You Have Not Returned
Father, help me to understand Your heart, and awaken me so that I might long for You as You long for me.
What is God's desire as expressed in this passage?
For Israel's elite, life was decadent, complete with trophy wives demanding that others lavish attendance on them. Bashan was famed for its animals (1). But God rejects their extravagant lifestyles and worship. Why?
Partly, this is because of the injustice (1) that accompanies their extravagant worship offerings (5). Also, their worship is refused because it's not given according to God's Law; leaven was banned from offerings by fire (Lev. 2:11), and the shrines in Israel were centered on idols, designed to draw attention away from Jerusalem, the place of God's choosing (1 Kings 12:25-33).
God's people are not listening. They've ignored God's discipline and warnings, though they've grown in seriousness and irreversibility through empty stomachs, drought without pattern, diseased gardens and crops, plagues and finally destruction (6-11). Although snatched smoldering from the embers, still the Lord laments. They have ignored God's call to return to him (11). Their disobedience is entrenched and determined. Now, Amos declares to Israel, "prepare to meet your God" (12).
Are you prepared to meet with God? If not, how do you need to prepare? Write your thoughts about this.
Lord, You are beautiful and kind and good. You have no part in darkness. I want to live in the light of Your life.