Gordon J. Keddie in his commentary on Amos (“The LORD is His Name” © 1986 Evangelical Press) writes:
‘There are none so blind as those that do not want to see,’ This proverbial wisdom is surely descriptive of sinners in general and, in the context of this passage, Israel in particular. Israel had been reminded of her sins – moral, social, political, and religious. She had been informed, in no uncertain terms, of God’s future visitation of judgment. The writing was on the wall. Israel had been weighed in the balance and been found wanting.
As you read the history of the northern kingdom of Israel, from its inception in 931 B.C. under the reign of Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:16-33) until 760 B.C. when Amos prophesied, you will find a 170 year-long pattern of rebellion, warning, chastening and no repentance. Certainly God’s patience had borne long with Israel as they heard the warnings of great prophets the likes of Elijah, Elisha, and Micaiah. Their warnings came not only in word, but in acts of Providence as during this time period God sent famine, withheld rain, struck vineyards and gardens, and sent plagues. There were internal divisions and civil wars and wicked leadership; five of Israel’s thirteen kings lasted less than 2 years; and in addition they found themselves at war with Syria and Moab. These were God’s episodic warnings against a backdrop of spiritual and moral decline. In our text, five times, with increasing intensity, God through His prophet, announces judgments which Israel had experienced; and all five times He could only lament: “Yet you have not returned to Me.”
God would not be mocked, what Israel had sown that shall she also reap. Or, as Amos put, “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.” One can imagine that, ‘Prepare to meet your God,’ has been a slogan perhaps used by a cartoonist who wishes to ridicule the Christian message, but in reality there are few words which are graver. All men must meet God (Rom 10:14, 2 Cor 5:10), how such could be the matter of jesting is a mystery. Jesus warned, “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28). The New Testament records, “vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:30-31). Moses prayed in Psalm 90:11-12, who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Though given much time and opportunity to repent, we know how well Israel used that time as they failed to number their days. You too have been given time, but how will you use it? On the last day, will you be found to have followed Christ, resting in His full atonement and pleading His mercy and merit as the sole basis of your righteousness and salvation; or will you carelessly go into eternity relying on the merits of your own filthy rags and self-invented righteousness? Are you prepared to meet your God?
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