Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

“I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, And no longer shall they be pulled up From the land I have given them,” Says the Lord your God.” Amos 9:14-15 NKJV

I begin today with 2 of the 3 verses of restoration and God’s promise – in a book filled with difficult warning from our God. It matches my thought and burdens recently – I may get a little rough myself today. Take only that which the Holy Spirit says is yours – leave the rest. I am just frustrated, today, because we shouldn’t be clinging to a restorative promise, but instead been living all along in His victory and power and goodness and peace.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Amos chapters 6-9 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). And what a powerful few days we have been having – reading about Elisha, Jonah, Isaiah and Amos. The same God who performed these larger than life and almost unbelievable feats is the SAME God who raised Jesus from the dead and is the SAME God that lives in me and you (If you let Him).

How amazing is that?  We have access to that same knowledge and power and there is the majority still asleep.  No I dared and I said majority. Remnants have always run around with the full power and spurred small pockets of revivals.  Right now there is a larger number getting save over the whole world (and the USA is finally catching it) than in the last labeled revivals of the 1980s. But what about the Christians? Who is going to wake them up?  And obviously I am speaking to ones who are newly saved or awake (or the ones which the spirit is waking you even now). There is no need for offense.  It is true that misguided fleshliness stirs emotions and forges a counterfeit feel-good Sunday morning experiences which counters and grieve the spirit.

I become angry at the nonsense – but I can hear my pastor’s voice reminding me that I might cause injury if I run around wielding my sword all willy-nilly.  I usually respond with a saying I stole from a preacher named Marcus -> “Casual Christian will be casualties”.  And Pastor and I both agree in prayer: God help my church or any church I am in! And such a prayer is prayed. I hope I am talking to those who are in the spirit and of the same mind – if not, pray that God brings you into what the Spirit is doing. It is the same thing all over the World so you will recognize it.

Now isn’t it just God’s timing them that we are reading Amos – the whole book is about justice and righteousness and how God is concerned with relationships. Not just any relationship, but right relationships within His people. Amos uses the example of the poor – but in modern churches we do not have that problem do we (as social service programs laid out by governments try to control and manage what should be a ministry – but that might be a sermon for another time, if time tarries.) Back to my point – we do not think we are neglecting the poor or mistreating them or leaving them without justice and righteousness – but I say we are suffering from the same greed and pride and YES the poor of spirit have been unjustly dealt with! Moreover we see a hint of our own error and our response is still to continue. (It perpetuates the ME – once realized I must pray for me and work on me and never get around to help the poor – never getting out of my way or God’s way.)

Let me elaborate – in the prayer meetings we hear things like pleads for God the hear “me” (but we know He does, so stop wasting time). God help “me” apply the sermon or things of that sort (these should be prayed in your private prayer time and is proof that the Friday prayer meeting is the first time you have been before Him since Sunday – besides my spirit bearing witness against you.) Oh and all the selfish prayers about changing me, me hearing such and such (which contradict the spirit), and me explaining to God like He doesn’t know. Or when Me tells the other where to go and what to do and masks it as a prayer to God.  Oh that ME! I loath it and cannot understand how God and my Pastor and forebear as long as they do and lets the flesh disrupt and rob from us what God intended. Instead we get the victory of having battled through a prayer meeting – battling against what should be the body of Christ but is corrupted by demonic influence, strongholds, and good old fashion selfishness. I long for the days of agreement in battles for deliverance for the souls of those we love and those God guides us to instead of the divisions of greedy Me.

Today’s reading is focused on the balance of God’s justice and mercy – the grace of it all… I can relate.  God wants to swing the gauntlet – this is the same God who opened the earth to swallow up people. Yet God loves us so tenderly and wishes NONE will perish so He is longsuffering. We can see, if we read carefully – how God works through the process. While using Amos to warn the people.  In the end, they did not repent in and 40 years (give or take) later the Assyrians swooped in a fulfilled Amos’s prophesy. Poor Amos – he was a simple farmer just working in his fields when the Lord told Him to go to the Northern Kingdom and give prophesy.

Are we looking down the barrel of the same scenario and is Amos also speaking to us, as we do not get out of our own selfish ways? While we focus on praying for ourselves and self-help working on our self and self, aka Me, Me, Me! There is the poor in spirit, the druggy, the broken hearted, etc…. left unloved and untouched.  For example – I brought a broken hearted man to church – a few said “good morning” to him.  Was that enough to heal his brokenness, to free him of his afflictions, to show Him the cross?!?! Someone go ask that man if he felt loved or felt the love of Christ.  If they will know we are Christians by their love, then to him, we are a bunch of hypocrites.  Selfish sleeping cry-baby hypocrites!  Oh Lord help!!! No one brought the oil and offered to pray and free him – why?

