring sins and living in luxury and complacency? Repent while you can!