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Seek the LORD and Live
Bible Passage Amos 5:1-10
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2022 & books Amos, EZEKIEL, Jeremiah.

Seek the LORD and Live

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached October 25, 2022

SCRIPTURE 📖
1 Hear this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.

2 The virgin of Israel has fallen; she shall rise no more; she lies forsaken on her land. There is none to raise her up,

3 For thus says the Lord GOD, “The city that went out by a thousand shall leave a hundred, and that which went out by a hundred shall have ten left in the house of Israel,”

4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, “Seek Me, and you shall live.

5 But do not seek Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and do not pass to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing.

6 Seek the LORD and you shall live, lest He break out like a fire on the house of Joseph and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel—

7 You who turn judgment to wormwood and leave off righteousness in the earth!”

8 Seek Him Who created the Pleiades and Orion, and Who turned the deep darkness into the morning, and Him Who darkened the day into night. Seek Him Who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the face of the earth— the LORD is His name,

9 Who causes destruction to flash out against the strong, and destruction against the fortress.

10 They hate him who rebukes in the gate, and they despise him who speaks uprightly.

 

BACKGROUND
Some young girls, growing up were loved by their parents and the entire community because they recused themselves from immoral sexual behaviour and were obedient to their parents. They lived chaste life and brought honour to their parents and trust to themselves. Unfortunately, some of these young girls change suddenly to engage in multiple sexual relationships and disrespectful acts. The honour was soon turned to shame. This is compared to Israel’s obedience to God until they turned away.

Israel was like a virgin. Once she had a wonderful future, but now she is dying because of stubbornness. Isaiah has a similar idea. He calls Israel a ‘daughter of Zion’ (Isaiah 1:8; 10:32). Other prophets have also called Israel a virgin (Jeremiah 18:13; 31:4; 21). The virgin has died in a battle because of disobedience.

In verse 1 God laments through Amos about Israel. Lamentations (funeral songs/dirges) were part of life in Israel. There were funeral songs about Tyre and Egypt in Ezekiel 26-28 and 32. David sang a funeral song about Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:19-27).

The prophet Amos recalls past warnings that the people had consistently ignored, so he says “I take up again” in verse 1 of the text. He sees vividly that the result of the people’s stubbornness will be the destruction of Israel. Samaria will be conquered and most of Israel’s army wiped out (5:1-3).

Israel’s armies were in groups of thousands and hundreds. But both these groups will become tiny and of no use in battle – a thousand shall become 100 and 100 be 10. They will not be able to protect the towns and cities, and most of the soldiers will die.

Israel’s worship at Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba has been completely false. These three cities were important places of worship and sacrifice. But these places became important for the wrong reasons. God wanted the Israelites to look for Him, and worship Him in the right way.

What God wants is not an increase in religious ceremonies but a turning in heart and life to Him. He does not want processions to religious holy places (which, in any case, will be destroyed) but the administration of civil justice that is fair to all (verse 4-7).

The Pleiades and Orion in verse 8 are groups of stars. God put these stars in the sky. There were none there before He created them (Job 9:9; 38:31). The Israelites turned good into bad. In the same way, God can change things. He brings comfort but He also destroys things. He can even destroy strong cities.

The all-powerful God will punish those who build up their power through oppressing others (verse 8-9).

When corrupt people are accused by the poor of being dishonest, they respond with increased hatred and cruelty. They use their power to force the poor into greater hardship, then with the money they have dishonestly gained they build bigger and more luxurious houses and gardens (verse 10).

LESSONS✍🏽
🔷 God created everything for the comfort of human inhabitants and can decide to turn them for their discomfort when they disobey Him

🔷 Those who shall live long shall be those who shall seek the Lord diligently and faithfully

🔷 Worshipping God is not the outward display of acts but an inner sincere relationship with Him

🔷 Christians in authority are representatives of the divine majesty of God and are not independent of God Himself.

PRAYER POINTS🙏🏽
💥 Pray that your fellowship with God shall be a true fellowship
💥 Pray that God pardons your acts of unfaithfulness to Him and injustice to fellow human beings

CONCLUSION📙
Every true believer must have the vertical fellowship with God and honour Him and the horizontal relationship with fellow human beings justly without cheating, or suppressing any of them.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections