“Hear this word, Israel, this lament I take up concerning you: “Fallen is Virgin Israel, never to rise again, deserted in her own land, with no one to lift her up.” This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel: “Your city that marches out a thousand strong will have only a hundred left; your town that marches out a hundred strong will have only ten left.” This is what the Lord says to Israel: “
Seek Me and live; do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba.
For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing. ” Seek the Lord and live, or He will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them, and Bethel will have no one to quench it. There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground.”
“There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.
Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil. Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.”
Amos 5:10, 13-15 NIV
My former pastor who’s since gone home to be with the Lord, wrote a book titled “Tough Times, Tough People and a Good God.” Built on the premise that the people who trust in the Good God, aren’t wimps during tough times. You’ve read me ask this question, who is your go to in times of crisis? Where is the first place your thoughts immediately turn to when hell breaks loose? Well the answer will be dependent upon who you consider your source of help.
We’re living in a time in this nation where the elites have become drunk in their own power. The things that I have been reading makes me wonder if there is any thought of God anywhere. Unity is just a hollowed out word for stealth. You don’t have to mean it, it just makes for a good speech. The divisiveness is thick, families, friends and colleagues are now mortal enemies. What has happened to us? There’s no talk of forgiveness, mercy or love. Instead we must all conform to the whims of a few. The culprit is godlessness, pride, arrogance, glutton for power and control, lawlessness, boastfulness and the big one SELF reliance. You don’t hear talk of “this is what we’re believing God to do for our nation,” but you do hear of what “man” plans on doing. Please read Psalm 2.
As we read the text for today we learn that Israel was walking that same path. The Living God, who they had lost their fear of told His servant Amos to take up a lament over Israel. He may as well be speaking to Americans today. The word lament means: A passionate expression of grief or sorrow. It broke the heart of God to say what He was about to, but rebellion against God is never tolerated. We may lie to ourselves that “we’re good” but God as with His chosen people Israel, will not wink at our rejection of Him or His Word.
It’s pretty bad when you’re deserted in your own land, don’t you think? With no one to lift or help you up. Jehovah continues that even though they used to have military strength, they would see their numbers decreasing. This represents the arm of flesh on which they relied. All of that would be of no significance because without God as their Lord, their boasting would come to nothing. But there was a way out, would Israel take it? Will Americans take it? There's always a choice to make when we reject God. But in His great mercy and not willing that any should perish, He offers us a lifeline.
SEEK ME AND LIVE! Don’t run to so called allies, don’t seek help in so called safe places, don’t look to the government as your source and safety, don’t seek the gods of Bethel and Beersheba! SEEK ME AND LIVE! He said the very places or people you run to for help will be going under too. There is no help in man. It’s amazing how quickly a nation can forget where their help came from, and begins to look to fallible human beings for what Jehovah alone can and will provide. The psalmist rightfully wrote. Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses (military might and government) but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God! Psalm 20:7 there is no safety in man. When politicians speak it’s a wishlist of promises. When Jehovah speaks its Truth Personified. You can stand solidly on every Word.
If we want to live as a nation, if we want safety and prosperity, then we must heed the Word of Amos to Americans today. The Word of God has no expiration date, if you’re reading it today, then it applies for today. Seeking the Lord is not a new phenomenon, it has worked well for those who obeyed. It will work for us too. But this is where we are in 2021. The psalmist David words are coming to pass.
“THE [empty-headed] fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable deeds; there is none that does good or right. [Rom. 3:10.] The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any who understood, dealt wisely, and sought after God, inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him [of vital necessity]. They are all gone aside, they have all together become filthy; there is none that does good or right, no, not one. [Rom. 3:11, 12.]”
Psalm 14:1-3 AMPC
Look at verse 7 in Amos 5. Justice for the unborn is being turned into bitterness. 62+ million and counting have been aborted. Righteousness is being cast aside. Innocent men and women incarcerated losing precious years with family. God’s laws are being twisted and perverted to suit our fleshly desires. The Church is confused about their own identity. If you don’t know who you are in Christ, if you don’t believe He’s your only source, if you don’t believe that all scripture from Genesis to Revelation is the inspired Word of God, then you’re among those John the apostle called “unbelieving” Revelation 21:8. It’s time to heed the lament of Amos, God is pleading with us before destruction comes. SEEK ME AND LIVE!
Look at verse 10. Do you see a parallel with the way some in our court system operates today? Because they think they can. They don’t believe they have to answer to anyone for the decisions they’re making. People’s lives are being destroyed in the so called justice system, the truth is a lie and the lie is truth. The greatest test to power is restraint. Because you have it, isn’t a good reason to abuse it. The Righteous Judge of all flesh will call to account every abuser of the power that has been entrusted to them. If the godly will be judged for our works whether good or bad, how much more the ungodly? 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:13-14
Amos continues; the prudent or wise keeps quiet or holds their peace in these evil times. This doesn’t speak of passivity but of soul rest. We don’t lash out because we know where our help and true justice comes from. We have heeded the lament and have turned to seek the Lord. We don’t look to godless men for counsel, we follow the instruction of Psalm 1. He must’ve read what Amos wrote. We seek good not evil, so that our testimony remains true. That the Lord hears and is with the uncompromisingly righteous. We will continue to hate evil and love that which is good and godly. When true justice returns to our courts, then maybe, the Lord will be gracious to us.
It’s time for the church as well as the leaders of this nation to stop giving God lip service. Stop pretending that you believe His Word, stop quoting scriptures to deceive the gullible and unsuspecting. Stop saying one thing yet practice another. God desires truth in the inward or secret parts of our lives, the place where He alone sees. A broken spirit and a contrite heart He will not despise. Psalm 51:17 He wants us to thrive as a nation and personally. It’s time to SEEK HIM AND LIVE!
“For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering. [I Sam. 15:22.] My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:16-17
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit