Seek The Lord and Live

– Amos Five –


            Amos took up a lamentation against Israel because of her coming destruction. Pay day had come. The nation would now reap the result of their sinful living. The destruction would be so severe that only a remnant would be left. "For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel." (Amos 5:3) God's fiery judgment was coming with certainty. The only hope for Israel was to seek the Lord and live.


            Amos was pleading with the people to repent. There was still hope but soon it would be too late. Seek the Lord, (1) He will give live, He is all powerful, and He knows all your sins. They had sinned long enough. Now the message is, "Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph." (Amos 5:14-15)


            A failure to repent would lead to God coming in judgment against Israel. The judgment would bring wailing in the streets, highways and vineyards. It will be a day of darkness with no escape. "As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him." (Amos 5:19) Their religion was repulsive to God and it lead to captivity that took them "beyond Damascus."


            Seek Him that made the stars -- Amos 5:1-9: Amos brought a mournful message from God to the house of Israel. He called upon them to listen to God's word. God is grieved over their wrongs and his desire is that they will come to repentance. Israel had been separated from the nations of the world. They had been blessed by God. Israel had sunk so low in their rebellion that they would be deserted in their own land and there would be no one to help them.


            God promised that only a very small remnant would be left. "The city that went out a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went out a hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel." God kept on pleading with Israel "Seek me and live." The people turned a deaf ear to God. They were not willing to turn back to Him and live. They were not to go to Bethel, Gilgal or Beersheba. These were strong holds for idolatry and there would be no help there. The people were taught to seek the Lord and live.  A failure to do so would result in God attacking them like fire and Bethel being burned to the ground.


            These people twisted the truth and had no respect for justice. Amos reminded them that they were dealing with the Creator of the universe. He is the one that both made and controlled heavenly bodies: He also controls night and day. This God would destroy the mighty soldiers and strong fortresses of those that live in rebellion against Him.


            Choose good instead of evil -- Amos 5:9-15: Life is a matter of the choices that we make. Israel chose to have fair judges and honest witnesses. Israel did not want to be reminded of her sins so she desired teachers that would give the message that suited her. They had abused the poor and demand heavy taxes from them. They had built expensive houses and had planted vineyards. They would lose both because of wickedness. These rebukes were largely for the leaders of the people.


God felt that their sins were terrible because they had cheated honest people. They had taken bribes and robbed the poor of justice. We must remember that God knows the things that we do in our bodies. It was an evil time in that the good and prudent people just kept silent. The only way that God could be on their side was for them to stop doing wrong and start doing right. If they refused they would die. Amos said, "Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph."


            Judgment is coming -- Amos 5:16-20: Many of the people of Israel were wanting God's judgment to come. But they were in for trouble! It would not be a time of sunshine; all would be darkness. God had promised that the Assyrian forces would invade Israel. When that happened there would be wailing, mourning and lamentation throughout Israel. There would be public demonstrations of regret over the sad condition and fate of Israel. There would be no where to turn for help. God said, "You will run from a lion, only to meet a bear. You will escape to your house, rest your hand on the wall, and be bitten by a snake." There is no escape from God's wrath.


God's judgment was coming upon Israel as a nation. This day would be a dark day for Israel, a very dark day. The day of God's judgment against Israel would not be a day of happiness and prosperity. It would be a time of misery and distress because of the wickedness of the Israelites. This day would bring only calamity. There would be no deliverance and not a glimmer of hope.


            What the Lord demands -- Amos 5:21-27: The children of Israel stilled assembled before God to conduct solemn assemblies or religious celebrations. Sadly, God took no delight in their times of worship. The people were doing the actions required by the Mo­saic system. Their thinking seemed to be that they somehow thought God would accept them just because they continued to do the things He required regardless of all the evils and false worship that they were involved with. God hated their feast days and refused to smell the odor of their incense. God would not accept their burnt offerings, grain offerings, or their peace offerings.


            Their songs sounded like noise to God. He refused to listen when they played on their instruments. Instrumental music was not originally a part of the Law of Moses. It was later instituted by David and the Lord sanctioned it by giving it His glory. (2 Chronicles 29:26-27) You must do right for your worship to mean anything to God. "But let justice roll down like waters,    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." (Amos 5:24) God asked Israel, "Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?" In the wilderness they had worshipped the one true God. Now they had made idols, Moloch and Chiun, to worship and serve. The true God had blessed them, but these are gods they have to carry if the are to move. S a result of their idolatry God said, "I will force you to march as captives beyond Damascus. I, the LORD God All-Powerful, have spoken!"


            It is time to get serious about your salvation. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21). After baptism follow Jesus in faithfulness as He leads you home to heaven. (Revelation 2:10)