A Day of Darkness
Lord, I desire to seek You in truth. Search my heart and turn me away from any self-deceit.
Read Amos 5:18-27
 Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light.  It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.  Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light- pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?  “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me.  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.  But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!  “Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?  You have lifted up the shrine of your king, the pedestal of your idols, the star of your god- which you made for yourselves.  Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is God Almighty. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat do you think makes worship of value to God?
When Jeroboam established the northern kingdom of Israel, he faced a challenge: Solomon’s Temple was in Jerusalem, now the capital of a hostile power. He clearly didn’t want his subjects having any continuing loyalty to Jerusalem. Jeroboam solved this problem by building shrines with new golden calves in Bethel and Dan, creating new priests, and instituting new sacrifices. God rejected all of these new practices, condemning the shrines (1 Kings 12:25–13:6).This is the heart of verse 26: there is nothing within the people’s sacrifices, worship or fellowship that will be pleasing to God (21-23). Not only is it wrongly offered in a sham temple to a sham god, their worship is offered by a culture that despises right living. The kind of worship for which God longs, devoted and moral, is absent from Israel. Israel longs for the Day of the Lord. The Lord’s response is news of what’s to come: his complete rejection of their culture, Temple and nation. He, the Lord, who brought them out of Egypt and sustained them in the wilderness, will send them away from the land of promise into exile beyond Damascus (27). A dark day is coming to Israel.
God longs for our worship to include right living and justice. Write about what this will look like in your life.
God of truth, You are seeking a people who live that the world might know You. I long to be one of them.
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