Amos 5:16-27 – Warning, Warning!

Read Amos 5:16-27

warning sign

Our reading starts with “Therefore.” We know the use of that word connects our reading to what came before. It’s time to heed the warnings. Now we understand why there is such a focus on repenting. That’s the response God expects from us as well as the Israelites.

How many times has something bad happened to you that was totally unexpected? Most of the time we have no way of knowing something bad is about to happen, or we would have changed course. Right? Not necessarily. After all, look at the behavior of the Israelites! They were given warnings by Amos and others that continuing their same behavior would lead to destruction. Because such warnings were preserved in God’s word, we can learn from the Israelites’ mistakes and apply the warnings they were given to our own lives.

Standing in the aftermath of a natural disaster like an earthquake, tornado, or flood, one can get a glimpse of what the wailing and devastation might have felt like. Amos’ words of gloom and doom were meant to wake up these Israelites to act.

The day of judgment is coming, and for most it will be a day of darkness and fear. There will be no place for the unrepentant sinner to hide. For them, “the day of the Lord will be dark and hopeless, without a ray of joy or hope.” Is that the future you’re looking forward to? Me either.

God is not impressed by our shows of piety when they are not genuine. He can tell the difference even if we can’t. Instead, this is what God wants. “I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me, too. Can you imagine a world where all people live in a right relationship with God? Justice and righteous living would seem to go hand in hand–you can’t have one without the other.

I can imagine Amos wanted to jump up and down, cause a scene, or do something to get their attention. I sometimes feel like I’m running into similar blocks from the evil one in getting my message of salvation out to the people. I’m sure you’ve had experiences of trying to do the right thing, and for every step forward you are pushed several steps back. When we have a faith mission, it’s best to wait on God’s timing.

Evil blinds people to the truth. It’s nothing new to our age as we can see from these passages. Even God-fearing people can be swept up into the current of wickedness. It gets scary when we see our friends and family saying and doing things that the Bible has warned us to avoid.

What warnings from God have you been listening to lately? There are certain a lot of conspiracy theories floating around warning us of this or that. But few, if any are from God, even if they “make sense.” As Christ-followers, we need to gird ourselves with the armor of God to be protected from listening to the wrong message, those of the enemy. That’s the only sure way we can withstand all the flaming arrows attacking us from every direction and clearly hear God’s voice of caution.

How will you heed God’s warnings for your own life?

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray. Lord, the world is a scary place right now. So many people are falling astray and listening to the wrong message. Protect them from the wiles of the evil one. Guard my heart, too, and keep me strongly planted in the wisdom and truth of your word. Use me to help others find their way back to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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