May 9, 2015

Amos 5:14-15 Seek good, not evil,
that you may live.
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,
just as you say he is.
Hate evil, love good;
maintain justice in the courts.
Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy
on the remnant of Joseph.

I hear echoes of the current state of America in so many Old Testament passages these days! The only part of this passage that doesn’t fit is that so many in US government today make no claim to the Lord God of Hosts, and either deny His existence or spit in His face. The matters of seeking/loving good, and hating rather than seeking evil apply to the whole nation. Never before has there been such an epidemic of calling evil good and good evil. And then there’s the matter of righteous judgments in the courts. I cannot speak for who is in the majority, but it seems like common-sense judgments that adhere to the Constitution are what have become so rare as to be newsworthy. As I write, the Supreme Court is deliberating a question that less than a generation ago would have been unthinkable even to be considered. I cannot predict the outcome, but I am strongly reminded that there is yet a higher Court, the Judge of all mankind, and He is perfectly righteous and holy. I cannot predict what will happen in the short term, but the Bible is very clear as to what will happen in the long term, and that should be the hope and the focus of every believer. We are called to be holy and faithful right now, and trust that our reward is sure. (Proverbs 11:18)

Even as I am distressed by much of the news that comes my way, I’ve got to recognize that my attitudes and actions over the past 60+ years have contributed to the current state of affairs. Too often I have failed to love good and hate evil, instead “going with the flow” of society around me. I have lived what many would call an “exemplary” life, yet the Lord knows what has gone on in my heart, and how often I have pushed Him aside in my thoughts. Even as I grieve for America I need to keep my personal repentance in line, recognizing the tricks and traps of the enemy and walking in the light. (1 John 1:7) I am to be bold in calling others to repentance as well, not being silent so as to “fit in,” not fearing their rejection but finding my security, my worth, in Christ Jesus my Lord. That last area has been a weak point for me, even though I know that “the fear of man is a snare.” (Proverbs 29:5) As a pastor I have worked with people who have been paralyzed by what they thought other people thought/would think of them, but I haven’t paid enough attention to the same tendency in myself. God is my Lord and my Judge, and I am to live to please Him regardless of what people think of me.

Father, thank You for the beautiful progress I’m seeing in one person who used to fear others’ opinions. I ask Your continued grace and strength for them. Thank You that You are completely trustworthy in every area, with every issue. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, walking in full obedience, so that all of Your purposes for me may be fulfilled, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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