The prophet Amos speaks today. It’s amazing that we have the self-centred fortitude to have met that God and been the objects of his care and mercy, and then to ignore him and set his words and direction aside in favour of our own. Who do we think we are?
11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“An enemy will overrun your land,
pull down your strongholds
and plunder your fortresses.”
12 “Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel,
and because I will do this to you, Israel,
prepare to meet your God.”
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.
Amos 3:11, 4:12-13
7 The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
Prepare to meet your God… that was Amos’ warning to Israel when they would not listen to the Lord. They wouldn’t respond to his teaching or his discipline – nothing that the Lord brought before Israel or did to them changed their direction. They had their strongholds of sin in fortresses of self-centredness.
Contrast Nahum’s words: the Lord is a stronghold in the day of trouble.
It’s crazy, yet it’s true. We often hold our sin closer than we hold on to God. And God is the one to whom we should hold fast. He is the one we can rely on when the world is stacked against us.
In the midst of our own direction and our own way, which seems right to us, we ignore the God who:
– forms the mountains,
– creates the wind
– reveals his thoughts to us
– brings the sunrise and the sunset
– makes the earth his footstool
It’s amazing that we have the self-centred fortitude to have met that God and been the objects of his care and mercy, and then to ignore him and set his words and direction aside in favour of our own. Who do we think we are?
Yet we do this. We do as Israel did. We aren’t immune. The human condition is a sinful condition in which we are bent on going our own ways and thumbing our noses at the Lord who gave his son for us.
Remember that we have the end of the story – Israel at the time of Amos had prophecy of Jesus coming, yet we know he came. We know Jesus lived for us. We know he died for us. We know he was raised to defeat death and sin for us. Why?
So that we could live with him. So that we could take refuge in the Lord in life and eternity.
Give up your stronghold of sin. Open the gate of your fortress. Let God in and take refuge in him today.