Accountability, Advice, Bible, Confession, Deceit, Exalting, Foreknowledge, Judgment, Scripture


AMOS 2:6

“This is what the LORD says: ‘For three offenses of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke its punishment, because they sell the righteous for money, and the needy for a pair of sandals.’”

Has anyone ever been talking to you about “someone” and you thought they were really talking about you? They were saying things like Well someone was saying the other day that I had said this. You recollect saying something, but you are not quite sure. The two of you keep talking and the truth finally comes out.

Well, that’s what just happened in Amos. He has been prophesying to Israel about all these other nations, and now has dropped the bombshell. He is really here to prophesy against Israel for all they’ve done. Can you imagine their shock when they heard him say, “for three offenses of Israel, and for four”? They probably yelled, “Now wait a minute, Amos. You were doing so good.”


The point of today’s verse for me is don’t be too cruel about the sins of others because we all have plenty of our own. In fact, we do the same things the Israelites were doing. We sell the righteous for money and the need for a pair of sandals. Well, wait a minute, Carl. I’ve never done that. Well, you may have never “sold” anyone, but you may have taken advantage of someone to make yourself look better.

It’s just human nature to want to come out on top. We don’t want to be pushed down and made to look lower than others. So, we do whatever we can to look better than them. But what does the Lord want us to do? He wants us to lower ourselves, to humble ourselves. He said the last shall be first and the first shall be last. He lived humbly before others. Today find a way to do that.

I don’t like to be humbled. For me, it’s much better to humble myself. I have found when I do that and try to lift others up, then I am doing what the Lord wants. Serving others is humbling at times. At others, it is exalting. Just ask the Lord what He would have you do. I bet it will be a humbling experience for you. Father, don’t let me look on the sins of others. Let me only see my sin and the need I have to repent.

Accountability, Belief, Bible, Calling, Confession, Consequences, Disciplemaking, Forgiveness, God's Will, Punishment, Repentance, Scripture


AMOS 2:5

“‘So I will send fire upon Judah, and it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem.’”

When I was in the eighth grade, many moons ago, my homeroom teacher, who was also my junior varsity football coach, would call me and another student, who was also one of his players, up to the front of the room. He would give us both one swat with his paddle and say, “You’re both going to do something today to deserve this. Consider your punishment rendered.” I’m not sure that could be done today, lol.

Judah’s punishment was sure. The Lord uses the same language He used for Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon and Moab. Just because Judah was His daughter, they did not escape His wrath. Why? Why didn’t God show them so preferential treatment? Why didn’t He let them off with a lighter punishment? Because He is just, and His judgments are justified.


The same applies for us. Some people think that just because they have asked Christ to be their Savior, they can do anything they want and escape the consequences. Sure, those sins are forgiven, but all sins have consequences, either here or later. Of course, if we are Christians, we should be running from sin, not going towards it.

So, I know when I sin, I must go the Father as quickly as I can and confess that sin to Him. I don’t always do that, and I can feel the barrier building up in my prayer life. Have you felt like your prayers were hitting the ceiling? Perhaps your sins are bouncing them back. Try confessing them to Him right now. If you aren’t aware of them, ask Him to reveal them to you. He will. I promise you will feel that weight come off your shoulders.

My buddy and I certainly did things everyday to deserve those spankings. Why wouldn’t we? Our coach told us they were paid for in advance. That’s not how it works with God. I wish I could go back and correct that coach, but that was almost fifty years ago. I didn’t know the Lord then. I pray he came to a saving knowledge of Jesus himself.

Lord, I praise You for discipling me. It may be painful know, but it will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Accountability, Bible, Child Raising, Confession, Consequences, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Scripture


AMOS 2:4

“This is what the LORD says: ‘For three offenses of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke its punishment, because they rejected the Law of the LORD and have not kept His statutes; their lies also have led them astray, those which their fathers followed.’”

I have three siblings. I have a brother (who is in heaven now) and two sisters, one older and one younger. You can imagine with the four of us growing up together, there were plenty of times when we got in trouble. I used to love it when my siblings got in trouble, and I didn’t. I especially liked that when I had done the instigating. I thought I had escaped the wrath of mom or dad. Lol

Israel, who is receiving these prophecies from Amos, just leaped about ten feet off the floor when they heard Amos proclaim verse 4 of chapter 2. Judah was their sister, with whom they have been fighting for generations, ever since the kingdom divided. They knew THEY deserved punishment. It was about time. Right? Right!


