Thursday, 07 December 2023
“Seek the LORD that you may live, ….. ” -Amos 5:6[NASB]
The main theme of the Book of Amos is God’s passionate concern for justice. God created the human race to enjoy good relations, therefore, injustice that breeds alienation in all of its varieties, breaks God’s heart. [NKJV Study Bible] The purpose of Amos’ prophetic ministry was to call people to repent and change. Amos therefore announced the “Day of the LORD” – the time of God’s judgment.
As the people of Israel became prosperous under the rule of their kings, they departed from God who called them out of Egypt and consecrated them to be His own possession. Listen to what Deut.7:6 says “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” Subsequently, in verse 8, the reason for this special status is given: “because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers…” Further in Deut.4:20, it states “But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession…” God has loved them so much that He established them in a miraculous manner.
However, in Exodus 19:5 the LORD God had set the condition for maintaining this status! “Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples….” From this, it is clear that the following are mandatory for them to enjoy their privileged position:
God’s love towards them
God’s covenant (oath) with their forefathers
Their response by living a life within godly boundaries
During the times of Amos, people went back from their commitment towards God and started to worship idols!! There was no justice in the land, therefore the prophet is exhorting them to turn to God and do justice!! In Amos 5:5, the various places of their idol worship are listed and then God asks them to turn to Him. Further in verse 14 it says “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and thus the LORD God of hosts be with you, just as you have said.”
In our key verse God is speaking through the prophet to seek Him. Seeking God is not a mental exercise, rather it is a manner of living.
The exhortation given through Amos is relevant even for us today. In Titus 1:16, it talks about people who “profess to know God but reject Him through their deeds.” Violence and injustice is rampant in the society and even those who are believers fall prey to it.
Cheating of taxes, cheating employees and employers; unjust servants who do “eye service” (Ephesians 6:6-7). Even on the Christian media, there are people who cheat!! They project a healing or a miracle over Christ; preachers have become performers!! Believers who used to be role models of society have become no more trustworthy! The so-called church has become den of thieves (Matt.21:13) God’s message to us today is still the same: “Return to Me!”
Why is God so interested in our restitution?? Because He loves us! When His Son was crushed on the cross, He went through agonizing pain, but Father God loved each of us so dearly that He allowed it to happen. Through the death of Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven. When Christ suffered shame we received glory; His pain resulted in our peace! When His body was crushed, we received healing. Would you receive Christ Jesus into your life? John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Seek the LORD and live!
Think on it: “…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)