Day 174

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Amos 7:1 – 9:15, 2 Kings 14:28-29, 2 Kings 15:6-29, Chronicles 26:22-23,
Isaiah 6:1-13 (NIV)

Joshua Masters, Care Ministries

If the nation of Israel were applying for a job, it might be best to keep this set of readings off the resumé. Out of context, it may seem like God is turning His back on Israel, but make no mistake; it is Israel who has repeatedly turned its back on God—we see a rebellious nation, a people filled with selfish ambitions and a seemingly endless line of despicable rulers (2 Kings 15:6-29). This list of men who sat on a throne that had been designated for the coming King of Kings (a man of perfection) were nothing but “evil in the eyes of the Lord.” They worshipped idols, stole, murdered one-another for position and sliced open pregnant women. These were the actions of people called to be God’s representatives to the world. This is how the chosen people of God behaved.

Wouldn’t God be justified in sending locusts or a blaze of fire to destroy Israel (Amos 7:1-6)? Wouldn’t He be within His right to abandon them and choose someone else? But He doesn’t. Yes, there are consequences for Israel’s behavior, but the fulfillment of God’s promise is never based on our actions, but on God’s integrity. Despite everything Israel had done to sully His name in the world, He not only promises to forgive them, but to fully restore them (Amos 9:11-15). That’s not just a promise found in the Old Testament, but it’s continually proclaimed in the New Testament (see Romans & Revelation). Even as they’re being disciplined, God makes a point to remind Israel how much He loves them.

So what? How does God’s commitment to Israel affect my life in any way? Why should I care that God will rebuild Israel and restore the Jewish People; why do I care if God keeps His promise to them or not? How does it help me to read these difficult passages about horrible people who took advantage of God’s grace? It matters because I’ve done the same thing.

I spent years of my life running from the call God had put on my life. Even though I knew He existed, I purposely ignored God’s voice to seek pleasure and fame. I rejected the clear plan God had made for me because I wanted to be accepted by other people. And when my choices led to destruction and brokenness—when I found myself wandering the streets of New York without hope, God didn’t send fire or locusts to destroy me for my disobedience. He didn’t say, “The things you’ve done disgust me, and I will not have you represent me.” Instead he said, “I love you. I will forgive you, and I will restore you,” because God had made a promise to me. That promise was made through the work of Christ, and His promises are irrevocable. They are always fulfilled. They are trustworthy because His grace is greater than my failures.

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3 responses »

  1. Amos 9:7 is a little gem tucked in this prophecy to remind us that God is in charge of everyone, not just Israel. God gives us a lot of detail about how He managed the history of Israel, but He did (and does) that for every people. No one is outside of His control — or outside of His love.

  2. Amos 8:11 not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
    Almighty God, may I realize that my very life depends not only on water and food but even more on Your Words.

    Isaiah 1: 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a
    people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
    Isaiah 1:10 Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their
    hearts, and turn and be healed.”
    Father, as Josh said, “the fulfillment of God’s promise is never based on our actions, but on God’s integrity.” Thank You for Your grace and mercy. Thank You that You know that we are sheep, prone to wander off into sure destruction with our heads down following the things that satisfy at the moment with little regard for the future, much less eternity. Thank You for rescuing us time and time again, allowing us to return to Your path of eternal delight.

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