Saturday, August 24, 2019

Amos 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Amos 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Amos (not the famous one who makes cookies) was a shepherd and fig grower. God called him to share his message with the nation of Israel. Israel was powerful politically and had a prosperous economy, but the people had rejected their faith in God and were worshipping idols (fake gods represented by statues). God sent Amos to call the people back to Him and to warn them of what can happen. About 35 years after Amos' warning, the nation of Assyria came and (spoiler alert) conquered Israel.
  • Notice in verse 1 how the Bible is set in history. This is not "Once upon a time..." Amos tells who government leaders were at the time and mentions an earthquake (which other historical records tell us happened during this time).
  • Throughout the Bible, God is often depicted as a caring shepherd. In verse 2, God is pictured as a roaring lion. The people of Israel were living in rebellion against God and He is angry. 
  • Starting in verse 3 Amos pronounces God's judgment on Israel's bordering nations.
  • When it says "for three sins" and "even for four" the idea is of repeated sin.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Amos is chosen by God to play an incredibly important role in what He was doing in the world. Amos was not a pastor. He was not trained in theology or ministry. He was a normal guy, with a normal job. God does not choose the super professional Christians, He chooses people who are willing and available, who love Him and love people. Those are the people He chooses to turn the world upside down.
  • The Bible tells us that God is love (see 1 John 4:16) and everything He does is love. Love can be angry when its beloved is threatened or in jeopardy. The sin of the people of Israel was putting them in a horribly dangerous position. God is love, but God is also a judge. If a person committed a horrible crime and went before a judge, we would expect (and want) justice to be done and a proper punishment to be given. God is a judge who pronounces and carries out judgment when it is necessary.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • God chooses people to do amazing things for Him in the world and God would choose you. He wants to choose you. He loves to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Are you available? Ask God to give you the right heart and a willingness to answer His call and play your part in what He's wanting to do in the world.
  • God is love, and He loves you more than you can imagine. God will forgive your sin if you put your faith in Jesus and accept His grace. That doesn't mean God tolerates your sin. He can't, because He loves you, and your sin is a cancer in your life. So ... confess your sin to Him, ask Him for forgiveness, and repent. To repent means to turn away from sin and to turn to God. Ask God for help in leaving your sin behind.