Seek God

For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live; but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing.” Seek the LORD and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel, O you who turn justice to wormwood and cast down righteousness to the earth! He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name; who makes destruction flash forth against the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress. They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth. Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins—you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate. Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. 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, and in all vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through your midst,” says the LORD.
Amos 5:4–17
Seek God
As the sounds of lamentation still hang in the air, Amos’ funeral dirge over impenitent Israel reminds them and us of the consequence of sin and disobedience to God. The Lord would soon come in judgment against Israel for abandoning His covenant. And even today the Lord’s judgment threatens all that would place anyone or anything above Him. Yet at the same time, God remains merciful and long-suffering. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked but rather wishes to see the wicked turn from their evil ways and live. Though our sins are great and seemingly unceasing, yet greater still is God’s abundant favor. His hands of mercy never desert us, nor does His steadfast love waver. Christ, our Good Shepherd is faithful and true to His Word and faithful and true to us. So that we can trust that He will at last free us from all our sins and sorrow and take us to Him in heaven.
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