"Prophetability - lessons of strength and power in the minor prophets!"
When looking for a lesson about strength and power, I think Amos 5:4 is one of the best ever. The writer states; “For the Lord says to the house of Israel…Seek me and Live.”
When you are searching all through your house for something do you ever find other stuff you’ve lost too? I was looking for a camera charger the other day and came across some old memory cards I had misplaced. I also found a pair of sunshades I hadn’t seen in years. Whenever you seek the Lord what you find is both your life and SO much more. The writer of Hebrews 11:6 says that “God rewards those who diligently seek him.”You are Strong in Life when you Seek the Lord. There are some great benefits to seeking God and His will for your life.
One of the first things you find whenever you seek the Lord is A STANDARD OF LIVING
God has morals and God’s people should have them too. Amos prophesied God’s Judgment against the Northern Kingdom Israel. Their sin was not promiscuous sex, doing drugs, or murder. Their sin had to do with their lack of morals and how they were treating others. The people of God presented themselves as God’s people but were not treating their fellowman like God treats others. In Amos 4 the writer exclaims; “Listen to this message, you cows of Bashan who are on the hill of Samaria, women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, who say to their husbands,“Bring us something to drink.” 2 The Lord God has sworn by his holiness: Look, the days are coming when you will be taken away with hooks, every last one of you with fishhooks. 3 You will go through breaches in the wall, each woman straight ahead, and you will be driven along toward Harmon. This is the Lord’s declaration.”
Amos prophesied judgment against the SACRILEGE OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE. Social Injustices take place in our community when the people of God fail to behave godly. How can we see the struggle of others and do nothing when God saw our struggles and did everything? As you seek the Lord you see the Lord as benevolent and generous. As you emulate God’s giving you demonstrate Godly living. God’s people are givers that is why God’s people are Livers! ...not the organ ;)
Whenever you seek the Lord you find a STANDARD OF LEARNING
Until the prophets, God’s people only learned what had always been known about God. Parents taught their children the religious traditions passed down to them by their parents. The Prophets, however, were speaking NEW things, things NEVER heard before, and sometimes they were rejected and killed for it. Do you remember how they were ready to stone Jesus when he spoke? Do you remember how Caiaphas, the high priest, tore his clothes and said that Jesus blasphemed? As you seek the Lord you begin to understand more about him and your mind becomes enlightened. Those who are unwilling to get to the know the Lord better each day may find it difficult to accept what you have learned by spending time with God.
As you seek the Lord you separate yourself from complacent, immoveable, stubborn, stuck people.
As you seek the Lord you seek to Learn, something not everyone is doing. The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning you’re not old. Look at the beginning of Amos 5. The writer states; “Listen to this message that I am singing for you, a lament, house of Israel: 2 She has fallen; Virgin Israel will never rise again. She lies abandoned on her land with no one to raise her up. 3 For the Lord God says: The city that marches out a thousand strong will have only a hundred left, and the one that marches out a hundred strong will have only ten left in the house of Israel.” Israel had never heard such a thing….All they remembered was God’s promise to Abraham that He was going to Bless Israel as the stars in the heavens and the grains of sand on the sea shore. They saw themselves as the primary objects of God’s blessings and this often eclipsed the idea that they were also meant TO BE a blessing to others. One of the most EMPOWERING things you can do for yourself is to seek the Lord’s presence and take a good look at yourself when you get there! In His presence you will see your flaws. In His presence you see that which hinders you instead of helps you. In God’s presence you learn much about yourself.
Whenever you seek the Lord you find A STANDARD OF LOVING
In Amos 9: 13-15, the writer exclaims; “Look, the days are coming—this is the Lord’s declaration—when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the one who treads grapes, the sower of seed. The mountains will drip with sweet wine, and all the hills will flow with it. 14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel. They will rebuild and occupy ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink their wine, make gardens and eat their produce. 15 I will plant them on their land, and they will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them. The Lord your God has spoken.”
Everything God does is motivated by His love, even His judgment.
In Amos 2 God says; “I will not relent from punishing Moab for three crimes, even four…” God always gives His people another chance because He loves us. At the end of Amos’ harsh prophecy, we find God’s great and inexhaustible LOVE. The Blessings of God will be so abundant that by the time the harvesters have gathered it will be time to plant again. This reminds me of that great passage; “If God is for us who can be against us?”
God is not in the business of Judging you. God is in the business of judging the evil you do. Joel 1:15 says; “Woe because of that Day! For the day of the Lord is near and will come as devastation from the Almighty!” There is another sharp warning shortly thereafter, in Joel 2: 13-14, it states; “Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave a blessing behind him…”
Rev. Wiley Hughes
D.Min., Psy.D., FBPPC, LPCA, NCC
Apostolic Leader of Destiny Now