RESPOND TO THE RESCUER
Open your heart to receive all that God has to offer today.
Read Amos 2:6–16
6 This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Israel,
even for four, I will not relent.
They sell the innocent for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals.
7 They trample on the heads of the poor
as on the dust of the ground
and deny justice to the oppressed.
Father and son use the same girl
and so profane my holy name.
8 They lie down beside every altar
on garments taken in pledge.
In the house of their god
they drink wine taken as fines.
9 “Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them,
though they were tall as the cedars
and strong as the oaks.
I destroyed their fruit above
and their roots below.
10 I brought you up out of Egypt
and led you forty years in the wilderness
to give you the land of the Amorites.
11 “I also raised up prophets from among your children
and Nazirites from among your youths.
Is this not true, people of Israel?”
declares the Lord.
12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine
and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.
13 “Now then, I will crush you
as a cart crushes when loaded with grain.
14 The swift will not escape,
the strong will not muster their strength,
and the warrior will not save his life.
15 The archer will not stand his ground,
the fleet-footed soldier will not get away,
and the horseman will not save his life.
16 Even the bravest warriors
will flee naked on that day,”
declares the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow has God worked in your life? How have you responded to him?
God’s indictment against Israel is overwhelming (6–8). They did not care for the innocent or for the poor. God expected his people to show generosity toward the poor (Deut. 15:7–11), but they had broken the covenant. They showed no awareness of God’s character in how they treated others. They were unfaithful to God and served other gods instead.
Clearly, these people were guilty, but instead of moving into a judgment passage, Amos first shows just how gracious God has been toward these people (9–12). God had gone before them, delivered them from Egypt and spoken to them through the prophets. What was their response? They spurned it all.
Therefore, Amos was in town to pronounce judgment upon the nation. It is easy to find messages of judgment overwhelming. However, it is important to see them in their context. God had first done so much. He was the rescuer of Israel. He was the deliverer, the establisher, the provider. We would do well to ponder God’s goodness before we become negative at his judgment.
God is ready to discipline his people, but his discipline is born out of his love for us. How do you respond to God’s discipline? Do you complain or ask what God wants to teach you?
Lord, may I accept Your discipline as loving guidance in my life. Show me who You want me to be.