Wednesday, July 13, 2016

When the Fire Comes

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Now this is what the Lord says to the family of Israel:
“Come back to me and live!
Don’t worship at the pagan altars at Bethel;
    don’t go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba.
For the people of Gilgal will be dragged off into exile,
    and the people of Bethel will be reduced to nothing.”
Come back to the Lord and live!
Otherwise, he will roar through Israel like a fire,
    devouring you completely.
Your gods in Bethel
    won’t be able to quench the flames.
You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed.
    You treat the righteous like dirt.
It is the Lord who created the stars,
    the Pleiades and Orion.
He turns darkness into morning
    and day into night.
He draws up water from the oceans
    and pours it down as rain on the land.
    The Lord is his name!
With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong,
    crushing all their defenses.
Amos 5:4-9(NLT)

Amos was a simple man, a shepherd from a small village.  God called him to go to the leaders of Israel and proclaim the impending disaster that would happen to God’s people if they didn’t change their ways. 

The short story is that they didn’t listen, but lived to wish they had.  Israel’s disobedient ways courted and married disaster. 

In America our contemporary love affair with self is on a frightening parallel with ancient Israel.  Some of the signs:
          ·       Blatant disregard for life (abortions, 
                       murder, euthanasia)
          ·       Widespread disdain for God, evidenced by 
                       precipitous decline in worship 
          ·       Eroding of respect for marriage and family 
                       as central to culture
          ·       Anger unchecked

In the midst of Amos’ prophetic lament over the impending demise of Israel comes the hopeful entreaty of a God who always loves:  “Come back to me and live!”

For America, and for each of us individually, the call to come home still stands.

Undoubtedly, what also still stands is the threat of judgment for those who will not heed the call; a raging fire of recompense at a time, and in the way God chooses.

God help us to be obedient.

For You Today

According to the latest U.S. census, as of the beginning of this year, you are one of 322,762,018[ii] souls in our country.  How can one person do anything being a small fish in such a tremendous pond?

Well, you may not be able change everything…but you can come home to Godly living!  And it just might catch your neighbor’s eye.  And it might affect your neighbor.

And…by the way…your neighbor has neighbors too.

You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!


[i] Title Image: By US Air Force, via Wikimedia Commons

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