“The Sovereign Lord was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. Then I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, I beg you to stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” (Amos 7:4)
There is so much going on in the world today, and so many things happening in the nation I live in that are causing division, turmoil, and resulting in evil. All of these things must grieve God’s heart, and at the same time, He is just to allow our own sins to reap their consequences.
This chapter of the Bible tells me a lot about the prophet Amos and how God used him. Here we see God giving Amos visions of how He was to punish Israel for their sin, whether by way of locusts or judgment by fire. In reading Amos’s reaction, God convicted me that one area I need to improve in my prayer life, is praying for my nation and our leaders. (more…)
“Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!” (Amos 6:1)
Amos 6 reminds me that we can’t be complacent and base our security on how we’re doing financially, relationally, or physically, because any of those things can literally be taken away in an instant. When we “rest on our laurels” and fail to continuously move closer and closer to God and His will for us, we play an extremely dangerous game that has eternal consequences.
I think about my wife’s health situation and how the healthiest person I know was struck completely by surprise, with something that was also completely out of her control. We absolutely cannot put our hope and security on things of this world, no matter how secure they appear to be. (more…)
“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” (Amos 5:21-23)
If we put verses 21-23 in the modern context, how many of us go to church gatherings and meetings (feasts and assemblies)? How many of us tithe to the church or donate money or other resources (burnt offerings and grain offerings)? How many of us give or serve to simply appease God or others (peace or fellowship offerings)? How many of us take part in worshipful activities such as sing praise songs at church (noise of your songs)?
The answer is probably most, if not all, of people who call themselves Christian do all of these things. But when they are done without truly accepting Jesus, not only as Savior of our lives, but as LORD of our lives (meaning dying to ourselves and giving our life fully to Him), HE WILL NOT ACCEPT OR REGARD THEM. We have put our hope in the wrong things. (more…)
“I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. (Amos 4:6)
Now that I’m older and I can look back at my life as a child, teen, and young adult, I see in hindsight the many times that God was reaching out to me, even before I became Christian. There are very distinct moments and circumstances that occurred that were too well orchestrated and specific to be accidents or coincidences, and I now see that God was trying to both warn me and draw me to Him.
The foolish and/or dangerous situations that I repeatedly put myself or others into, I have only survived by the grace of God, as He still has plans for me to accomplish in this world as an instrument for Christ. (more…)
“The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers.” (Amos 1:2)
Have you ever sat through a sermon and immediately thought of another person (not yourself) that “needed to hear that message”? I know I’ve done it before.
We see something similar happen to Israel, as the book of Amos opens with God condemning the surrounding nations for their sins. Ironically, Israel forgot to “take the plank out of their own eye” first and realize that God’s judgment of sin was also coming to them. (more…)