The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy? Amos 3:8(NLT)
Amos had the unenviable task of strolling into Jerusalem with bad news. Jerusalem, that holy city of God, the place of King David, and the center of the universe for the rule of God, had sinned by forgetting the God they had been called to serve.
And Amos was but a simple man, a shepherd from the tiny village of Tekoa. A southern boy called to speak the Word of God to the rulers of the temple in Jerusalem.
Who among my Methodist colleagues would covet that appointment?
Amos was not alone; Jeremiah, Noah, Nahum, Elijah, Elisha, and the list goes on! And, now that we’re in Advent season, the name of the Baptist, John, the cousin of Jesus, will come into full view as he prepares the way of the Lord.
All those prophets were charged with announcing God’s Word and will.
It’s called prophesying – preaching – sermon – standing in the gap…and, by a hundred other titles it is the same thing: putting God’s people in remembrance that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. He is holy, loving, fearful, judging, forgiving, creating, sustaining, life-giving, cross-bearing, people saving, and the all-consuming LORD of his universe!
He is God!
When THAT lion roars, who can but tremble. And, for a preacher, you must speak what He has put in your mouth.
It’s not hard to lose focus – to forget that God is in charge, especially in a week when there has not been a day that passed without another killing or more news on the terrorists.
We are in an extraordinary time when life is being treated as if it has no value whatever. From cradle to senior life is tossed towards the dumpster, and the Lord Who gives life cannot be pleased.
News cycles run their course, and I have to remind myself to not dwell before the altar of CNN or NBC nightly news. To do so mounts an accumulative depressive toll on this old man’s already tired brain.
God, in His mercy, helped me develop a quiet spirit for the mornings that mitigates against the fear and hopelessness that is our “news of the world”. Every morning I begin with God’s Word, asking the Father to enlighten (and sometimes just lighten) my mind and heart and soul.
This morning I read from The Revelation:
“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.” And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.” Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13(NLT)
God’s created beings have been killing each other since Cain picked up the first loaded rock.
It will continue for a season – just as long as God permits.
Let us never lose sight of the angels praise in heaven to the One Who is worthy of blessing and honor and glory and power…though it seems the heavens are silent and the Prince of Darkness is having his way…when next The Lion roars from His throne, all preaching and men’s power will cease. In its place will be trembling, judgment and salvation; it will be the Day of the Lord.