October 28, 2021
“Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be with you, as you have claimed. Hate evil and love good; establish justice in the gate.”
“Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be with you, as you have claimed. Hate evil and love good; establish justice in the gate. Perhaps, the Lord will be gracious to the Remnant of Joseph.” Amos 5:14-15
I love my country. I grew up in that part of the United States, where people are really proud to be Americans. My father was an officer in the military, and I was brought up to be patriotic. So, I am sad to see what America has become; and I pray for revival in our nation because the Bible is very clear about where we are headed unless we repent.
The fifth chapter of Amos’ book is a sad and solemn dirge-like lament over the fallen nation that he loved so well. Israel had utterly broken down as a people in their allegiance and faithfulness to God and had no claim to blessing based on their righteousness. If they were to rise again, it must only be by the grace of God because nothing but judgment could have awaited them.
Lest we esteem ourselves above Israel of old, remember that everything God would commit solely to mankind is destined to fail. This includes the testimony of The Church. But God has infinite resources in Himself, displayed by His grace towards us, to accomplish His purposes on earth through us, yet despite us! In the words of Oswald Chambers, concerning man’s role in evangelism: “God has given us a limited participation in something He does not need us to do.” I say that God has given us limited participation in something we do not deserve, apart from His grace! The apostle Peter understood his role. He graciously rebuked Cornelius, who bowed down to worship Peter, simply because Peter was sent by God.
“But Peter made him get up, ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.’” Acts 10:26
Shortly after killing Goliath, David penned these words.
“Lord, make them afraid. Make the nations know that they are only human.” Psalm 9:20
As we learned in Amos, chapter 4, the five plagues that God sent to Israel were not His judgment as much as they were His grace toward Israel. At the end of each plague, God said, “…yet, you did not return to Me”.
In today’s passage, even with judgment at the gates of Jerusalem, as it were, God is still extending His grace toward His people. Oh, there is no stopping the destruction of Jerusalem; God’s grace is focused on the Remnant, those few Jewish people who would survive the Babylonian siege by God’s grace, as they placed their faith in His Word.
I put forth that God is plaguing America in like manner; He is making things increasingly difficult. And we are experiencing waves of crisis that are created with the intent that we repent and return to Him. Will we learn our lessons from Amos’s generation, or will future generations learn their lessons by reading about our poor choices?