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GREEDY

AMOS 8:4

“Hear this, you who trample the needy, to put an end to the humble of the land,”

It’s pretty low to kick a man when he’s down. It’s easy to take advantage of those who are having a hard time. When people are suffering, they are easy prey for the “vultures,” those who pray on the lowly. There really ought to be a lower jail cell for those individuals when they are caught and convicted.

God speaks against such individuals. The phrase “trample the needy” could be translated as “take advantage of the needy” or “devour the needy.” They wanted to get rid of them to get their land. They were simply greedy for what little they had. Greed, greed, greed!

APPLICATION

Perhaps you have been one of those people who were taken advantage of by someone else. It hurts, doesn’t it? It hurts, no matter who it is, but it especially hurts when it’s family or someone you thought cared about you. It happens every day. People all over the world face this injustice.

So, what does a Christian do about this? Well, first of all, you trust Jesus. He is completely aware of the situation. He will have justice on those who have harmed His children. Secondly, you can be Jesus to the one(s) who have wronged you. What? Carl, are you serious? Serious as a heart attack.

I know that is hard. Heck, it’s practically impossible. But all things are possible with Christ. Let Him love those individuals. Let Him show you how to love them. Let Him give you the words to say. He is above all things. He can give you the power to love and share. Only through Him.

I love You, Lord, and trust You to help me love those who have wronged me.

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Accountability, Bible, Consequences, Encouragement, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Repentance

HUSH

AMOS 8:3

“‘The songs of the palace will turn to wailing on that day,’ declares the Lord GOD. ‘The corpses will be many; in every place they will throw them out. Hush!’”

I can remember as a child when I was crying that my mama would often say, “Hush now. Don’t cry. It’s going to be okay.” A mom’s soothing words did wonders. My tears would dry up. Then we would talk about why I was crying. She may not have been able to solve the problem, but she listened.

That is not the case here. God is saying, “Hush!” He was quieting their wailing. The deaths of their loved ones could have been prevented. If only Israel had listened and obeyed, this judgment would not have fallen. So, these tears needed to be stopped.

APPLICATION

Is God telling us to dry it up? I don’t think so. But this verse should remind us of the dangers of disobedience. When we bring on ourselves the consequences of sin, we have to acknowledge that. Once we come to the Lord in repentance, He is always there to wipe away our tears and show us another way.

But too many of us remain in our sin, suffering the consequences, and cry because God is not rescuing us. He won’t do that until we come to Him in repentance. God is not going to enable you in your sin. He is not going to condone your sins. But He is quick to forgive when you come to Him.

I am so thankful for forgiveness. I am thankful for conviction from the Holy Spirit. I am thankful for fresh starts. I don’t know about you, but I mess up a lot. I say things that hurt those I love, and I make decisions that I know aren’t the best. But God is there – always – to remind me of who He is and whose I am.

I praise You, Father, for hearing my cries and forgiving me. I want to please You.

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Advice, Beauty, Belief, Bible, Creation, Exalting, Glory, Inspirational

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

AMOS 8:2

“And He said, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ And I said, ‘A basket of summer fruit.’ Then the LORD said to me, ‘The end has come for My people Israel. I will not spare them any longer.’”

There are many advantages to getting older. Senior coffee and discounts, senior matinees at the theater, etc. But one disadvantage is your eyesight. Almost everyone has some loss of vision as they age. That plus two stem cell transplants (chemotherapy) have really changed my eyesight. Thank God for glasses, lol.

God wasn’t giving Amos an eye exam. He wasn’t asking him to read the letters and numbers on a chart. The Lord was giving him a message to share with Israel. He wanted to make sure Amos saw clearly what He was telling him. He wanted his hearing of the message to be reinforced by a vision.

APPLICATION

God often shows us things that we just don’t see. Take for instance, a sunrise. How many of them have you seen in your lifetime? But how often do you stop and thank God for seeing another day? God’s message to us is love. He shows us that love in so many ways, but we often fail to see it.

Let me challenge you to do something. Start taking note of “God sightings.” Those are times when you are made aware of God in something or when there is no other explanation for something. Write those down and put them in a box or jar. At the end of the year, read them. You will be amazed.

I see God in my wife, my children, my grandchildren and even in my “grandpups.” God’s creativity in forming each uniquely amazes me. Take a break and people watch. Look at all the faces God has made. It’s really unbelievable. Yet, God never stops creating. I thank God for that today. Yes, God, I see.

I praise You for eyes that can see. Help me see as You do.

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Abiding, Battles, Blessing, Completeness, Consequences, Destruction, God's Will, Goodness, Harvest

FRUIT BASKET

AMOS 8:1

“This is what the Lord GOD showed me, and behold, there was a basket of summer fruit.”

I love most fruit. I especially fresh fruit. I have been blessed to be in Uganda during pineapple season. Wow! If you’ve never eaten fresh pineapple, you have missed out. It is so sweet and juicy. Man, I want some now.

