How Did This Happen? (Amos 1-9)

“For three transgressions of Judah,
    and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
because they have rejected the law of the Lord,
    and have not kept his statutes,
but their lies have led them astray,
    those after which their fathers walked. Amos 2:4

The prophet Amos was called by God, as a simple Shepherd living about five miles outside of Bethlehem, to be a prophet to the nations.  This simple Shepherd would speak powerfully between the years of 792-753 B.C.  His main prophecy was concerning judgment for God’s people because of two main sins:  Their idolatry and their social injustice.

If this Old Testament prophet were alive today, I am sure his message would be the same to America and the world.  Each time I am called to read the book of Amos I always ask myself this question:  How could a people in whom God was blessing turn away from Him?

My answer always comes from Amos 2:4.  The people of Israel rejected the Law of God and they rejected His Lordship.  I must ask, how did this happen?  Amos says they believed the lies of their forefathers who walked in darkness.

Brothers and sisters, the same problem exists in our world today (Rom. 1:25). The prophet Jeremiah offers us deeper insight:

19 Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
    my refuge in the day of trouble,
to you shall the nations come
    from the ends of the earth and say:
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies,
    worthless things in which there is no profit.
20 Can man make for himself gods?
    Such are not gods!” 16:19-20

Did you see what Jeremiah wrote.  Generation after generation inherited nothing but worthless beliefs and practices.  Such lies led the nation to forget God (2:9-11) and to forsake God (3:3).  The end result was the judgment of God (3:11-15).

As the judgment of God was coming on Israel and Judah, so do I believe the judgment of God is coming toward our nation and the nations of the world.  The only thing that is withholding the judgment is God’s mercy.   Day by day the Lord is rescuing people as the church ministers in the midst of the fires of persecution.  Amos writes, “it as if God is plucking you from the fire,” 4:11.  

Amos cries out to the people, “prepare to meet your God.” Was there hope for the people?  Amos offered the answer, “seek the Lord and live,” 5:6.  If these people would have repented, God would have extended mercy (5:14-15), but they would not and judgment did come.

Brothers and sisters, will you and I sit idly by and watch our nation continue down the slippery slope into total godless living or will we stand up and proclaim the ways of the Lord.  It is time for the church to awaken and it is time for the Christian to awaken.  Our awakening will come when repentance is proclaimed and when the church returns to a Biblical World View.  I believe if we awaken an awakening can still come to our land.

Here was Isaiah’s word for His day and I believe it is a Word from God for our day:

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isa. 55:6-9

Never let it be said on our watch, that we led our nation into disaster.  We must repent and we must proclaim a Biblical World View.

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