September 8, 2017
This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Edom, even for four, I will not relent. Because he pursued his brother with a sword and slaughtered the women of the land, because his anger raged continually and his fury flamed unchecked." Amos 1:11
We love to hear about God's love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. Certainly, these are deep truths that form the bedrock of God's character. But there are other characteristics of God that are just as important ... even though we may not enjoy thinking about them as much as the ones I've mentioned.
The prophet Amos was an adamant proclaimer of God's justice and righteousness. Amos did not back down on his declaration that God was going to judge unfaithful and disobedient people. Amos would have given a hearty "Amen" to Paul's warning, "Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7).
We don't like to hear that, do we? We like to focus on forgiveness. But what we cannot forget is that even forgiven sins still carry consequences. For example, God can forgive the murderer, but the murderer still must go to prison for their deed. God can forgive the adulterer, but their spouse will carry the pain to the grave. We need to listen to Amos' warning. Remember it is better to be obedient on the front end than to deal with the consequence of sin--even forgiven sin--on the back end.
Father, may I never presume on Your grace. Remind me that sin carries serious consequences. By Your grace, keep me from sin, just as by Your grace, You forgive me when I sin. In Jesus' name. Amen.