So, why did the Lord use this image to give a message to Amos. Albert Barnes says, “The sight gave an idea of completeness.” The end of the harvest had arrived. A sense of finality. That’s what Amos is implying here to Israel. They had come to their end.

APPLICATION

We will all come to our final day at some point. Only God knows when that will be. We must do all we can to prepare for that day. That preparation has to begin with our spiritual being. It belongs to God, so He draws us towards Himself. That wooing is intentional, but we have to choose to respond.

Have you done that? Don’t be like that basket of summer fruit that has reached its expiration date. All that can be done then is to throw it out. We are meant for so much more. Will you yield yourself to Jesus and allow Him to use you while you are here on this earth?

I don’t want to “spoil.” I want to be used in God’s eternal plan. There are times when I don’t do that well and other times when I do it extremely well. It all depends on my current walk with Him. That’s why it is so important to stay close to the Master. Will you do that today? Allow Him to use you.

God, You are so good to me. I don’t deserve anything You give me, but I am so thankful.

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Accountability, Accused, Bible, Consequences, Eternity, Judgment

WELL, YOU ASKED FOR IT

AMOS 7:17

“Therefore, this is what the LORD says: ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, your land will be parceled up by a measuring line, and you yourself will die upon unclean soil. Furthermore, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.’”

Do you remember as a child saying the words of the blog title to someone? Maybe they had been pestering you and had ignored your warnings to leave you alone (every big brother or sister can relate to that). After several warnings, you say those words and then let them have it.

Well, Amos is kind of saying that to Amaziah. He had been prophesying to Israel and appealing to them only to be ignored and even ridiculed. So, he unleashes with both barrels. Just read those words in verse 17 again. Those are harsh words. I certainly would not have wanted to hear them spoken to me.

APPLICATION

So, how does this verse relate to us? No one is going to do those things to us today. Well, at least I sure hope not. You may be thinking those words only apply to these Israelites back during these days. But remember – every word of God’s Word can be applied to our lives today.

What was Amos telling them? Shape up. Judgment is coming. The same thing can be said to us today. We need to recognize the holiness of God and live according to His standards. Anyone found without Christ will face a judgment far worse. Their judgment will be for eternity.

I am so thankful my eternal destination is set. I know where I am going. I don’t have to fear a damnation judgment. I will be serving my Lord in Glory. It’s going to be an amazing sight to behold. One day – soon!

Lord, please forgive me for the many transgressions in my life. Help me lead a life that points only to You.

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Accountability, Bible, Commands, Direction, Disciplemaking, Following, God's Will, Prophesy, Scripture, Testimony

ONLY WHAT HE SAYS

AMOS 7:16

“So now hear the word of the LORD: you are saying, ‘You shall not prophesy against Israel nor shall you prophesy against the house of Isaac.’”

Some people don’t want to hear the truth, no matter what it is. Hearing bad news is hard. Even though it may be the truth, we don’t want to hear it. Sometimes the truth points out our errors. No one likes that. We all want to be right and speak our minds, right?

Amaziah didn’t want to hear anymore of Amos’ prophesies against Israel. So, Amos says in a mocking way to Amaziah what he has been saying to him. Amaziah want Amos to stop his preaching and go back home.

APPLICATION

How does this verse apply to us? Well, perhaps the Lord has given you a message that you need to deliver. It doesn’t matter what kind of response you get from others. You have to be true to the message you’ve been given. You may get a very cold reception because of your message. Give it any way.

Amos was basically being told to shut up and go away. Have you ever been told that? I remember once in Uganda, I was with a group doing street evangelism in an area known for their resistance to the Gospel. We had some drunks tell us to leave and stop talking to their neighbors. We continued our witnessing and actually got a couple of those antagonizers to listen to us.

Never stop speaking what the Lord has given you. We have all been given the Gospel and should be sharing it. I know it is uncomfortable at times. That doesn’t matter. Do it any way. You may get made fun of. That’s okay. Our obedience to Christ and the message He has given us is all that matters.

Father, thank You for the message You have given me to share to the world. Make me bold and courageous.

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Accountability, Bible, Calling, Commands, Consequences, God's Will

DO WHAT YOU’RE TOLD

AMOS 7:15

“But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Israel.’”

None of us like to be told what to do. As children, our parents told us what to do. In school, teachers told us what to do. When we get a job, our employer tells us what to do. In every part of our life, we are told what to do. But there is one other aspect of our life in which we are told what we should do – our spiritual life.

Amos continues his conversation with Amaziah in verse 15 today. He simply tells him that God had told him to do something, so he did it. It just so happened that this “something” required him to risk it all and prophesy against the nation of Israel and the king, Jeroboam. Amos knew the risk, but he obeyed anyway.

APPLICATION

The difference in all those former times in our lives and God is we are told by Him the dire consequences if we don’t obey. Now for sure, during those other times in lives there may have been consequences for disobedience. But none of them were eternal. That’s a big difference. However, the Lord will help us keep all that He requires. We just have to surrender.