But oh, how quickly we forget. We have done the same if not worse things. I knew every time my siblings got caught and I didn’t that my time was coming. I was just as deserving as they were of the punishment that was headed their way. But did I run up to mom or dad and confess my sins? No way. I was free from that – this time.

We can’t do that with God. He knows our every move. Nothing escapes His eyes. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” You see, He is always watching, but He had much rather catch us doing good than doing bad. That’s true with any parent, isn’t it?

I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit in my life who directs me to do good. He quickly convicts me of wrong and sets me back on the right path. I pray you have that same Holy Spirit in your life. If you don’t, surrender to Jesus today, and He will send His Spirit to live within you. You will never be the same!

O God, thank You for not only convicting me but for also catching me doing good. I want to please You.

Accountability, Advocate, Bible, Commands, Consequences, Crowns, Judgment, Obedience, Scripture


AMOS 2:3

“‘I will also eliminate the judge from her midst and slay all her leaders with him,’ says the LORD.”

When I was a child there was a comedian named Flip Wilson. He had one character he played that was a judge. Whenever he walked on to the set he would cry out, “Here comes the judge! Here comes the judge!” It was a pretty, funny character, and he played it well.

In Amos 2:3 the Lord is saying just the opposite. He is saying, “There goes the judge! There goes the judge!” He was taking out not only the kings and princes, but He was eliminating all rulers in Moab. There will be no one to lead what was left of their people. He wanted them to know that there was only one King and Ruler – Jehovah!


Who is the ruler of your life? If it is anyone but God, you have chosen the wrong ruler. So many of our young people today are rebelling against any authority in their lives. They seem to think they don’t need anyone to rule over them. They rebel against their parents, teachers, coaches, etc.

But before we point our fingers at them and shake out head, we are no better. We rebel against God in our lives. We rebel against our bosses (don’t tell me you don’t in some way). We need people to lead us. We need a ruler. God is that ruler. Bow down.

I am thankful for God being my King. I bow before Him daily. Do I serve Him as I should? Not always. But He is still my King. I acknowledge that. I want to be under Him. As long as I do, I am under His protection. He protects those who stay close, but you have to stay close. Does that mean you don’t interact with the world? Of course, not. But it does mean you live by your King’s rules and not the world’s.

Thank You, Father, for leading me. I know I am not always as obedient as I should be, but I do want to follow You.

Accountability, Belief, Bible, Calling, Courage, Direction, Encouragement


AMOS 2:2

“‘So I will send fire upon Moab and it will consume the citadels of Kerioth; and Moab will die amid the panic of battle, amid war cries and the sound of a trumpet.’”

We are reminded of the prophecy of Balaam in today’s verse. Remember Balaam? He was the prophet with the talking donkey He said, regarding Moab, “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult.” (Numbers 24:17)

The Lord is saying through Amos that the nation of Moab would be destroyed through battle. There would be no peaceful demise. It would be violent. This would reflect what they had done to Israel. Violence invites violence. The Lord was not about to forget their atrocities.


Our decisions have consequences. When we live as if we are free from the consequences of our actions, we are inviting a harsh end. We may see others living lives devoid of God and think we can get away with it also. But we don’t know the mind of God. We don’t know when He will rain down judgment. It may not happen in this lifetime.

Let me urge you to live each day as if it is your last. How do you want to face the Lord of the universe? Do you want to face Him in a fearful state or one of joy? I recently read an article that listed a couple of dozen last words of atheists. None of them were pleasant. In fact, several of them had words that expressed feelings of torment. They didn’t face God well.

As for me, I can’t wait to see my Lord. Have I done everything perfect down here? No, but it is not about what I have done. It’s all about what He has done in and though me. I am confident in my homegoing because I know His Son, Jesus. Do you? I pray you do or that you will come to know Him today.

I praise You, O Lord, because I know where I am going when I leave this world. Thank You for that assurance.

