Scripture Read: Amos 1:1; 9
Title: The Judgment of Israel and The Hope for Israel
(H) Highlight verse: "I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebeuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. " Amos 9:14
(E) Explain: Amos was a shepherd and God spoke to him concerning the judgment of Israel. You see Israel had fallen away from God, once again. Amos prophecies judgment against them because of their injustice, greed, idolatry, fraud, and unethical business practices. The whole book is an account of God declaring his judgment on Israel and surrounding pagan societies. Upon reading this judgment one can see the harshness of God, until we get to chapter 9 verse 11. Suddenly, the tone of the book goes from judgment to hope. In the midst of this bleak judgment God declares that he will show mercy and restoration.
(A) Application: We can learn a lot about God's character in reading the book of Amos. In my observations I find that God is a God who can give out hash disciplines and judgment. But I also notice that He is a God who is compassionate and merciful. Knowing this about God gives me great perspective. I know that God desires obedience and loyalty to Him. We read in other passages of the Bible that God is a jealous God and He will not take the back seat to anything or anyone. We also read, and have read that God will go to great lengths to bring his children into right relationship with him. Sometimes it's a gentle nudge, other times it's a discipline, and occassionally He will allow a harsh judgment. No matter the means God always calls us back to Him because He has great love and concern for His children. His judgments and discipline may seem too great at the time, but we must know that they are always rooted in love .
(R) Respond: Even though your disciplines and judgment seem harsh and difficult when I experience them, I do rejoice in the fact that you love me enough to get me back on track.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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