February 26, 2010
I just read the entire prophecy of Amos. Oh Father, please, please, please reach into Your peoples’ hearts. I fear that we have so earned Your judgment … and yet I also trust in Your love and compassion… even if, especially if, punishment should have to come to us.
(Oh Papa, I just don’t know if I should stand up and proclaim the foolishness I am seeing… can You call in someone of Your body who can mediate among Your people, before they end up dragged into the courts of the world… oh dear God…) (or maybe I just need to wait and let YOU sort it all out!...)
(Amos tried to beg Your compassion, repeatedly, but in the end they fell… but You also promised to bring them back from exile…)
(I remember that Abraham tried to stand in the breach, so to speak, for Sodom… because Lot, a “righteous man,” was there… but the best that could be done for him in the end was for angels to bring him out before the total destruction of the city (and he sure wasn’t eager to leave, oh dear…) (and oh Father, Lot’s life was pretty awful thereafter…)…
Amos 3:10 But they do not know how to do right, declares the LORD….
(Oh Father… it just looks to me like they all really do think they are doing right… and when things go so wrong, it seems they all blame each other, but assume themselves to be righteous… over and over… why, oh why, can’t they come to You together, repent together, forgive together? I keep thinking maybe I should stand up and yell at them, ring a big bell or gong, somehow catch their attention! … but You have been sending Your word to them through Your servants, over and over… and they hear it and say, “Yes, yes,” but Father, they really don’t seem to get it! They really don’t seem to “know how to do right.” … Would another voice, one more time, possibly be heard? Father?? Oh dear God, please, please, please soften their hearts, turn them to Yourself, open their eyes and ears (and if You really do have a word for them through me… one last word, perhaps… please, dear God, let it be YOUR WORD ALONE!!!) (Please!?!)
Amos 4:6,8,9,10,11 (repeated 5 times!) Yet you have not returned to Me, declares the LORD.
(Father, over and over You did things to get the attention of Your people Israel – famine, drought, insect devastation and bad weather, plagues and wars… and of course countless prophets speaking Your word, Your warnings – and still they did not return – turn, repent! – to You…)
4:12 Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel. 13. For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness and treads on the high places of the earth, the LORD God of hosts is His name…
5:4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, Seek me that you may live, 5. But do not resort to Bethel… to Gilgal… to Beersheba [all places that were originally places of worship to God, but became centers of worship to false gods…]… 6. Seek the LORD that you may live, or He will break forth like a fire… And it will consume with none to quench it…
12. For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great. 13. Therefore at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time [but Papa, is it always a good thing to be thus “prudent” … when one sees a people whirling, spiraling downward??]
14. Seek good and not evil, that you may live… 15. Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts may be gracious to the remnant of Joseph…
18. Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, for what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light…
21. I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. 22. Even though you offer up to me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them… 23. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. 24. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
6:6 Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph. 7. Therefore, they will now go into exile… [Oh Father, teach us to grieve… among ourselves, but also for others of Your family who have turned from You and fallen into Your punishment and destruction… Instead of self-righteously calling them down, and then turning our backs – on them – and on You, also, in our self-righteousness, so that we end up also falling into the trap of evil – just as Judah ended up following the 10 tribes of Israel into evil… and exile… Oh my goodness!!! Father, shouldn’t the different parts of Your body be closely enough united that they see when there is trouble and pain and sorrow, and yes, even evil, in other parts, and be prepared to grieve for them, and mediate, and help, and pray?!?! Oh, my goodness…]
6:11 For behold, the LORD is going to command that the great house be smashed to pieces and the small house to fragments.
12. … you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood (bitterness) [Papa, that is what I see… poison and bitterness… but is it possible that Your body, Your church, could be – surely inadvertently, surely believing themselves to be in the right, surely even “piously” … oh my goodness, oh dear… - could they be doing things just as opposed to You (as evil…), as Israel and Judah did way back then? … as your word says:
5:14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live and thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you just as you have said! [oh, the irony…][oh Father, please, open our hearts!! Please!!]
7:7 Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand. 8. the LORD said to me, What do you see, Amos? And I said, A plumb line. Then the LORD said, Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel; I will spare them no longer…
8:11 Behold, days are coming, declares the Lord GOD, When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the LORD. [Oh dear God – may it be so – that we would truly thirst, as in a great drought, for Your word! Soon! Now, dear God! …]
[But You do promise compassion after destruction, don’t You?] 9:11 In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches… 14. Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel… 15… And they will not again be rooted out from their land… [But why would we want it, let it, go that far, let it go to destruction? Why would we not return to You, dear Father?? Papa?? !!!]