Accountability, Bible, Brokenness, Consequences, Forgiveness, Humility, Scripture


AMOS 2:1

“This is what the LORD says: ‘For three offenses of Moab, and for four, I will not revoke its punishment, because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.’”

Cremation is a choice many people make for their bodies at death. Some feel that it isn’t biblical. I am not going to get into a debate about that in this blog. You will have to decide that on your own. To burn bones you have to get a pretty hot fire. Today that’s pretty easy, but back in the day of Amos that took great effort.

So, the Lord has turned his attention to Moab, another of Israel’s enemies, because of this decision. Who was Moab? They were the descendants of Lot and his older daughter after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. They were a ruthless bunch, as you can see from today’s verse. God is not going to revoke His punishment due to the actions.


What have you done offensive against someone? Don’t tell me you haven’t. We all have. God is not pleased with that. We all know that. So, what do we do about that? We confess that as sin and ask God for forgiveness. It really is that simple. But there’s a second part. We also have to go to that person and ask for forgiveness.

That’s the hard part. We don’t want to do that. Why? Because we don’t want to humble ourselves before others. But what did our Savior do? He washed the feet of His disciples as a lowly servant. He even washed the feet of Judas, whom He knew would betray Him. That’s humbling yourself.

No one likes to humble themselves. I certainly don’t. But I know the shortest route to heaven is on my knees. I have to bow before my Lord and confess. I have to go to my neighbor and ask for forgiveness. And then I leave it there. I don’t burn any bones. It’s in the past. Can you do that?

Thank You Lord for convicting me of my sin. Continue to bring me to Your altar.

Abiding, Alone, Bible, Christ's Return, Consequences, Encouragement, Family, God's Will, Healing, Home, Leading


AMOS 1:15

“‘Their king will go into exile, he and his princes together,’ says the LORD.”

My family moved a lot during my ministry. In fact, my wife and children have moved five times. We know each move was directed by the Lord. The events leading up to our decision to move were not our own making. Only God could have done it. But all those moves can leave you feeling homeless. Thankfully, we have settled in Chattanooga, TN. That is our home. Now, God may move us again, but it will always be home for us.

Amos ends his prophecy against Ammon by prophesying the royal family’s exile. Do you know what that means? They would be taken out of their palaces, their homes, and placed in another country which the conquering army had defeated. Wherever they were placed, it wouldn’t be home. They will lose everything that is familiar.


Have you lost your familiar place? Do you feel homeless? I want to remind you of something. If you are believer, you don’t belong here anyway. This world is not our home. We are citizens of heaven. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, and when it is time, He will take us home.

But while you are here, where do you belong? Wherever God has placed you. My wife and I tried to make everyplace we lived home. Some places were easier than others, but we really tried to make it home. Home is where your family is. Don’t be bitter or angry about where you are. Accept your placing as from God.

God has a master plan for our lives. I will never understand it this side of glory. But I trust His wisdom. I know He will never place me anywhere that is not meant to make me more like Him. The people I meet there and the experiences I have are heaven-made. God has allowed each and every interaction for a reason. The journey is exciting. Embrace it.

Father, I trust that You know what is best for me. I will go along for the journey.

Bible, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Fire, Following, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Modeling, Salvation, Scripture, Witnessing


AMOS 1:14

“‘So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah, and it will consume her citadels amid war cries on the day of battle, and amid a storm on the day of tempest.’”

Many a nation has fallen from within. The Great Roman Empire is said to have fallen, not so much by outside forces, but because of the immorality of the nation. When a nation becomes so corrupt, it turns on itself. History repeats itself over and over again. That’s my personal fear for my country, the United States of America. I fear we will turn on ourselves, and America will fall.

Notice when the Lord speaks here through Amos that He doesn’t repeat the same line he has against the other nations He has referred to already. Instead of saying He will “send” fire on their walls He says He will “kindle a fire.” That implies that the fire will start from within. Perhaps God will raise up someone there who will return to the Lord and carry out God’s judgment. However God chooses to do it, He will see that judgment will fall.


Has God kindled a fire within you? There was a song in the 70’s that began with the words “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” That is so true. Perhaps the Lord wants to use you to ignite a fire in your community or church. I don’t mean a literal fire, lol. I mean a spiritual fire that could sweep across man-made barriers.