The Lord gave Amos all he needed to go and deliver His message. He will give us all we need. We just have to trust Him. What has He asked you to do? I bet it wasn’t as outrageous as what He told Amos to do. Are you willing to do it? Will you obey?

Yielding to the Master isn’t always easy, but it is always the best decision. I have learned that the hard way. The times when I have fought against the Lord I have always lost. There’s no defeating Him. He will work His Will into your life in one way or the other. It’s so much easier to yield and obey. Will you today?

I am so thankful, Lord, that I have learned to obey. Your lessons are always beneficial for me.

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Advice, Bible, Calling, Commands, Direction, Leading

THAT’S NOT WHAT I AM

AMOS 7:14

“Then Amos replied to Amaziah, ‘I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs.’”

Have you ever been mistaken for someone or something you’re not? It can happen to any of us. How do you respond? Do you immediately correct them, or do you play along for a bit? I like to play along. I like to string them along. I am just that way.

But not Amos. He corrects Amaziah quickly. He tells him that he was just minding his own business, tending his herds and fig trees. Then God called him to prophesy. And now that He has, he has to do it.

APPLICATION

You may not feel like you are worthy of God’s calling, but you are. God calls those who are available and willing to be used. I believe every one of us who have been called as His child has been given a very specific purpose. God wants us to fulfill it. It’s our purpose, not someone else’s.

Now, let me ask you a question. What is your calling? What has God called you to do? God has given you the skills or will give you the skills to do exactly what He has called you to do. Do you think for a second Amos felt qualified?

You may have heard it said before – God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. That’s who you are. You are called, and He will qualify you. He promises that. The question is will you allow Him to use you. He wants to and will.

I am willing, Lord. Qualify me!

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Belief, Bible, Calling, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Eternity, Gospel, Modeling, Prophesy, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

DON’T DO THAT HERE

AMOS 7:13

“But do not prophesy at Bethel any longer, for it is a sanctuary of the king and a royal residence.”

Some people can get on your last nerve. Am I right? They have a way of annoying you and don’t even realize it. Some of the things they do aren’t bad. They are just irritating. For instance, someone who hums a lot can push you to your limit. The humming isn’t bad. It just never stops. You want to tell them to go hum someplace else.

Amaziah continues speaking to Amos in verse 13. That’s basically what he says. He tells Amos if he is gong to prophesy, do it someplace else. The king can’t be bothered. What Amos was saying might upset the king, and Amaziah didn’t want to see that. Hmmm, I wonder why.

APPLICATION

We should be so annoying. Let me explain. I don’t really want us to annoy people, but I do want us to continue to talk about Jesus. I want people to see me coming and know they are going to hear something about Jesus. I pray I say it in a way that encourages them and does not drive them away.

Being consistent in our witness is challenging. My circle of influence seems to be around “church folks.” I don’t get much exposure to non-believers. I have to purposely seek out that group. But that is something I need to be more consistent in doing.

My prayer for us today is that we all get busy. I pray we all can be as “annoying” as Amos was to Amaziah. I pray everything we say is true and points to Jesus. I pray the Lord leads people into our lives who need to hear this message of forgiveness and grace. Amen?

Lord, help us reach others with Your Word. Put those in our path today who need this lifegiving word from You.

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Abiding, Accountability, Accused, Advocate, Bible, Calling, Confrontation, Evangelism, Modeling, Prophesy, Scripture

GET OUT OF TOWN

AMOS 7:12

“Then Amaziah said to Amos, ‘Go, you seer, flee to the land of Judah; and eat bread there and do your prophesying there!’”

I have never been told to leave town. I can’t help but think about the old “Gunsmoke” show with Marshal Matt Dillon. I can still hear him tell the bad guy that he had better leave town now. Matt Dillon had the authority to do that. And if that dude knew what was best for him, he would do it.

Unlike Matt Dillon, Amaziah did not have the authority to tell Amos to leave Israel. He told him to flee to Judah, the southern kingdom. Israel didn’t want to hear Amos’ message from God. Maybe Judah could benefit from his words. Amaziah did not want to be convicted by anything that Amos said.

APPLICATION

Maybe you have been the one to tell someone else to leave or to shut up. Perhaps that person was confronting you about sin in your life, so you asked them to be quiet. Doing that does not minimize your sins. They are still there. The one who really matters, God, knows what you are doing.

Perhaps you feel like telling the preacher to be quiet. He needs to stop meddling in your affairs. How did he know what you have been doing? His message(s) have been aimed directly at you. You just know it. Or maybe God is simply using him to convict you and draw you back to Himself.

I am thankful the Word of God convicts me every day. Today’s verse reminded me that I need to cling closely to my Savior. I want to reside in His presence. And I want to be used by Him to draw others to Jesus. I need to be that voice of truth that others may want to silence (just like Amaziah did with Amos). Will you be used today?

Lord, You are good. All You do is good. Help me imitate You.

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