The Time Is Ripe
Father, help me to align my life with Your heart and Your justice and to live a life that brings Your peace.
Read Amos 8:1-14
 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit.  “What do you see, Amos?” he asked. “A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered. Then the LORD said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.  “In that day,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies-flung everywhere! Silence!”  Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land,  saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”- skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales,  buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.  The LORD has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.  “Will not the land tremble for this, and all who live in it mourn? The whole land will rise like the Nile; it will be stirred up and then sink like the river of Egypt.  “In that day,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.  I will turn your religious festivals into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.  “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.  People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.  “In that day “the lovely young women and strong young men will faint because of thirst.  Those who swear by the sin of Samaria- who say, ‘As surely as your god lives, Dan,’ or, ‘As surely as the god of Beersheba lives’- they will fall, never to rise again.” 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.
ReflectDoes your life affect the poor for good or for bad?
Amos has seen several visions not come to be. Reluctant to bring the necessary judgment and in answer to Amos’s pleas, God relents from bringing calamity (7:1-6).But Amaziah’s contemptuous rejection of Amos seems to be a trigger. The next vision given to Amos is of “ripe” or summer fruit, and the word that accompanies it is, literally, “the end has come” (2b). Not that it will come, but that it has come. Judgment and exile are now irreversible, for God has sworn that this will happen (7). The worship in their Temple will turn to wailing (3). The people’s rejection of God’s Word will be punished with a “famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (11). However hard they seek, the Word will not come to them again before God’s judgment has been carried out. In the person of Amaziah, the people of Israel said no to God. They showed contempt for God in wrong worship, injustice to the poor and disobedience to the Law. They rejected God’s Word and his prophet. In a judgment recalling some plagues of Egypt (8,9), they will fall (14).
Saying no to God is serious; we can get stuck and unable to hear him. Seek God’s forgiveness urgently.
Lord, may the yes of my lips be lived out in every part of my life: worship, justice, obedience and willingness to hear.
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