Archive for April 20th, 2013

Amos 7

Amos 7 has Amos delivering some rather strong prophecy to the people and rulers of Israel.  It begins with God showing Amos what is to come – locusts that would eat the grass and devour the land.  The thing that jumps out at me is that God was “forming locusts when the latter growth was just beginning to sprout”.  If you ever wonder if God is in control and sees the entire picture from end to end, you can stop wondering. He does.  He is in control from beginning to end.  He has all the details in His hands.

Amos shows us the power of intercession here as he cries out “O Lord God, please cease” as God continued to reveal the judgment that was coming for His people.  We see intercession from godly men throughout scripture, when people stand in the gap between God and another or others and seek His grace and mercy.  And like we have seen elsewhere, Amos’ intercession works.  “The Lord relented concerning this”.  God changed His course of action.  He didn’t change His standards or expectations, but He is giving His people yet another chance to get it right.

We get a really good visual of what God’s expectations are here.  “I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel”.  Let’s be clear.  God has a measuring stick for our lives.  We are going to be measured by it, and every last one of us is going to come up short.  Sin will not allow us to be ‘plumb’ in God’s economy.  The rulers at that time, particularly Jeroboam whom this was directly written about, were furious.  Their answer wasn’t to correct their living, but to get rid of the messenger.  He wants to kill Amos and shut him up.

Isn’t that how we are?  When we don’t like the message, we want to silence the messenger.  Amaziah who was priest warns Amos.  He tells him what the king is saying: “The land is not able to bear all his words” and advises Amos to “go, flee away”.  Rather than address the real issue, which was obedience to God’s commands, the answer was to get the messenger out of town and quiet.  If we don’t have to hear the truth, we can ignore it.  That isn’t true, but it is how we think.  There are many churches in America today that take that approach.  If we only talk about love and grace and mercy, and never mention sin and hell and death, it won’t apply to us.  That is so far from the truth, and so many will get surprised someday when they stand at the judgment throne and try to enter heaven based on wrong doctrine that they were fed in a church.  Don’t fall for it.  God’s truth is not easy, but it is the plumb line we will stand next to.  Are you ready?  Are you plumb?

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