I know of many broken people and I need an actual building to bring them to if not here, Lord, then where!?!?  They are hurting and need love – while I fear accidentally cutting a Christian with the word of God, man forbids I wake them! Let the cuts happen Lord and follow me with healing and restoration!!! Lord, Lord like the restoration YOU have shown me and not the restoration man has offered me!  Move Lord – Move! It is past time. The remnant has gathered and they are not at this building in this town.  Release us Lord from “me” so that we can be part of your remnant and do the work you have asked us to do.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: James 4:7 
NKJV – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
NAS – “Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
ESV – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NLT – “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NIV – “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Amos 6-9 NKJV

Warnings to Zion and Samaria

6 Woe to you who are at ease in Zion,
And trust in Mount Samaria,
Notable persons in the chief nation,
To whom the house of Israel comes!
Go over to Calneh and see;
And from there go to Hamath the great;
Then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than these kingdoms?
Or is their territory greater than your territory?

Woe to you who put far off the day of doom,
Who cause the seat of violence to come near;
Who lie on beds of ivory,
Stretch out on your couches,
Eat lambs from the flock
And calves from the midst of the stall;
Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments,
And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David;
Who drink wine from bowls,
And anoint yourselves with the best ointments,
But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
Therefore they shall now go captive as the first of the captives,
And those who recline at banquets shall be removed.

The Lord God has sworn by Himself,
The Lord God of hosts says:
“I abhor the pride of Jacob,
And hate his palaces;
Therefore I will deliver up the city
And all that is in it.”

Then it shall come to pass, that if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And when [a]a relative of the dead, with one who will burn the bodies, picks up the [b]bodies to take them out of the house, he will say to one inside the house, “Are there any more with you?”

Then someone will say, “None.”

And he will say, “Hold your tongue! For we dare not mention the name of the Lord.”

11 For behold, the Lord gives a command:
He will break the great house into bits,
And the little house into pieces.

12 Do horses run on rocks?
Does one plow there with oxen?
Yet you have turned justice into gall,
And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood,
13 You who rejoice over [c]Lo Debar,
Who say, “Have we not taken [d]Karnaim for ourselves
By our own strength?”

14 “But, behold, I will raise up a nation against you,
O house of Israel,”
Says the Lord God of hosts;
“And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath
To the Valley of the Arabah.”

Vision of the Locusts

7 Thus the Lord God showed me: Behold, He formed locust swarms at the [e]beginning of the late crop; indeed it was the late crop after the king’s mowings. And so it was, when they had finished eating the grass of the land, that I said:

“O Lord God, forgive, I pray!
Oh,[f] that Jacob may stand,
For he is small!”
So the Lord relented concerning this.
“It shall not be,” said the Lord.

Vision of the Fire

Thus the Lord God showed me: Behold, the Lord God called [g]for conflict by fire, and it consumed the great deep and devoured the [h]territory. Then I said:

“O Lord God, cease, I pray!
Oh, that Jacob may stand,
For he is small!”
So the Lord relented concerning this.
“This also shall not be,” said the Lord God.

Vision of the Plumb Line

Thus He showed me: Behold, the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?”

And I said, “A plumb line.”

Then the Lord said:

“Behold, I am setting a plumb line
In the midst of My people Israel;
I will not pass by them anymore.
The [i]high places of Isaac shall be desolate,
And the [j]sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste.
I will rise with the sword against the house of Jeroboam.”

Amaziah’s Complaint

10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to [k]bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos has said:

‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
And Israel shall surely be led away captive
From their own land.’ ”

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos:

“Go, you seer!
Flee to the land of Judah.
There eat bread,
And there prophesy.
13 But never again prophesy at Bethel,
For it is the king’s [l]sanctuary,
And it is the royal [m]residence.”

14 Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah:

“I was no prophet,
Nor was I a son of a prophet,
But I was a sheepbreeder
And a tender of sycamore fruit.
15 Then the Lord took me [n]as I followed the flock,
And the Lord said to me,
‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’
16 Now therefore, hear the word of the Lord:
You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
And do not [o]spout against the house of Isaac.’

17 “Therefore thus says the Lord:

‘Your wife shall be a harlot in the city;
Your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword;
Your land shall be divided by survey line;
You shall die in a defiled land;
And Israel shall surely be led away captive
From his own land.’ ”

Vision of the Summer Fruit

8 Thus the Lord God showed me: Behold, a basket of summer fruit. And He said, “Amos, what do you see?”

So I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”

Then the Lord said to me:

“The end has come upon My people Israel;
I will not pass by them anymore.
And the songs of the temple
Shall be wailing in that day,”
Says the Lord God—
“Many dead bodies everywhere,
They shall be thrown out in silence.”

