Daily Archives: May 6, 2017

Through the Bible, May 6

Reading: Amos 1; 2:6-16; 4; 5:18-24; 7:10-17; 8:1-14

Summary: God sent the prophet Amos from Judah to Israel.  Though Jonah (yesterday’s reading) is the first of the literary (writing) prophets, Amos is the first whose written message is directed primarily to God’s people.  This farmer is sent by God to Israel during a time of great prosperity (Jeroboam II’s reign).

Like other prophets, Amos includes not only a message of warning to God’s people about their condition and God’s punishment if they fail to repent, but also messages directed against neighboring nations (including Judah) as well as a concluding message of hope.

Israel is condemned not for her prosperity but for her sins in achieving and maintaining that wealth through unjust practices and at the expense of the poor.  Amos is the first to threaten Israel with exile.

Today’s reading is a sampling of Amos’ prophecies.

Devotional Thought:

Serving God is Simple

Simple does not mean easy.

Weight loss is simple—eat less (and better) and exercise more.  We all know how easy that is.

What God wants from us is simple.  It really is.  I know it doesn’t appear that way.  His many supposed “representatives” on earth (denominations, clergymen, theologians, and adherents) don’t present a consistent message.  As a matter of fact, if that’s what you’re listening to it’s downright confusing, frustrating, and sorely disappointing.

Here’s what God said through His prophet Amos a long time ago.  God was upset with His people. He rejected what they thought He wanted (feasts, solemn assemblies, various offerings and songs).  “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an every-flowing stream” (Amos 5:21-24).

Justice and righteousness are what was missing.  That’s what God wanted.  To put it another way, He expected them to be fair and do what was right.

Amos is far from the only one to mention this.  It’s why God chose Abraham (Gen. 18:19), what made David a great king (2 Sam. 8:15), the very foundation of God’s own throne (Psa. 97:2), and the basis of wise living (Prov. 1:3).

Be fair and do right; pretty simple, huh?  But not always easy.

Doing what’s to my advantage and my preference is the biggest obstacles.  I am the greatest hindrance to what God wants.  Fair and right demand that His own will and concern for others carry more weight with me than “me”.  And doesn’t that sound just like the two greatest commandments; love God and love your neighbor?

Again, simple doesn’t mean easy.