BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.” Amos 5:14-15 ESV
The words of the prophet Amos are powerful and compelling. They seem to strike at the heart of those who don’t know God or His ways. However, that is not the case. His words are to God’s people. They are to God’s people who had lost their way.
Over the course of time, compromise and complacency in obedience to the ways of the Lord, lead to being overtaken by the ways of the “world around.” The idolatry of the nations God’s people did not conquer, began to conquer them. The clock of impending judgment was clicking.
The Lord calls an unlikely prophet named Amos. Amos was from Judah, but spoke to the northern tribes. He told King Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.” (Amos 7:14 NIV) Once again we see God using an unlikely object of His mercy, grace and will.
Like Jonah of old preaching to Nineveh, Amos calls for a return to the Lord manifested in righteous living and justice in order to stay the hand of God.
Amos spoke to the evil of God’s people, “For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins—you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate.” (Amos 5:12 ESV)
The remedy to their situation was to STOP! It was a call to repent. To change the way they were acting. They were to seek good to hate evil to establish justice for all.
The assurance we have in the history of God’s people and in the whole of scripture is that the Lord is more willing to forgive and relent, then were are to seek Him, turn to Him and change our ways.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV)
“God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.” (2 Peter 3:9 CEV)
The Lord is seeking action, not empty words, or shallow worship. One of Amos’ final pleas is, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24 ESV)
We at times may “lose our way” but there is a path back, if we are willing to turn and return to the Lord and His ways.
Prayer for today…. Lord, thank you for your compassion and mercy. You call the wandering home and provide the path back to You. When we wander, help us to see the error of our ways and be quick to make the corrections that are needed.