God found Israel so guilty of sinning he said, “My people have forgotten how to do right.” Do you ever look around at your fellow humans and think the same thing? There is certainly a lot happening in our day that is contrary to God’s will and intention for us.
We are all guilty. We are all sinners. Many will be in denial and try to condone their behavior. The Israelites were very good at doing that as we can see. God is calling them out, but are we not guilty, too, of listening to the world and following popular thought? Is even being tolerant of behavior we know to be sinful a sin?
Amos’ message from God here starts with a series of seven rhetorical questions. We know the number seven to have special Biblical significance meaning “completeness” and “perfection.” God is giving examples of how when one event takes place, another one is linked to it. So, it is with sin and judgment.
God warns us, doesn’t he? His word is packed with wisdom for us to know right from wrong. Yet, we drift toward wrong more times than not. Why is that? What pulls us toward the dark side? Even in his anger with the Israelites, God sent Amos to mercifully warn his people once again. The disaster Amos foretells would be orchestrated by God himself. We shouldn’t take God’s warnings lightly.
When we do wrong long enough, we do forget how to do right. We become accepting to “little white lies,” or missing church for a sporting event, or gossiping about someone else’s problems. The enemy has always been crafty. Can you see how polluted our own society has become?
It’s easy for us to say this message Amos proclaimed is only for the Israelites. We’re quick to point fingers at them and see their sins clearly. They were stubborn. They were selfishly blind. Are we as quick to look within and see the stain of our own sin? Are we loving our neighbor to help them see their own sinfulness and seek God’s forgiveness?
Don’t let the guilt of the Israelites go to waste. Learn from their disobedience. Ask, “how does it apply to me and my life?” How are you letting the messages of the world, including the cries for acceptance of sin, crowd out the truth of God’s word? How are you different from the Israelites?
Let’s pray. Lord, forgive me. I know I mess up daily, sometimes when I’m not even aware. I know your plan for me is best, so please reveal it to me when you think I’m ready. I never want to forget how to do the right thing. Help me to stand firm in your truth and help shine a light toward you and away from the lies of the world. I look forward to the ways you will use me to help others find you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.