Hear this, you who [p]swallow up the needy,
And make the poor of the land fail,

Saying:

“When will the New Moon be past,
That we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
That we may [q]trade wheat?
Making the ephah small and the shekel large,
Falsifying the scales by deceit,
That we may buy the poor for silver,
And the needy for a pair of sandals—
Even sell the bad wheat?”

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
“Surely I will never forget any of their works.
Shall the land not tremble for this,
And everyone mourn who dwells in it?
All of it shall swell like [r]the River,
Heave and subside
Like the River of Egypt.

“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God,
“That I will make the sun go down at noon,
And I will darken the earth in [s]broad daylight;
10 I will turn your feasts into mourning,
And all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every waist,
And baldness on every head;
I will make it like mourning for an only son,
And its end like a bitter day.

11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it.

13 “In that day the fair virgins
And strong young men
Shall faint from thirst.
14 Those who swear by the [t]sin of Samaria,
Who say,
‘As your god lives, O Dan!’
And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives!’
They shall fall and never rise again.”

The Destruction of Israel

9 I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and He said:

“Strike the [u]doorposts, that the thresholds may shake,
And break them on the heads of them all.
I will slay the last of them with the sword.
He who flees from them shall not get away,
And he who escapes from them shall not be delivered.

“Though they dig into [v]hell,
From there My hand shall take them;
Though they climb up to heaven,
From there I will bring them down;
And though they hide themselves on top of Carmel,
From there I will search and take them;
Though they hide from My sight at the bottom of the sea,
From there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them;
Though they go into captivity before their enemies,
From there I will command the sword,
And it shall slay them.
I will set My eyes on them for harm and not for good.”

The Lord God of hosts,
He who touches the earth and it melts,
And all who dwell there mourn;
All of it shall swell like [w]the River,
And subside like the River of Egypt.
He who builds His layers[x] in the sky,
And has founded His strata in the earth;
Who calls for the waters of the sea,
And pours them out on the face of the earth—
The Lord is His name.

Are you not like the [y]people of Ethiopia to Me,
O children of Israel?” says the Lord.
“Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
The Philistines from Caphtor,[z]
And the Syrians from Kir?

“Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom,
And I will destroy it from the face of the earth;
Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
Says the Lord.

“For surely I will command,
And will [aa]sift the house of Israel among all nations,
As grain is sifted in a sieve;
Yet not the smallest [ab]grain shall fall to the ground.
10 All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword,
Who say, ‘The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us.’

Israel Will Be Restored

11 “On that day I will raise up
The [ac]tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,
And [ad]repair its damages;
I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom,[ae]
And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,”
Says the Lord who does this thing.

13 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
And all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will bring back the captives of My people Israel;
They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
15 I will plant them in their land,
And no longer shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,”
Says the Lord your God.

Footnotes

  1. Amos 6:10 Lit. his loved one or uncle
  2. Amos 6:10 Lit. bones
  3. Amos 6:13 Lit. Nothing
  4. Amos 6:13 Lit. Horns, a symbol of strength
  5. Amos 7:1 Lit. beginning of the sprouting of
  6. Amos 7:2 Or How shall Jacob stand
  7. Amos 7:4 to contend
  8. Amos 7:4 Lit. portion
  9. Amos 7:9 Places of pagan worship
  10. Amos 7:9 Or holy places
  11. Amos 7:10 Or endure
  12. Amos 7:13 Or holy place
  13. Amos 7:13 Lit. house
  14. Amos 7:15 Lit. from behind
  15. Amos 7:16 Lit. drip
  16. Amos 8:4 Or trample on, Amos 2:7
  17. Amos 8:5 Lit. open
  18. Amos 8:8 The Nile; some Heb. mss., LXX, Tg., Syr., Vg. River (cf. 9:5); MT the light
  19. Amos 8:9 Lit. a day of light
  20. Amos 8:14 Or Ashima, a Syrian goddess
  21. Amos 9:1 Capitals of the pillars
  22. Amos 9:2 Or Sheol
  23. Amos 9:5 The Nile
  24. Amos 9:6 Or stairs
  25. Amos 9:7 Lit. sons of the Ethiopians
  26. Amos 9:7 Crete
  27. Amos 9:9 shake
  28. Amos 9:9 Lit. pebble
  29. Amos 9:11 Lit. booth; a figure of a deposed dynasty
  30. Amos 9:11 Lit. wall up its breaches
  31. Amos 9:12 LXX mankind

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