Today’s Bible Reading: Amos 4-6:14; Revelation 2:18-3:6; Psalm 130:1-8; Proverbs 29:21-22
God can be very blunt when He needs to be and Amos 4:1 is a great example. Here he calls the wealthy women of Samaria “fat cows”. They had used their wealth and position to advance their own lifestyle at the expense of the less fortunate. This is exactly the opposite of what God calls on all of us to do.
Amos prophesies that Israel would be taken captive through the ruins of the wall (of Jerusalem) like fish on a hook (Amos 4:2-3). Assyria was known for taking defeated people captive and marching them naked for hundreds of miles from their home nation back to Assyria. To keep the people in line they were chained together with hooks pierced through their noses or lower lips. Here is another prophecy that came true exactly as God said it would.
God will use His power to create problems in our life in order to get our attention. His goal in all of this is not to hurt us, but to get us to turn back to Him (Amos 4:6-11). Even with all these problems Israel did not turn back to God. Neither do we. Instead we make up all kinds of reasons as to the source of our problems like “global warming” to explain what is going on. Its not global warming. Its God trying to get our attention.
God wants us to come back to Him so we can be filled with life (Amos 5:4, 6, 14). I don’t think any of us would declare that our life is as fulfilling as we’d like. To satisfy our innate yearning for meaning we chase after all kinds of things that leave us more empty than before. Only God can fill our lives with true significance.
Back in Israel’s day the people were lovers of themselves, seeking their own advancement (Amos 5:10-11). I’d say we have the same thing today. Government is corrupt. Wall Street is corrupt. Even school teachers abuse their position by promoting their own agendas. God hates this.
In such a time as this the smart people keep their mouths shut (Amos 5:13). Ever wonder why our choices of political candidates hits a new low every second Tuesday in November? Its because the people who can actually lead and who actually have good ideas can’t be bothered. They understand that we are now living in a lose-lose society. There can be no winners if we keep on the path we are on.
I found it very interesting that Israel dismissed the notion that God would bring disaster upon them while their actions were actually making that disaster more and more of a reality (Amos 6:3). I think this describes the United States perfectly. We are doing all we can to eliminate God from our society thinking it makes us a better nation. But these actions are the exact reasons that someday (soon, in my opinion) God is going to send a major disaster our way, possibly by raising up another nation to defeat us (Amos 6:14).
Jesus knows everything that is happening on this earth. Every thought. Every action. He knows who is trying to have a relationship with Him and who is not (Revelation 2:19). Nothing escapes Him. This is impossible for us to understand but that does not make it untrue. God created us and is obviously, therefore, more powerful than we are with capabilities we can’t even imagine.
While the church in Thyatira was doing many things right, they did have one problem that I found interesting as it parallels what is happening in the United States. They were following false teachings that were being promoted as “advanced thinking” (Revelation 2:24). Today many view the Bible as out-of-date and out-of-touch. They erroneously claim that it is filled with hate and bigotry. As an alternative, they promote other belief systems as being more modern and more advanced. I used to think all these things too. But after testing the waters of New-Ageism, Buddhism, and finally Christianity I can say with 100% confidence that these so-called deeper teachings are as shallow as man’s imagination. The Bible, on the other hand, is so deep that it cannot be understood without God Himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit, explaining it to us.
How often we wait until we hit rock bottom before calling out to God for His divine help (Psalm 130:1). I have a habit of doing this myself. I go along through life thinking I can manage and start to neglect my relationship with God all the while things start to fall apart. The sad part is I don’t see this happening in the beginning. It isn’t until things get pretty bad that I finally realize what is going on. How much better it would be to maintain a relationship with God that is consistent.
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