Amos, a lowly herdsman, burdened (1:1-2). Prophecy against neighbors (1:3 – 2:3); against Judah, Israel (2:4-16). Why (3:2,10)? Enemy coming (3:11). The people talk the talk but don't walk the walk (5:23-24).
For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is His thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is His name (Amos 4:13).
We cannot hide from God, no matter how hard we try. We can say He does not exist, yet that does not change the fact that He does. As Amos tells us in this verse, He is the Almighty Creator of all things. If we say a bird cannot fly, that does not stop it from flying. If we say the wind is not blowing, that does not stop the trees from swaying. Furthermore, if we say God did not create us, that does not change the reality that He knit us in our mother's womb. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3).
God has given us the ability to know the difference between right and wrong. Just because we want something to be right doesn't make it so. Oftentimes, sin becomes so much a part of who we are that it defines us. Once that happens, we have a choice to make. We can either embrace the chain of sin that binds us or be ashamed and turn from it. Granted, there are times when Satan will confuse us by telling us a sin is not really a sin. Satan's lies do not turn out well for the sinner, though. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
The alcoholic bound by their addiction may live in denial as Satan tells them they need one more drink and causes them to believe they are worthless without it. Others, filled with pride and hate, see everyone as their enemy because they have never known unconditional love. Satan feeds their fear by telling them that such love does not exist. He whispers in their ears that they are alone in this world.
What a sorrowful existence it is to live deceived, embracing the chains that bind you. Our Father God, the Creator of all, has the power to remove the scales from our eyes and convict our hearts of our sins, big and small. It is our choice whether to turn to Him or not. Our loving Father gives us chance after chance to turn to Him, yet so often we hold tight to those chains out of fear of the unknown. Our sin has bound us for so long that it is all we know. It is who we are, and we are afraid of who will we be without it. We fear that nothing can change who we have become, even though God is telling us that we are not meant to be bound by those chains and can be freed by the love of Christ. We lie to ourselves and say we are having too much fun in our sin to change, or else we claim it's no big deal. Either way, we run from God.
As children of God, saved by His grace, let us turn our eyes towards Jesus. This world is Satan's and it is filled with evil. Those living in sin are deceived; their souls are crying out for their Creator while being stifled by the flesh. Do you not hear it? Do you not hear the Holy Spirit within us crying out in response? As children of God, we should always be ready to help by telling others about Jesus' redeeming power.
Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the LORD of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest (Matt. 9:37-38).
Thought for Today:
You can be sure of this. Disobeying God always brings trouble.
As the fiery (Amos 1:4,7,10,12,14; 2:2,5; 5:6) judge (chap. 1 – 5). Jesus . . . was ordained of God to be the Judge (Acts 10:38-42; also II Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:18-23). His eyes were as a flame of fire (Rev. 1:14; also 2:18).
2:13 pressed, burdened; 3:5 gin, trap; 3:14 visit, with punishment; 4:1 kine of Bashan were the fat cows, raised in the best pasturelands; but here, it is used figuratively in referring to self-gratifying, sensual, influential women who encourage their husbands to do wrong; masters, husbands; 4:3 breaches, breaks in the city wall; cast them into the palace, cast them into the mire (dunghill); 4:9 blasting, blight; 5:21 smell, be pleased, take delight; 5:23 viols, harps.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA) • Country: Turkey (64 million) in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe • Major languages: Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic • Official resistance to Christian witnessing • 79% Sunni Muslim; 20% Alawi Shi'ite Muslim; .2% Christian; .04% Jewish (25,000); .09% Armenian Orthodox; .02% Syrian Orthodox; .02% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for understanding of the Word of God as you read each day (Ps. 119:34).
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 145:14