Lately I have been reading material from various sources and I realized that I was not reading the Bible nearly enough. I started wondering what gems of truth were tucked away in the Word that are meant for me. For some reason, I decided to start by reading the short book of Amos. Although he wrote centuries ago, he had a message for our times and I shall bring it to your attention in this article.
Chapter 2 details the Lord’s complaint against Israel and after saying that the transgressions cannot go unpunished, he finishes by describing the punishment that was to be assigned to them. Then, at the beginning of the next chapter we read these words, “Hear the Word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, you only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
“You only have I known……” God sees the little sparrow fall; therefore, He is aware of all the life on the planet. So what is the meaning of, “You only have I known”? Throughout the Bible, the verb “to know” is used in relation to marriage. An example might be, Jacob knew Leah and she bore him a son Reuben. In my own opinion, I am suggesting that the Lord is here referring to the marriage arrangement He concluded with Israel at mount Sinai where the Lord delivered the law through Moses to the people and they said, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.” By this oath, the marriage contract was consummated and the Lord was King of the Kingdom that was founded. They were to be a holy people, a servant people, precious to the Lord.
…and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city…
Verse 3 asks the question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos is asking the obvious! So, because the Israelites disobeyed God’s law, He was forced to divorce them. We know now that the Lord had provided redemption for the Israelites through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus and that through His death re-marriage could occur. But, even that process required repentance on the part of the Israelites.
Without detailing the calamities that have befallen the Anglo-Saxon nations, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States, we are deeply concerned about these tragedies and explain them by the term, “global warming” to which we see no relief in the near future. Amos has another answer.
After announcing their exile in spite of the offerings which are according to their likes (not God’s) he says the following in verse six,” And I have also given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places; AND YET HAVE YE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD.
And also have I withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest; and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city; one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied; YET HAVE YE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD.
I have smitten you with blasting and mildew; when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them; AND YET HAVE YE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD.
I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt; your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps come up unto your nostrils; YET HAVE YE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD.
I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning; YET HAVE YE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD.
Therefore, thus will I do unto thee, O Israel; and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.”
Now this leads to a very big question. Do we believe that the Creator of the universe has power over the elements? Wasn’t it Jesus who calmed the raging storm by saying, “Peace, be still.”? Didn’t God discuss His storehouses of snow with Job? Didn’t Jesus say in His revelation to John that He would subdue resisting nations by withholding rain? If we are of this world, it is easy to agree with the scientists that the unusual in nature is a result of global warming, but Jesus told Pilate that His followers were not of this world. We believe and love Jesus. We try to implement His commandments in our daily living. We trust in Him.
Five times Jesus asks us (Israel) to return to Him. He is pleading with us! Now how do we encourage our leaders to call for a national day of prayer of repentance? God is anxious to bless us and is weary of trying to coax us to repentance as a nation. Must we wait until Jesus comes? Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Editor’s Comments: In his September offering, Mr. Robson, our senior correspondent, has presented us with a message that should be circulated far and wide. Why, oh why, we refuse to see the punishment being meted out upon our once great nations is so very, very puzzling. You know, after warning that the end is come (four times), that the time is come and the day of trouble is near, the prophet Ezekiel made this prophetic statement that has sadly come to pass, “Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations.” Yet, here we are, our nations being battered by all forms of natural disasters and instead of turning back to God, we are, as Mr. Robson points out, seeking other reasons. Well, God’s words, as written by Ezekiel, “ye shall know that I am the LORD,” will someday soon be fully understood. In the meantime, our Israel nations will undergo more senseless pain