May 25, 2020
- By Ed Powell
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"Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria...to whom the house of Israel came!" Amos 6:1
The Children of Israel found to their dismay that years of prosperity often lead to an idolatrous life of sin. For 200 years, there had been tremendous prosperity in Israel. The "good life" to them meant that their lives were consumed with lusts of every kind, free expression without restraint, brazen idolatry, and moral rottenness. Israel reeked with adultery and prostitution in the temple, unspeakable vileness, injustice, bribery, and murder. There was no concern or consideration for God. Sin was rampant and, seemingly, no one cared. The attitude was, "Who needs God? We have it all." Do we not see the same insidious infiltration today in our society?
This was the scene into which Amos was called to proclaim God's judgment. You would think that in view of this deplorable, sinful state, God would have called someone respected in the higher circles of the religious system, someone from the elite of the temple, to deliver a message of such importance that carried such condemning consequences. But that was the problem; there was no one qualified to bring such a message! Even the priests reeked with lustful desires and condoned the sinful conditions. BUT GOD ALWAYS HAS HIS MAN FOR THE HOUR! He found a shepherd in obscurity, unheralded, uneducated, but a man whose heart was bent in the ways of God. The culture of our day and the focus of people of our society are on the ability and accomplishments of man. In choosing Amos, a fearless prophet of judgment to an idolatrous wicked Israel, God directed the focus of man from the messenger to the MESSAGE.
The message God had for Israel is the same one He has for us today. If you will "obey My word and walk in My way," you will be blessed beyond measure with His provision, His leading, His peace, His joy, and an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ beyond your comprehension. Then why do we have such reservations in following Him fully? For the same reason Israel had. They, as so many today, refused to surrender the control of their lives to God's divine authority. We want to be in control. "It's my life; no one tells me what to do." Therefore, we must live with the consequences of our own choosing. We do not stop long enough to consider the dreadful consequences of choices we make without any consideration of God. In fact, in the lives of most, even believers, the Lord is not in the equation of daily decisions and practical walk. We CHOOSE such a course! How much better it is to live under the blessing, presence, and power of God upon our lives, having God's best!
We have a covenant with God that is far better than what Israel had. It is awesome, beyond our comprehension, given to us by His matchless grace. We have been chosen by God and are a peculiar people. We have a royal inheritance. However great and glorious the terms of our covenant with God, the degree to which many of the terms of our covenant become a reality to us is related to our faithfulness in being obedient to our responsibility to God, His will, and His way. "To whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." God has saved us, and called us, with a holy calling. Behind the deed of obedience is the reality of Almighty God!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2020-05-25
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