Archive for the ‘Amos’ Category

Word for Today – Amos 5:15

Hate Evil, Love Good

Thus far, Amos has shared some pretty harsh words with God’s people;  those words are applicable for us today. Today’s message is one that should live in the hearts and minds of all Christians.

“Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate” (Amos 5:15 NRSV).

That seems like a simple enough to follow: hate one and love the other. But, as evident by one of the greatest apostles, this is easier said than done. Paul the Apostle relates his own struggle with good and evil.

“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from the body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin” (Romans 7:21-25.)

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Posted by on April 15th, 2011 No Comments

Word for Today – Amos 5:12

How Great Are Your Sins

Oh, where to begin with this one. Actually, a good place is with self, and I always need to examine me. Last night I tossed and turned while sleep cleverly avoided my every attempt to capture it. I’m not sure if my own discontent fueled Sleep’s ability to escape at every turn, but my feelings of disjointedness and dissatisfaction were not the best tools to subdue sweet slumber.

Do you ever feel like you live in a perennial state of disarray? For me, something is always looming: paying bills and balancing the checkbook, unmade phone calls to dear friends, an article here and a post there, a visit to a friend in the Alzheimer unit at the local assisted living facility, a dear elderly friend who recently lost her husband, or a dear friend who always remembers MY birthday and extends grace when I forget her’s.

So much unfinished business. So much disarray. Is it possible that living this way is a form of great sin?

“For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins–“ (Amos 5:12 NRSV).

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Posted by on April 10th, 2011 2 Comments

Word for Today – Amos 5:4

Seek Me and Live

People want to live long, happy, and prosperous lives. I suppose the type of life we desire depends on each individual and what our priorities are. But, God also wants us to live.

“For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek me and live” (Amos 5:4 NRSV).

What type of life is God talking about when he wants us to live, and why does he care?

Why He Cares

This may be hard for some to grasp, but God cares because he loves us. He loves us enough that he, in the personage of  Jesus, died for us. Isaiah 53:11-12 predicts Jesus’ death and provides valuable insights as to why he died:

“The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities…because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

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Posted by on April 6th, 2011 1 Comment

Word for Today – Amos 4:13

The Lord, the God of Hosts, Is His Name

We serve a mighty God. Many people don’t understand that, but those who do have the privilege of basking in his greatness, his goodness, and his blessing.

“For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, make the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth– the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name” (Amos 4:13 NRSV).

God’s Greatness

Amos says God made the mountains and created the wind. He made those things and much, much more. He made everything! He made the earth and the heavens:

“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1).

From there God created everything on earth, including man on the sixth day. Psalm 139:13-18, tells of God’s attention on even the smallest of the small being knit together in a mother’s womb. (more…)

Posted by on April 5th, 2011 No Comments

Word for Today – Amos 4:12

Prepare to Meet Your God

Are you ready to meet God? Some of us smile at the thought; some of us tremble. And, some of us don’t care. Amos 4 chronicles all the things God did to turn Israel back toward him in order to have a great first meeting:

  • Famine – vs 6
  • Drought – vs 7-8
  • Blight and Mildew – vs 10
  • Overthrow them – vs 11

And, as Scripture records, God says it all, “Yet you did not return to me” (vs 6,8,9,10,11). Now it’s time for the for the ultimate:

“Therefore I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12 NRSV).

That is a scary thought for anyone who takes God seriously. It reminds me of the typical threat used by a tired mother when dealing with naughty children all day, “Just wait until your father gets home!” Those words tend to strike fear in the hearts of active little crumb snatchers who don’t want to deal with an angry daddy.

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Posted by on April 2nd, 2011 2 Comments

Word for Today – Amos 4:4

Multiply Transgressions

Oh my . . . Amos is getting heavy. Well, the subject matter isn’t really changing, but I think many of us are going to relate to today’s subject on some level.

“Come to Bethel -and transgress; to Gilgad -and multiply transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days; bring a thank-offering of leavened bread, and publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel!” (Amos 4:4-5 NRSV).

What immediately jumped out to me was the thank-offering of leavened bread. I’ve studied the Bible enough to know that leaven is synonymous with sin. Thus, bring God an offering of “leaven” is not a good thing.

The next thing that makes me take notice is the phrase “publish them” in reference to the things the Israelites are offering to God. As an aspiring writer, I dream of having a book published some day for the world to see (and hopefully read). But, the things we do for God are not necessarily what belongs on the publishing pedestal of proclamation. (more…)

Posted by on March 24th, 2011 No Comments

Word for Today – Amos 4:1

The Cows of Bashan

This post is for women. WARNING: If you are easily offended, you may not want to read any further.

Ah, I’m so glad you are still here. It is not my intention to purposely offend anyone, but rather to present God’s Word so that we, and I include myself, can grow as Christians. I just share what I learn while cruisin’ through the Bible.

Amos 4 starts out by addressing the “cows of Bashan.” From my past studies in Amos, these “cows” are identified as Israel’s wealthy women. I know, I know . . . that isn’t a very flattering comparison, but when God punishes people, he always tells us why. The lifestyle and attitudes of these women are what God is addressing:

“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on Mount Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their husbands, ‘Bring something to drink!'” (Amos 4:1 NRSV).

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Posted by on March 22nd, 2011 No Comments

Word for Today – Amos 3:10

They Do Not Know How To Do Right

In this section of Amos, the prophet is still speaking of Israel and why God has pronounced judgment on them. As you can imagine, it was not a message well received.

“They do not know how to do right” (Amos 3:10 NRSV).

From the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, God’s people have been given God’s message of right and wrong. God has always provided his children with solid instructions for right living, but history proves that all of humankind has a propensity toward disobedience (a fancy word for sin).

Amos 3:10, in it entirety, reads:

‘”They do not know how to do right, says the Lord, those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.”

When considering these words, I get two distinct pictures in my head.

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Posted by on March 20th, 2011 1 Comment

Word for Today – Amos 3:8

The Lion has Roared!

My first post in Amos was titled, “The Lord Roars” . . . and God has – all throughout Amos 1 and into chapter two. Chapter three lays out God’s reasons for the coming judgments; he is  just in his actions even though we won’t always understand or agree. That just shows the difference between his righteousness our natural unrighteousness.

“The lion has roared; who will not fear?” (Amos 3:8 NRSV).

When God speaks such words, they are scary. Well, maybe not to those who pay no attention to the Master of the Universe and are great imitators of ostriches with their heads buried in the sand. But it’s important to know that nothing befalls man that God has not warned of ahead of time. Amos 3:7 says:

“Surely the Lord does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” (more…)

Posted by on March 17th, 2011 No Comments

Word for Today – Amos 2:6

“I Will Not Revoke Punishment”

In my last post, Amos prophesied coming judgment on Judah. At this point in history the nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms. This section of Scripture records Amos’ words of the punishment that Israel (the northern kingdom) can expect.

“Thus say the Lord: For three transgressions of Israel and for four, I will not revoke punishment” (Amos 2:6 NRSV).

When God punishes those he loves, I wonder if it is as difficult for him as it is for us earthly parents when we punish our doe-eyed children when they’ve been naughty?

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Posted by on March 15th, 2011 No Comments