My reading took me to Amos 5 where Amos speaks to the Israelites for God. Amos communicates God’s sorrow. The Israelites sin has become a stench to the LORD. No repentance comes from Israel so God turns away. Amos speaks God’s thoughts of doom to the people of Israel. God speaks through Amos saying “Seek me and live.” The LORD wants His people to return to Him. But, first God is a jealous God who will not be ignored. But, second God is a loving and compassionate God who gives second chances to all. God has given Israel chance after chance to return but they refuse to turn away from the idols of their heart. Israel has become their idols and it says in the word ‘but their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, they have eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.’ (Psalm 115:4-8) The Israelites trusted in their idols so they became their idols to where they couldn’t see or hear danger; their feet couldn’t run from evil. So, when God sent help in the man Amos to speak truth in their lives to turn from their wicked ways they couldn’t hear or see or utter repentance through their mouths; they had become their idols. The LORD is calling “seek me and live”.
Lord is calling ‘seek me and live” but Israel can’t hear; the flow of God’s words just pass them by without understanding.
Israel is not unlike us because we like our material goods as well. We want the best looking car or we need to build a house too. We have the mentality that what is ‘good for my neighbor is good for me, too’. But, God word says for people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1Timothy 6:9-11)
Pursue faithfulness in God: Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1Timothy 6:12) Israel did not fight for their relationship in God but we are called to persevere in faith for our relationship in Christ so that we will claim the prize of eternal life with Him. (Philippians 3:14)
The word says I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasures full. (Proverbs 8:17-21) But, God had conditions to His promises and they were to keep God’s Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and Israel broke their covenant with God. But, Israel didn’t listen to Amos so reconciliation became judgment.
Amos continued to persevere with words from God to “seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you.” If only Israel would hate evil and seek good then God would save a remnant of Joseph.
A sure indication that you are committed follower of Jesus Christ is your hate of sin and your love for righteousness. Jesus Christ showed us His faithfulness to the truth and His righteous hatred for sin while He walked on this earth. The word says in John 3:19-21 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
Reading further into Amos 7:1-7 the Sovereign LORD was showing Amos a vision of locust on the King’s share of the harvest and Amos cries out “Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” So the LORD relented. “This will not happen,” the LORD said. This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me. The Sovereign LORD was calling judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. Then (Amos) I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” So the LORD relented. “This will not happen either,” the Sovereign LORD said. This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in His hand. The vision showed that God was measuring Israel with a plumb line. A plumb line is a string with a weight on one end it is used in carpentry to make straight a wall. Israel wall was not straight. Israel walk was not obedient to God’s rules. God’s warning has fallen on deaf ears. God uses a shepherd boy from Judah to be a prophet for Israel. Amos cries out to God for Israel but Israel rejects God’s words and is told to “get out, you seer!” Amos was called to Israel by God to be a light in their presence darkness. Have you been called to a place where there is darkness and you are the only light within its walls? Persevere! The things that mark an apostle⎯signs, wonders and miracles⎯were done among you with great perseverance. (2Corinthians 12:12) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) We will not see the end result of our perseverance but know this: nothing is every wasted all is used for the glory of God. (Isaiah 55:11; Numbers 23:19)
In Amos 9:1 I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and He said: “Strike the tops of the pillars so that the thresholds shake. Bring them down on the heads of all the people; those who are left I will kill with the sword. Not one will get away, none will escape.
This is what judgment looks like when you are an enemy of God. God is a merciful and Israel was given chances upon chance to return to God but they loved their sins more. Israel couldn’t hear God’s voice and they forgot who He was. They created their own world where they were number one. They were living in a new utopia where life was surrounded by the love of activity and the worship of things. God was forgotten because life was great. Israel was blessed by God and riches abounded, and with all that God receded into the background until He was totally forgotten.
Israel had depended on their own strength and they have done well; with these thoughts they thought we do not need guidance from this god. Israel forgot who had blessed and protected them. Israel had fallen into the mistake that they were god. The Lord says in His word “you shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)
Israel needed to repent and believe again on the LORD. But, they refused to return to the LORD. Israel refused to let go. Israel rejected God’s word. When you fashion idols in your heart and you trust them; you become them. (Psalm 115:8) When warnings come from God and Pastors we say that is not me for we can’t hear truth. Are ears are stopped up by our idol in our heart and we can’t hear the Lord speaking.
Hear Jesus Christ calling out of the wilderness for you. Repent and believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross for your sins (the idols in your heart) and rose on the third day to be seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. We can’t do this life on our own we need help. Ask Jesus Christ into your life.
Persevere! We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:12) We do not want you to fall away to idols but to stay steadfast in the Lord. We want you to triumph. But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. (2Corinthians 2:14)
Thank you, Lord for your faithful pursuing of us. Thank you, Lord that you continue to convict our hearts of our sin. Thank you, Lord for your walk to the cross that cancels my sin.
I pray for your people who struggle with idols of their heart. We ask for your will be done your kingdom come in each life. Open their eyes to see the path they have chosen to walk; which leads to judgment. Open their ears to heed the call of repentance and change before it’s too late. We have all fallen short of the glory of God no one’s perfect not one. Not even you. Help us Lord. In Jesus Christ name, I pray. Amen.