God's Patience Runs Out
Ever-loving Lord, to You I bring an offering of praise. You hear my cry, and You bring forth new life.
Consider: We do not expect God's love or goodness ever to run out. So, why should it be any different with his patience?
These visions may have been Amos's call to prophesy. If not, they probably came early in his ministry. His response to the judgment depicted in the first two visions shows that he was reluctant to prophesy judgment. As a Judean he might have taken some pleasure in the judgment of Israel, but he did not. Instead, he interceded for the sinful nation and God responded, postponing judgment. This is an example for us to follow, instead of just bemoaning the state of the nation. The respite was temporary. There is no doubt that the plumb line in the third vision is the justice and righteousness of the covenant--a prominent theme in Amos. Finally, God decides that the people have gotten too far out of truth and judgment must fall. He will destroy the sanctuaries with their hateful worship and the leaders who pervert justice and righteousness. God is patient, allowing time for repentance, but his patience is not endless (2 Pet. 3:8-10). If it were, God would not be a good and holy God because he would endlessly condone evil.
Amos states in verse 14: "No prophet am I and no son of a prophet am I, a herdsman am I ..." The phrase "son of a prophet" (NIV, "disciple of a prophet") referred to a member of a group of prophets who lived together and made a living by prophesying (2 Kings 2:1-7; 4:1,38). Amos declares he is not that kind of prophet. When Amaziah orders him out of Bethel, Amos replies, "I'm not one of the sanctuary prophets that you can order around. I'm sent by the Lord on a special prophetic mission." His word against Amaziah may seem severe, but so are Jesus' words against those who lead others into sin (Matt. 18:6).
Apply: Has God given you a specific task to do? Has it become hard going? Ask God for the determination and courage to keep going.
Heavenly Father, forgive me that my desire to be liked can override my faithfulness to You. I ask for courage to stand strong for You.
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