July 11, 2017. Amos 1-5.
“Worshipping idols? I would never!” That would be the reaction of most, but that is only because most people see idols as strange and beautiful statues and altars where people leave food and other offerings. In Amos, the Israelites have turned away from God and have focused on presenting their offerings and tithing to idols which the Lord addresses:
4 “Go to Bethel and sin;
go to Gilgal and sin yet more.
Bring your sacrifices every morning,
your tithes every three years.
Burn leavened bread as a thank offering
and brag about your freewill offerings—
boast about them, you Israelites,
for this is what you love to do,”
declares the Sovereign Lord.
While idols can refer to statues of cows and other man-made creations, they can also be things like money or celebrities, or even your favorite tv show. The question then is, what in your life are you giving the most time, energy, and resources towards? That can become your idol. The Israelites took pride in all they sacrificed and brought to their idols. They let all the blessings and incredible things the Lord had done for them get pushed from their minds, and at the forefront was now the idols that they thought would bring them more joy and happiness in their lives.
To live a life in relationship with Christ is to live with purpose and with the knowledge and security in an eternity spent with Him. Invest in that. He wants the best for you and to use you in incredible ways. Take a moment to evaluate yourself. What are your prioritizing over your relationship with God? Is it your job, your wardrobe, your “me time”?
6 “I gave you empty stomachs in every city
and lack of bread in every town,
yet you have not returned to me,”
declares the Lord.
The Lord goes on to give example after example of trials the Israelites were put through designed to draw them closer to Him, and after every instance, the conclusion is the same, “Yet you have not returned to me.” And in verse 13, they are reminded of who God is:
13 He who forms the mountains,
who creates the wind,
and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth—
the Lord God Almighty is his name.
Are you going through a hard time in your life? Learn from the Israelites. Use these times to draw closer to God. Trust that the Creator of life itself, who forms mountains and creates the wind. In times of hardship, He remains constant.