Do you see what is taking place around you? Do you realize the impact it is having on the world around you? Will you just allow it to continue or will you speak up or do something about it? Do you realize there are consequences? Do you realize there are results to the choices we make? Sometimes people get what they are asking for to their own demise because they wouldn’t listen to what God has to say. Sometimes people walk away from God’s ways and then have to deal with the fact that they are no longer under the covering and protection of God. Will you do something and stick close to God? Will you try to go it your own way and then have to deal with the results and consequences?
How bad do you want this to get?
Let’s take a look into today’s reading from Amos…
The Lion Roars at the Nations
1The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds from Tekoa. He perceived these words concerning Israel during the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. 2He said: Adonai roars from Zion, From Jerusalem He gives His voice. The shepherds’ pastures mourn, and the top of Mount Carmel withers. 3Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of Damascus, even for four, I will not relent. For they threshed Gilead with iron threshing sledges, 4I will send fire into Hazael’s palace. It will devour Ben-hadad’s citadels. 5I will break the Damascus gate-bar and cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven, wielding Beth-eden’s scepter. So the people of Aram will go into exile to Kir. Adonai has said it. 6Thus says Adonai: “For three crimes of Gaza, even for four, I will not relent. For they exiled an entire population, giving them over to Edom. 7So I will send fire on the wall of Gaza —it will devour its citadels. 8I will cut off Ashdod’s inhabitant, wielding Ashkelon’s scepter. I will turn My hand against Ekron and the rest of the Philistines will perish. My Lord Adonai has said it. 9Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of Tyre, even for four, I will not relent. For they gave an entire population over to Edom, and did not remember the covenant of brothers. 10I will send fire on the wall of Tyre— it will devour its citadels. 11Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of Edom even for four, I will not relent. For he pursued his brother with a sword and stifled his compassion. For his anger tore continually, and he kept his wrath forever. 12So I will send fire in Teman— it will devour Bozrah’s citadels. 13Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of the sons of Ammon even for four, I will not relent. For they ripped open pregnant women of Gilead to expand their territory, 14I will kindle fire on Rabbah’s wall and it will devour its citadels, amid shouting on a day of battle, with storm on a day of whirlwind. 15Their king will go into exile, he and his princes together. Thus Adonai has said.
–from Amos 1
Everyone, even God’s chosen people if or when they choose to go against His will will have to be accountable for their decisions and actions…
1Thus says Adonai: For three crimes of Moab even for four, I will not relent. For he burned the bones of Edom’s king to lime, 2So I will send fire upon Moab— it will devour Kerioth’s citadels. Moab will die in an uproar, with a shout of alarm and the sound of the shofar. 3I will cut off the ruler from her midst, and slay all her princes with him. Thus Adonai has said. As for Judah and Israel 4Thus says Adonai: “For three crimes of Judah even for four, I will not relent. For they despise Adonai’s Torah and have not kept His statutes. Their lies have misled them— those their fathers walked after. 5So I will send fire upon Judah— it will devour Jerusalem’s citadels.” 6Thus says Adonai: “For three crimes of Israel even for four, I will not relent. For they sell the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of shoes. 7They trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and thwart the way of the humble. A man and his father go to the same girl, to profane My holy Name. 8Upon garments taken in pledge they stretch out beside every altar, and drink wine confiscated as fines in the house of their gods. 9“I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like cedars and as strong as oaks— yes, I destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from beneath. 10 It was I also who brought you up from the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness to possess the Amorite’s land. 11I raised up prophets from your sons and Nazirites from your young men. Is this not so, Bnei Yisrael?” declares Adonai. 12“But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and you commanded the prophets saying, ‘Do not prophesy.’ 13Behold! I will cause a tottering beneath you as a cart totters when full of sheaves. 14Then flight will fail for the swift. The mighty will not strengthen his power, The warrior will not save his life. 15The archer will not stand, the fleet-footed will not escape, the horseman will not save himself. 16The valiant among the warriors will flee naked in that day.” declares Adonai.
–from Amos 2
What is your viewpoint? What is your perspective? Do you have a biblical worldview? Do you have a man centric worldview? What motivates you? What directs your steps? How will you determine to live? What will be your motivation? Choose wisely!
