Amos 4 (April 27) The Propelling Love of the LORD “Yet you have not returned to me,” declares the LORD. (6,8,9,10,and 11)
Amos delivers more startling judgement from the LORD – reminding them of how they had gone from city to city sinning more and more – of their oppression of the poor and needy – of their meaningless sacrifices and tithes – and their boastings about it all – and then of of all He had brought down on them because of these things and “YET” how they had not returned to Him.
The love of the LORD propels Him to go to great lengths to have His people return to a right relationship with Him.
Look at Exodus 19-20 to see the lengths He went to in order to proclaim the commandments to Moses before the people at Mount Sinai – which included in part “Do not have any other gods before Me … Do not make for yourself an idol …for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God …” And lest we think for a minute that this same love does not apply to us let us refresh our minds with John 3:14-17. God made a way where there was no way for us to approach Him – not because He had to but because He desired to save us and – not just to save us but to dwell with us forever and to love us as His own – John 14:15-21.
While chapter four leaves us wondering what God is going to do – the one thing we know for sure is His Glory will be seen … Because we know that God’s glory is always seen in His dealings with His people – whether it is in the triumph He gives them over their enemies or in the display of His mercy and grace toward His wayward children.
I know this deep pursuing love of God in a very personal way. He has pursued me more than once when I veered to the right or left. His pursuit of me from the ‘pit’ (A story for another day), when like Israel, I liked to ‘boast’ of worshiping rather than truly and faithfully worshiping God alone, is what led me back to Him and how He taught me of His grace. His pursuit of me is what saved me from my self then – and it is what prepared me for everything in between then and now. Grace revealed His mercy and love – and these continually pointed me back to His grace – and together they developed a relationship of reciprocal love and devotion that strengthened me to weather storms of life that would have otherwise destroyed me. This life-giving relationship continues to fill me daily with strength and peace, courage and comfort, and a wisdom that teaches me to totally rely on Him. He picks me up when I fall and turns me around when I get off track. He is my life and the lover of my soul – and I am forever and profoundly thankful for His faithfulness to pursue and love me.❤️
“They have lost the perception of right and wrong because their hearts are hard and sin is numbing their conscience. They have lost all traces of truth because their unrighteousness is suppressing the truth -(Romans 1:18-19). All of their social sins reflect their spiritual poverty, and they engage in worship with a warped mindset. They love to make a show of their offerings, but they lack any heart-affection for the LORD.” First5
In Amos 4:7-11 God’s quest is to get His people to wake up from their apathy and indifference to sin, so they will repent and turn from their sin. The point of God’s repeated discipline is to direct their lives back to Him because He loves them. If Israel would repent, God would relent from his judgment. But five times we read this sad phrase “…yet you did not return to me, declares the LORD.” This little phrase “…yet you did not return to me” holds such a deep sense of sorrow because each and every time they reject God’s correction by refusing to repent, they are rejecting God’s mercy and healing … they are rejecting God’s forgiveness and grace … they are rejecting God’s power to restore their lives … And the saddest part of all is that ultimately, they are rejecting God.” First5
“Over 85 times in this short book, we read about God’s discipline and judgment due to sin. This emphasizes the truth that cultivating sin in our lives will accumulate judgment. When we stubbornly continue to seek our won way, it will result in God’s painful discipline. But when we earnestly repent and seek the Lord, there is restoration and life – because God is the giver and restorer of life! First5
“Where we are right now doesn’t have to determine where we end up.” First5
“But there is another beautiful truth tucked inside this passage to encourage our hearts today. It’s a truth about God. … He is patient and long-suffering. He’s totally committed to His relationship with His people, including you and me. His desire is for ongoing, unbroken fellowship and intimacy with us. he won’t sit back or ignore us or abandon us or walk away when we wander around lost in sin. Instead, He continually pursues us. God’s love is relentless and strong. He’ll do whatever it takes to woo us back to Him when we get off track or stumble or sin.” First5