Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Amos 6-9
We begin our reading today with an indictment against Israel because they are at ease. Their trust was in their station, their leaders, and their wealth. They had become indifferent, not only towards the injustice around them, but the injustice they were committing towards others as well. The most important thing to them was their own comfort.
We see the Father calling them out on this behavior. As His set apart people, they were given the privilege of His teachings and were to live according to His standards. But in Amos 6:2-3 we see Him point out these other kingdoms whose god was not YHWH, and show Israel that their behavior made them no better than these.
In order to be set apart, we must live according to the Word, not the world.
And we have to choose to be set apart. It is a decision each of us must make. There have always been legions of people who call themselves by His name but choose to march, step in step, in line with the world.
We go on to read clear declaration of punishment coming to Israel. YHWH had made them wealthy and rather than praise Him and use that wealth to serve Him by obeying His commandments, they used that wealth to drink, be idle, and spend their days feasting. Amos points out that Israel has suppressed prophets (Amos 2:12, they closed their ears to the truth and did not want to hear it), suppressed and neglected the poor (Amos 2:7), practiced injustice in the legal system (Amos 5:12), and so much more. I could write several posts just about the sins mentioned in the book of Amos alone.
It is a tragic tell of our character that it takes crisis, pain, or punishment for us to repent and turn to Him. And yet this pattern repeats itself time and again. What is the solution? I’m glad you asked ?
We have seen this from the beginning of the Book and we will see it detailed and laid out even time and again in the Gospels and the letters. We need help – and the Father provides it for those who repent and seek Him. That help is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us, to cause us to WANT to obey the Father’s teachings, commandments, and statutes.
Without this Spirit, when we are told we must give up something in order to follow Yeshua (Jesus) or that we must do something that no one else around us is doing, we often bow up and get stubborn. “I’m not going to do THAT! God would never ask me to do something like that as long as I’m a good person.”
But when we give over our heart to that Holy Spirit, when we turn our will over to the Father, He indwells within us and shows us great and wonderful things which we did not know before. We begin to experience the Grace, Love, and Care He has for us when we walk with Him as our guide.
We begin to see commandments as blessings and limitations as freedom. These are things that we simply cannot understand until we experience them.
And that whole free will thing? For me, that means I need to turn my life over to Him every day. Each morning when I wake up, I thank Him for another day and ask Him to lead me through it so that I may serve Him and live a life that brings glory, honor, and joy to my King.
In Amos 7 we read more of the background of Amos. We are not told that he had any aspirations beyond being that of a shepherd and a farmer. Yet, YHWH called Him to be a prophet and He answered.
Each of us has a call on our lives and opportunities to serve YHWH wherever we are, in all that we are doing. If life ever feels mundane, overwhelming, stressful, or hopeless, chances are the enemy has managed to use situations to distract you from living according to your calling.
Everywhere you go (be it on Facebook or to the grocery store) is a mission field.
Every action you make (whether it be word or deed) is a witness.
Combine these two and you have your ministry.
I’m going to cut my notes short today as I feel we have a lot to consider. You know, each day in the Word is a turning point for me. Each distance traveled is an opportunity to come closer to Him. Don’t be discouraged if you look around you and feel like others are much further along on the journey than you are or that you are moving at a slower pace. In fact, don’t look around at others because your relationship with YHWH is not about their relationship with YHWH, this is personal, between you and Him.
So stop looking around at what others are doing.
Book open, eyes on Him.
This is personal.
He leads us on…
We’ve finished another book, family – Rak Chazak!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!