Fires don’t just destroy. They also purify. All through Scripture we see examples of God’s refining fire. I love the fact that the Apostles had tongues of fire resting on their heads when they received the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer, you have that same “fire-breathing” Holy Spirit in you. You only have to be willing to be used by the Spirit. Let your flame out.

Our goal is not to consume, but to purify. We should want our lives to draw others to Christ. When we purify ourselves and live obedient lives, others do see us as different. We then can pour our lives into them. We can live out the love of Jesus. We can share the good news with them. We just shared our flame.O God, I want to share my flame with others. Keep my flame shining bright.

Advice, Battles, Bible, Enemies, Examples, Forgiveness, God's Will, Holiness, Inspirational, Witnessing


AMOS 1:13

“This is what the LORD says: ‘For three offenses of the sons of Ammon, and for four, I will not revoke its punishment, because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to enlarge their borders.’”

My dad lived through World War II. He was too young to fight, having been born in 1929. But everyone of his generation was invested in the war effort. He told us about the rationing of food and other supplies during this time. He was only a young teen, but he remembered it well. He especially remembered the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He didn’t like the Japanese. In fact, you could probably say he hated them.

Ammon was a despised enemy of Israel. So, when Amos turns his prophecies towards them, they were elated. Ammonites were the descendants of Lot’s younger daughter and himself. They were dispossessed by the 2 ½ tribes of Israel (Reuben, Gad and the ½ tribe of Manasseh) generations earlier. These people hated Israel to the point that they vowed genocide. They even killed the unborn babies of their captives. Cruel!


Back to my dad’s story. He hated the Japanese until… His grandson (my brother’s oldest son) married a young lady who is from Okinawa. At first my dad did not like that. But then they had their first child, my parents’ first great grandchild. He fell in love with that child. And then they had their second child, a little girl, he really fell in love. It’s funny how children can change our hearts.

Is there someone you need to change your heart about? Maybe there’s a work colleague that you don’t like for really no reason. Reach out to them. Find out more about their life. God loves them just as much as He loves you. There may be a neighbor with whom you have battled with about something. Forgive them. Go to them. Make things right for the cause of Christ.

People are hard to live with sometimes. But God has placed us here on this earth to live with people. He expects us to live in such a way to draw others to Him (1 Peter 2:12). Be the shining example for others of Christ. We don’t know what others are going through until we reach out and talk. Be Jesus to someone else today.

I am so thankful that someone reached out to me to share the love of Christ. Help me, Lord, reach out to someone today.

Advice, Advocate, Asking, Bible, Encouragement, God's Will, Prayer


AMOS 1:12

“‘So I will send fire upon Teman and it will consume the citadels of Bozrah.’”

On my last day of work at a children’s home in South Carolina, some little boys in a cottage set a fire in the basement of the cottage. I’m not sure why they did that. I think they were just playing with some matches, and it got carried away. That cottage suffered severe fire and water damage. I can still see the flames and smell the smoke. Those images don’t go away too quickly.

I bet these images which Amos is laying out for the Israelites got them so excited. Finally, Edom is going to pay for their atrocities against their nation. Finally, God is going to rain down fire on them. They will feel what the Israelites felt when the Edomites came and besieged their cities and set them on fire. Payback – Finally!


God has spoken the same punishment on the other countries. Why doesn’t He change His tactics? Certainly, by now they are on to Him. God’s methods don’t need to change. In fact, one of His attributes is immutability. That means unchanging. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His purpose and plan remain the same.

So, why do we think we can change God? We pray and pray and expect God to change His mind. Listen, we do need to beseech God. We need to pray hard. We don’t know the mind of God. We don’t know what His perfect plan is. He is listening to our petitions. He inclines His ear towards us. But we have to pray trusting that His way is perfect – no matter what.

Do you trust Him? Do you trust Him with your life? He is able to maneuver through our prayers. Who knows – you may just stumble upon His will by praying. Does that sound crazy? Maybe it is, but I had rather be crazy and praying than crazy and not praying. How about you?

Lord, I will trust Your methods. I will allow You to work in me to perfect me according to Your plan.