Sunday, November 6, 2022
For the last three years I have been in the retail industry. Working with the public, you are exposed to a wide variety of people. Ever heard of people watching? That’s when you literally just observe people for fun, whether at a shop or restaurant, because the state of our society can be so entertaining. However, it can be disheartening to a Christian. The way people talk and conduct themselves, and especially the way people treat each other, is really hard to watch. Let’s look at today’s scripture.
In Amos 5 we are greeted by a funeral song. Now, music has always been a huge part of my life. From Frank Sinatra to Dr. Dre, my appreciation of music is quite eclectic. Imagine my joy when I hear the chapter I get to write about is Amos 5! It reads, “ ‘The virgin Israel has fallen, never to rise again! She lies abandoned on the ground, with no one to help her up.’ The Sovereign Lord says: ‘When a city sends a thousand men to battle, only a hundred will return. When a town sends a hundred, only ten will come back alive.’ ” This is a warning from the prophet Amos to the people of Israel to provide another chance before facing the judgment of God. The sin they needed to repent from in this case was idolatry, and the imagery of the men dying in battle was to foreshadow the eventual tool God had planned to use to remove this sin, an invasion at the hands of the Babylonian empire.
In verse 4 it reads, “Now this is what the Lord says to the family of Israel: ‘Come back to me and live!’ ” And that’s the amazing thing about the grace of God, is that’s all it takes. If the Israelites had simply put their false gods aside, they would have not (eventually) been punished.
Let’s pull it all together. You hear all the time from people that modern times are “so awful” and “that nothing like this has ever happened”. But that is plainly false! The sins of man have always been abhorrent, but “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent…” (Numbers 23:19, NASB 1995), that means that when God said “Come to me and live” he MEANT that and will ALWAYS mean that.
- Read Amos 5 and list all the things God saw the Israelites doing that He was warning them against continuing. Also list what God wanted them to do instead. Which of these actions and attitudes do you see today in society? In God’s church? In yourself?
- What warning do we need today?
- What does it look like to Come Back to God? How will you Come Back to Him? How will you help another to Come Back to Him?