By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)
Scripture Readings: Amos 5-9
Key Scriptures: Amos 5:14-15, Amos 8-11-12 (NIV, Life Application Bible)
–“’Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.’”
–“‘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.”
As you might recall from my post last week, Amos was sent by God to tell the people of Israel that God was unhappy with their sinful disobedience and that he would not spare them his wrath. Only the remnant of Israel—the faithful ones—would survive his wrath when he would decide to implement his judgment. The people had become complacent, were ignoring God’s commands, were making unlawful judgments in the courts in their own favor, ignoring and oppressing the poor, indulging in lustful behavior. God was mad and sent them Amos to warn them that they were bringing down judgment on themselves.
Per the commentary in my Bible, the people had so separated themselves from what was good and pure that they did not have any desire for his word, did not seek the truth, but just did whatever suited them. So, God was going to make himself so scarce that they would not be able to find him, even when they did decide they needed him—then he would withdraw his favor and allow them to receive the consequences of their sin which would be very hard on them.
At this point, the people didn’t even think of God. They just went through the motions, kept the Sabbath only out of habit and even wished it away, waiting for it to end so that they could sell their grain, market their wares, and reap as much money as they could while cheating their neighbors with dishonest measurements.
I have to wonder when the shoe will drop for us! Only an occasional business today would even think of not being open on Sunday. Most young adults in our culture have never even heard of “blue laws” that required businesses to be closed on Sunday so that workers and their families could attend church services and have a day of Sabbath. People do whatever they want in our society today. Politicians change policy without following the law, some of them perform criminal acts only to get a slap on the wrist. People follow their lusts without any thought to their consequences.
God is no fool. Everyone can do as they please, but God is really the one in control and when he’s ready, all will bow down to him. Best to seek his word now, before it’s too late!