Amos 5.16-20 – Live the life we claim we do

Yesterday we saw that due to our own sinful, human nature and how it is manifest in the world (cause), this puts distance in the relationship between God and ourselves (curse), but that there is One way to be reconciled to God; Jesus (cure).

Today Amos turns his attention to those who claim to be wanting the cure, but in actual fact seeing as they never turn away from their cause, they actually still have their curse.

16 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord:

“In all the squares there shall be wailing,

   and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’

They shall call the farmers to mourning

   and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,

17 and in all vineyards there shall be wailing,

   for I will pass through your midst,”

says the Lord.

18 Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!

   Why would you have the day of the Lord?

It is darkness, and not light,

19     as if a man fled from a lion,

   and a bear met him,

or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,

   and a serpent bit him.

20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light,

   and gloom with no brightness in it?

Basically, then, people of the day were claiming to want the Lord to come and judge the nations, they wanted the Day of the Lord, they wanted Him to come…now! On the surface, not a bad thing to want, right?

How often nowadays do we come across people who say things like

“Oh, thank God!”,

“Praise the Lord!”,

“Oh my God!”,

“Jesus Christ!”,

“Only God can judge me!”…

Again, on the surface, these are Christian-sounding words and phrases, aren’t they? But, when spoken by someone whose life clearly does not match the words they are saying, they lose all credibility and you begin to wonder if they really have any grasp on what they are saying…if they truly understand what they are saying.

If I started going on and on about PhD level physics, you would know that I had no grasp of things like how in Newtonian physics, the circular orbit of two gravitationally bound mass objects is a stable configuration…

In the same way, when people are claiming Christ but not living the life, when here we read of people desiring the day of the Lord, we are confused; why would you want that when your life shows you should not really want that?

Amos writes – for those who are not living in the will, way, and Word of our Lord

Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?

The point for us is this; if we claim Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour, our lives should attest to this, our conduct should show this, our character should say this for us. Then, when we call on His name, when we hasten His coming, and when we look ahead to His return, we are assured through the promise of His Word that this is something to look forward to. 

Point to ponder today – do my claims and calls match my words and ways? Or am I saying and doing things that are in opposition to the upward call of God in Christ?

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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