The Prophet Reveals Destruction
1Hear this word that Adonai has spoken against you, Bnei Yisrael, against the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying: 2“Only you have I known from among all the families of the earth. Therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities. 3Can two walk together unless they meet by appointment? 4Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has taken prey? 5Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground if it has no bait? Will a snare spring up from the ground without taking anything? 6If a shofar alarm sounds in a city, will people not tremble? If there is calamity in a city, has not Adonai caused it? 7For the Lord Adonai, will do nothing, unless He has revealed His counsel to His servants the prophets. 8A lion has roared, who will not fear? My Lord Adonai has spoken, who shall not prophesy? 9Proclaim on the citadels in Ashdod and the citadels in the land of Egypt: “Assemble on Samaria’s mountains: Behold the great tumult within it, even the oppression within it.” 10They do not know how to be honest, —declares Adonai— those who are saving up violence and destruction in their citadels. 11Therefore thus says my Lord Adonai: “An adversary will surround the land! He will bring down your strength. Your citadels will be plundered 12Thus says Adonai: “Just as the shepherd snatches out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so will Bnei-Yisrael dwelling in Samaria escape with the corner of a bed or a head of a couch. 13Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob.” It is the declaration of my Lord Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot. 14“For in a day I shall punish Israel for the transgressions of Israel, and attend to the altars of Bethel— the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15I will also strike the winter house together with the summer house. The houses of ivory will perish, and great houses will be demolished.” It is the declaration of Adonai.
–from Amos 3
So what you sow you will reap! So how will you sow? What will you sow? Where will you sow? Will you take the word of God and sow it into the lives of the people around you?
Storytelling Opens Hearts
1Again Yeshua began to teach by the sea. A large crowd gathered around Him, so He got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the crowd was by the sea on the land. 2He began teaching them many things by parables, and in His teaching, He said to them: 3“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to spread some seed. 4It happened that as he sowed, some fell beside the road; and the birds came and ate it up. 5“Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it didn’t have much soil. It sprang up immediately, because the soil wasn’t deep. 6But when the sun came up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7“Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8“And others fell into the good soil and were producing fruit, springing up and increasing. They yielded a crop, producing thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” 9And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 10When Yeshua was alone, those around Him with the Twelve started asking Him about the parables. 11And He told them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God. But for those who are outside, everything is in parables, so that 12‘Seeing, they may see and not perceive, and hearing, they may hear and not understand, so they may not turn back and be forgiven.’” 13He said to them, “Don’t you grasp this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones beside the road where the word is sown. Whenever they hear, satan comes quickly and takes away the word that has been sown in them. 16“These are the ones sown on rocky ground. When they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy. 17And they have no root in themselves but last only a short while. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18“And others are the ones sown among the thorns. They have heard the word; 19but the worries of the world, the seduction of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20“And those are the ones sown on the good soil. They hear the word and accept it and produce fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
Reaping What You Sow
21He also was saying to them, “Is a lamp put under a basket or a bed? No, shouldn’t it be placed on a lampstand? 22For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, nor anything kept secret except that it would come to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24Then He continued, “Pay attention to what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you; and more will be added to you. 25For whoever has, to him more will be given. And whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
What Is the Kingdom of God Like?
26And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like when a man spreads seed on the soil 27and falls asleep at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows. He himself doesn’t know how. 28Automatically, the earth brings forth a crop—first the blade, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ready, at once he sends in the sickle, for the harvest has come.” 30Yeshua also said, “How should we picture the kingdom of God? Or by what story shall we present it? 31It is like a mustard seed when it’s planted in the ground. Though the smallest of all seeds in the earth, yet when planted it grows up and becomes the largest of all the herbs. 32It puts forth big branches, so the birds of the air can nest in its shade.” 33With many such parables He used to tell them the word, as much as they were able to hear. 34But apart from a parable, He wasn’t speaking to them. Yet when they were alone, to His own disciples He would explain everything.
Power Over Nature
35Now on that same day in the evening, He says to them, “Let’s cross over to the other side.” 36After leaving the crowd, they take Him along in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him. 37A great windstorm arises, and the waves were rushing into the boat. The boat was beginning to fill up. 38But Yeshua was in the back of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They wake Him up and say to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?” 39So He woke up and rebuked the wind. And He said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and it became totally calm. 40And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Even now you have no faith?” 41They were struck with awe and said to one another, “Who is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
–from Mark 4