Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Pride of Jacob

July 12: Amos 6-9

1 “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria,
the notable men of the first of the nations,
to whom the house of Israel comes!

4 “Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory
and stretch themselves out on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock
and calves from the midst of the stall,
5 who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
6 who drink wine in bowls
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!

8 The Lord God has sworn by himself, declares the Lord, the God of hosts:

“I abhor the pride of Jacob
and hate his strongholds,
and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”
Amos 6:1, 4-6 & 8

14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them on their land,
and they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land that I have given them,”says the Lord your God.
Amos 9:14-15

The Pride of Jacob

It is hard to give a realistic representation of today's Bible passage in the few verses shown above. In these last four chapters of Amos, he gives warnings to the nation of Israel, foretells of the destruction that God will bring upon the land, amd promises restoration of the nation. The parallel to the "Christian" nations in today's world is noteworthy.

Is it wrong to be prosperous? Is that the meaning of the verses shown above from Amos 6? The sin was not in their prosperity, but rather their foolish pride in not mourning over the ruin of Joseph.

As Christians today, how do we view the world around us? Do we shake off the dust from our hands and say, "There, I will separate myself from these worldly sinners who have left the things of God. They deserve whatever happens to them!" What foolish pride we often exhibit toward others as we lift ourselves up upon a pedestal of superiority because we are wise enough to turn to the Lord!

Do you think Judah fell in one day? Their decline was a gradual decline with some periods of faithfulness to God followed more and more by periods of turning away from Him. Oh how quickly we can fall into the same trap!

Just as God foretold through the prophets, the day came when first Israel, and then Judah were carried away captive. Destruction had come upon them! But what a merciful God! Look at the prophecy of Amos from chapter 9, verses 14 & 15.

14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them on their land,
and they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land that I have given them,”says the Lord your God
.


Did you know that that prophecy was not fulfilled until 1948? In 1948 Israel once again became a nation!

Rejoice in a God of love and mercy, for He is indeed both, but do not forget that in His hatred of sin, He is also a God of justice and judgment. Do not neglect the Lord in your daily life; spend time in prayer and Bible reading. That daily time of fellowship with this same God of love, mercy, justice, and judgment will soon become your favorite time of day.

Pray that God will not let you forget the real reason why you are here on this earth!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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