Tuesday, August 02 2022
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
On that day the beautiful virgins
- Amos 8:11-13
The prophet Amos spoke these words to the nation of Israel around 760 B.C. during the reign of Jeroboam II. Israel was at its best and worst. Military strength enabled them to enlarge their borders, control trade routes, and increase their wealth. However, the people and leadership drifted away from the Lord - either worshipping the Lord inappropriately or worshipping other gods altogether. Socially, the gap between rich and poor grew. The justice system became corrupt. Amos reluctantly spoke words of coming judgment if the people did not return to the Lord.
In these verses, Amos warns of a worsening condition that will result in famine and scarcity – not of bread and water but of hearing the words of the Lord. Efforts to find them will be futile. Those who will suffer the most are the young men and young women of their society.
In our time, we hear so many words from so many people and places. Few if any of them are in agreement with or amenable to the words of the Lord. Many are in direct opposition. Apart from worship attendance, bible study, and perhaps some Christian music, we are starving and parched for hearing the words of the Lord. The ratio of minutes spent hearing God’s Word to the hours of hearing so many other words is staggering. Unless we take active steps to counter it, the voices around us will speak more often and more loudly. They will ultimately crowd out all God desires to say to us. We will not hear words of His goodness and love, of His grace and truth, of His guidance and joy. We will suffer for this drought of His Word. Ultimately, we will miss Jesus and all Jesus has to speak to us.
As we embark on another school year, in the midst of very confusing times, perhaps we would be wise to consider the words of Amos. Am I and are we hearing the words of the Lord? Are our children hearing the words of the Lord?
It is my prayer that every Sunday, small group opportunity, spiritual growth program, mission event, etc. at Westminster will be a place where the Word is heard, taught, and received in the most spiritually nourishing and satisfying of ways; where Jesus is known; and where we are present to receive and share in the goodness and love of God together in ways that transform us, our families, and our community.