A Family Chosen by God
Heavenly Father, may Your holy Word speak clearly to me today, and may I willingly go forth to obey it.
Read AMOS 3:1-8
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
What is your Christian heritage? What do you hope to pass on to future generations? Each of us has that challenge.
Have you known someone who squandered great privileges and deserved serious condemnation? Amos had to deliver such an assessment of God’s people. First, he proclaimed judgments against Israel’s neighbors for their social outrages, and against Judah for rejecting God’s Law. Then, he turned to Israel which was also guilty of serious moral failure (2:6-8). Interestingly, Amos ministered first at Bethel, the place of worship established centuries earlier by Jacob, but he was swiftly moved on when his damning prophecies hit home (7:10-16).
Israel had squandered its early blessings: rescued from slavery in Egypt, called into nationhood and covenant with Yahweh, settled in a prosperous land with guiding laws and institutions. It always knew it was a specially chosen family (Exod. 19:3-6) but forgot that its privileges required accountability. Its judges rescued it from enemies, but it quickly returned to sinful ways. Its kings sometimes guided it in godly living, but more often into apostasy and social disintegration. Its prophets warned it to return to the Lord, but it rarely listened. Amos declares that punishment is inevitable. Images of a predator lion and swooping bird suggest that there are no indicators of victory without the reality of captured prey. Just as the trumpet surely announces looming disaster, so the prophetic word of the sovereign Lord will become reality in the Assyrian invasion. The “day of the Lord” will bring darkness, not light (5:18). God now hates “the pride of Jacob” (6:18), but Amos gives a glimpse of mercy still available to “the remnant of Joseph” (5:15) if they will seek good, not evil. That restoration is available to all who return to the Lord (Isa. 55:7; Rom. 5:9,10).
How can God’s people, including you, take Amos’ dream for justice and righteousness (5:24) seriously and relevantly? What, specifically, can you do?
Lord, it is so easy to drift away from Your justice and righteousness rather than continuing to walk in Your ways. Strengthen my commitment to Your ways today.
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