In Evil Times, Seek the Lord | Amos 5:1-27
"Seek good and not evil,
That you may life;
So the LORD God of hosts will be with you,
As you have spoken" (v. 14).
Many years before the time of the prophet Amos, Moses stood at the base of Mount Sinai in proclaimed to the nation of Israel the words of the Lord.
From the God who loved them and was giving them the promised land came commandments and instructions. God knew that the people would rebel and, from the start, made provision for repentance. He told them that if they did not worship Him, they would be sent into captivity; but from this place of bondage, if they sought Him with all their hearts, they would find him:
"But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deut. 4:29)
God's specific message through Amos to the descendants of Israel was the same. They had rebelled against the commandments of God. His chief grievance against them was their IDOLATRY (Amos 5:25-27). They were His people; yet the worshiped the pagan gods.
Their lack of love for God meant a lack of love for others. Instead of basing their society on the ordinances of God, the oppressed the poor and needy, taking bribes and corrupting their courts.
How a society crumbles when there is no just law!
The people had transgressed, rebelliously crossed the boundaries God had set (vv. 10-13), and they had sinned, missing the standard of righteousness (vv. 21-24). Because of their transgression, their religious acts of service were unacceptable to the Lord.
God loathed their obedience to religious ritual, which was accompanied by duplicitous hearts. The material wealth and military power characterizing Israel could not provide security from the sure judgement of God.
Was there hope?
Yes! Seek God, who is good, Amos instructed.
Hate the evil that God hates. Establish justice; live according to God's covenant law.
"For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is near to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? (Deut. 4:7)
When someone urgently seeks something that they have lost, they look everywhere for it. They look under and in everything and then move things around, trying to remember where they placed the missing object. They seek and search until the situation is resolved.
This sense of urgency is what the Lord desires of His children, a complete commitment to finding Him, everything else being put aside in order to discover His presence and please Him.
Loving God includes a hatred for the sin that grieves Him.
Regardless of the evil around us, we can seek Him with a pure heart.
- Karen Yarnell (Excerpt from Daily Devotional Bible For Women)