Prepare to Meet Your God
Holy Spirit, may the truth sown in my heart bear fruit in my life and bring glory to God.
Consider: God is not just the God of Israel; he is God of the universe and he controls all nations!
"Prepare to meet your God," said Amos (4:12). The meeting might be anticipated with pleasure or fear, depending on your relationship with God. We have seen that the Israelites anticipated it with pleasure. They were God's chosen people, upholding the covenant with lavish, exuberant and enjoyable (to them) worship. God must be blessing them because the nation was prospering materially (except for the poor). When they met God he would destroy their enemies and reward them.
Amos turned that expectation upside down. Far from keeping the covenant, they had flouted it. They were now God's enemies and ripe for destruction. Meeting their God meant destruction. This final judgment oracle sums it all up. It expands on the threat to the sanctuaries and nation in 7:9. Their judgment is declared inevitable. Now it is declared inescapable. There is no place to hide and escape from the Lord, who is Creator of the cosmos.
The Lord is not just God of Israel. He is sovereign over the history of all nations, whether it be the Cushites living on the edge of Israel's known world or their traditional enemies, the Philistines and Arameans. In that sense the Exodus did not make Israel special. They could not complacently rely on that historical event. What mattered was the covenant relationship to which it led. They had twisted its meaning and violated it. God was not an indulgent national protector to be kept sweet by lavish worship, but the almighty Creator and Lord of history who had graciously delivered them from slavery and given them his laws to live by. As his chosen people they were especially morally accountable to him (3:1-2).
There is a glimmer of hope. Destruction of the nation need not mean total destruction. Disaster would be a sieving process. A remnant covenant people of God might survive it.
What mental pictures do you have of God? What do they convey about the nature of God? From where have they come?
Lord, show me ways in which I have a distorted picture of You and help me gain a truer picture through Your Word.
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