Seeking the Lord (Amos 5:1-15)
No nation can last long unless its leaders are honest and execute true justice among themselves. Any society will soon crumble unless it maintains true justice; this is essential for any nation’s survival. This passage (Amos 5) shows the Lord grieving over Israel’s failure to seek Him. God has pronounced His judgment on all the unjust of Israel. Despite all the medical, scientific, and technological advances since Amos’s day, people’s behavior has not changed. We are just as guilty of unjust behavior today as were the people those many centuries ago. Mankind has a way of tarnishing everything God has committed to him. Therefore, the need to repent comes necessary.
Five times the word “seek” is used here. Israel lost the presence of God in their lives. Where pride and self-will are allowed to surface, corruption will soon follow. In Amos 5:5, Bethel is mentioned because of the corruption they are allowed there. Bethel lost sight of God and the godly could no longer visit there like they once were able.
The enormity of sin might be concealed from man, but God knows how many are our offences, and how great are our sins. All hypocrites will face the judgment of God. A profession to know the Lord is not enough to make us acceptable to Him. We can be in church every time the door opens and not really know the Lord. We can serve on every church committee and still not be serving the Lord if our daily walk is not righteous.
Our walk with the Lord must be genuine, consistent and undivided. Our God is a jealous God and He will not share His glory with any other so-called god. We must truly believe in and trust the Lord, and Him alone. A person who sincerely believes and trusts will follow the Lord and obey His commandments. The person will live righteously. If we confess to believe in the Lord, and continually break His holy commandments, we are liars.
We see that Amos is pleading with Israel, after the fact, to “seek the Lord”. Had they continued to seek the Lord as they did at the beginning they wouldn’t be in this situation. However, they didn’t. This calls to mind the things happening around us today in the name of Jesus Christ that certainly must grieve the Holy Spirit. Had they sought the Lord, they would have never strayed away from His pleasure. Israel’s problem was that they came to God on their own terms—"We want to worship You and believe in You and still keep our sins." The only way to God, then and now, is through repentance, through being willing to seek goodness and justice and righteousness. Let me encourage you to continually seek the Lord about everything. And if we don’t, then may the Lord give us a godly person to reveal to us our sin. Seek the Lord!
In the midst of this talk about destruction it is amazing that God still urges the people to seek His grace and mercy, just as the Lord encouraged the church at Sardis to turn to Him (Revelation 3:2-3). All He requires of His people is that they will come to Him, and they will live. The Lord Jesus Christ makes it clear that all God requires is for people to humble themselves and come to Him and find rest (Matthew 11:28).
The most disturbing thing about Israel's fall, and the fall of any man into God's judgment, is that it was unnecessary. All through Amos 5, and throughout the Word of God, there runs a thread of hope, a way of escape, a way of deliverance. God said, "Seek ye me and ye shall live (Amos 5:4, 6) ... Seek good and not evil that ye may live (Amos 5:14-15).
PRAYER: Lord, help me to seek You every day. If I seek You then I will find You. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.