Day 173

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Amos 1:1 – 6:14 (NIV)

Elly Grover, Administrative Assistant, Care Ministries

Use What You Have…Make a Difference!

Amos was a simple, humble man who herded sheep and took care of sycamore-fig trees. His life was devoted to serving the Lord, so when God gave him a vision of the future judgment of Israel and told him to take His message to the northern kingdom of Israel, he obeyed.

During this time (760-750 BC) Israel was enjoying economic prosperity and peace. They had become complacent, selfish, materialistic, and indifferent toward God, ignoring the needy (even selling them into slavery). Amos was given a message of condemnation for the nations who had sinned against God and harmed His people. He spoke with boldness and brutal frankness in denouncing sin. I don’t think that Israel had a problem with God’s judgment falling on their enemies. But when Amos confronted Israel with their sin and warned them of their coming judgment I don’t think that was what they wanted to hear!

Amos wasn’t the son of a prophet or the son of a priest…just a humble shepherd/tree-tender. There are two lessons that we can learn from today’s scripture reading.
The first is to use what we have. God has given us exactly what we need, to do exactly what He wants us to do. God can do extraordinary things through us no matter how ordinary our occupation seems to be. Our part is like that of Amos: listen to God and obey.

The second is to examine our own hearts…have we gotten too comfortable? Have we let the things of this life take God’s place? Do we care about the poor and are we doing something to help them?

In Amos 5:6 we are instructed to “Seek the Lord and live…” Daily seeking His guidance through prayer and reading His Word will give us the strength and wisdom to use what we have and make a difference for the Kingdom!

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3 responses »

  1. Thanks Elly,

    I always love to hear your perspective & today is no exception. Every day we are faced with a choice, to follow Him and seek His will in all we do or to be enticed by the things in this world that would take our focus off our Lord & Master.

    Amos 5:19 NLT provides a great illustration of there being no escape from His wrath.

    19. In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion—
    only to meet a bear.
    Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house—
    and he’s bitten by a snake.

    Now I don’t know about you but I have no intension of testing that promise. I will seek the Lord and live.

    Amos 5:21-24 (NLT)

    21 “I hate all your show and pretense—
    the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

    22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
    I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.

    23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.

    24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,
    an endless river of righteous living.

    This is pretty clear that God is not looking for lip service and for us to merely go through the motions.

    There is no fooling Him; he sees our heart and our motives. We need to live out a sermon, our testimony, not just speak of one. “An endless river of righteous living”

  2. As with all of the prophets, Amos presents God as both angry and loving, threatening punishment and showing grace. If God had not shown grace in this situation, the book of Amos would never have been written: no warning, no offer of escape; just death and destruction. But our God always offers escape from destruction, and it’s always the same route: repent, return to Me, and I will be gracious. In the Old Testament and in the New Testament, God is the same.

  3. Father, only You know my heart and my motives. You know them even better than I know myself. Search me. Try me and know my thoughts and complacencies. What You find in me that is displeasing, please destroy and lead me in Your everlasting way. Amen.

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