Amos 4:12 “Prepare to meet your God.”
Going to college in East Tennessee I remember seeing this message on billboards and simply painted on cliff faces. Given the reality of some of those mountain roads, they sometimes came across as admonitions to drive carefully! However, they were actually an echo of the “hellfire and brimstone” preaching that was popular in some groups. Such preaching is almost unheard of today, and someone indulging in it would run the risk of being arrested for “hate speech,” as they actually have been in Sweden and Canada because of the epidemic of “political correctness.” Amos would certainly be thrown in jail, or a mental hospital, today! He was the antithesis of political correctness, saying things like calling the “leading ladies” cows. However, he was simply echoing God’s distress at how the people were acting. Five times in this chapter the Lord points out “natural disasters” He had brought to get people’s attention, and each one brings the refrain, “Yet you did not return to Me.” Here He is saying that because they would not meet with Him voluntarily, they would have to meet with Him for judgment, and that would be terrible indeed. I see a lot of parallels to America today. People don’t want to have their sin pointed out to them, to be called to repentance. Harvard, though originally a Christian institution for training clergy, has just defunded and banned the student Christian organization on campus for insisting that something was morally wrong. People don’t want to be told anything is morally wrong! There are signs of hope, as some people seem to be waking up, but the rot is deep indeed. This goes far beyond politics, though it is frequently cast in a political light. Your label makes no difference if you aren’t submitted to your Creator. It’s not just that people sin; that has been the human condition ever since Adam and Eve. The problem now is people insisting that their sin not only be accepted, but celebrated. Homosexual issues take the spotlight here, but this is far broader than that, with disrespect for marriage and family and even for life itself. The current opioid epidemic is another symptom, stemming in many cases from people focusing on whatever feels good in the moment, rather than seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness.
I am not innocent here. I too opt for the “easy way out” all too often, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to shine His light on the real issues and repenting of them. Right now the church is in a very difficult situation, yet at the same time the Lord is giving us various signs that He’s in control and His plans are good. Going back to this verse, I am indeed to prepare to meet with Him, on His terms and His schedule, in full humility and submission, but with anticipation and joy. I am to seek to learn what He wants to teach me from each thing that has happened and is happening, so that I may be transformed more and more into what He wants me to be, for His glory.
Father, thank You for all that You are doing. Thank You for the two non-believers who came to the service yesterday, even though hardly any Christians did. Keep me from insisting on how things ought to be. Rather, help me release everything to You and trust You to use how things are, to bring about Your good plan, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!