Reading: Amos 7: 10-17
Can you remember getting in trouble when you were little? When we were first learning to follow the rules often there were times when we simply felt that the rule did not apply to us or that the rule was wrong. The ‘rules’ and following them were outside of our own little world. Sad thing is that this is still occasionally the case for us in adulthood. The pull of what we want outweighs what we see as the immediate consequences and we stray outside the lines.
King Jeroboam had strayed outside the lines. The king and the nation of Israel have engaged in sinful living. They have oppressed the poor, worshiped false gods, and no longer follow God’s laws. Earlier in the book of Amos, God had issued a call to repentance through the prophet. The king and people ignored it. Even after God has threatened to destroy the kingdom and to send the people into exile, Israel continues to live in sin. Because of their great self-centeredness, they angrily refuse to be accountable to God and they tell Amos to go away.
Can you recall a time when you were enjoying life just a bit too much? Can you remember a time when you justified a poor choice or behavior because you were enjoying the results or the outcome? At times and in seasons of our faith it can be all too easy to get off track and to find ourselves where we should not be. Despite nudges to repent from the Holy Spirit and calls from friends and family, we struggle to break free and step back inside of God’s love and guidance.
But God continues to work on our hearts and our family and friends pray and keep trying to hold us accountable. We come to see our sin and repent. God, in His unlimited love and grace, pours out forgiveness and we are restored to a right relationship with Him. Our sin is wiped away in the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. We are humbled by God’s amazing grace and unending love. We find ourselves transformed and have grown in our faith. As a new creation in Christ we are ready to again live as a child of God. We look back and wonder how we ever got ‘there’. We promise to never go there again, but Satan does not give up. Sin and temptation never go away. Yet we also know that God is greater than he who is living in this world. His amazing grace and unending love will always triumph. For this we shout, thanks be to God!!