For the Israelites hearing Amos’ words, was this the wake-up call that would finally work in bringing repentance? Amos saved the “best” for last. What were the Israelites thinking when they heard judgment against themselves? They had likely been thinking all this talk of judgment was only to the surrounding nations. But Israel and Judah were not immune to God’s raging anger.
In case you’d like to connect some dots like I did and realize who all the players are in this prophecy God gave Amos, let’s dig in a little bit. Some of these nations have ancestral connections to the Israelites. Edom and Israel are both descendants from Isaac: Edom from Esau, and Israel from his twin, Jacob. The Ammonites had descended from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his younger daughter. And finally, from this reading, the Moabites descended from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his older daughter. Lot was the nephew of Abraham.
Despite whether there were ancestral ties or not, these other nations had angered God and were set for doom. God’s own people split into two kingdoms after King Solomon’s death, and both were behaving in ways contrary to God’s desires. If only they would repent and worship God!
Have you ever been in a position when you had to reprimand someone for bad choices? As parents, we feel it’s our duty to keep our children safe by setting boundaries for their behavior. In what ways do you make your point or act against unacceptable behavior? Now think of how God does.
I can only imagine how God’s fury was burning. There would be consequences. I personally don’t think that we’re immune from disappointing God either. There are always consequences to sin. What are some examples you can think of where you have felt some sort of reprimand for a sinful choice you’ve made?
Would you agree that God has his ways of getting the message across to us today? We may or may not have someone like Amos spouting God’s truth, but we have God’s word. We can see our own failings played out in the lives of others. How does God respond to them? This might be our wake-up call, too, to do a self-check of our own faithfulness.
Take some time to reflect on your faith walk. In what areas are you feeling weak and prone to temptation? Ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength and redirection.
Let’s pray. Lord, I fall short every day. Please forgive me. I do my best to listen and obey. Help me to be strong and stand against the evil one and his schemes. Give me the wisdom to avoid sinful choices. Help me lovingly help those around me who may be struggling in sin. Thank you for loving me in the middle of my mess. In Jesus’ name. Amen.