Do you need to return to the Lord (part 4)?

Over the last week, we’ve been considering some challenging verses in Amos, and looked at how they could apply to church groups and denominations, and also to local churches.

Again, it’s important when we apply Scripture that we don’t just apply it to others. Let’s not be guilty at pointing the finger and bishops and pastors, but not considering the truth of God for ourselves. How might these verses in Amos apply to us as individuals? Remember, the overall thrust of the passage is that God is warning His people by giving them difficulties and problems. He wants them to respond to the problems by turning to Him. So perhaps we could apply it like this:

“I gave you heartache and lack of peace in every way,
yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.

Is that what the Lord is saying to you?

“I gave you problems at work and problems at home,
yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.

Is that what the Lord is saying to you?

“I gave you unsatisfying quiet-times
and boring sermons at church,
yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.

Is that what the Lord is saying to you?

“I gave you wall-to-wall entertainment
and unfulfilling leisure-times,
yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.

Is that what the Lord is saying to you?

Again, what I said before still applies. I am not saying that I am sure that the Lord is warning you. I am not saying that if these things are true of you then you’re on the wrong road and are ignoring God. I’m just asking the question. Is God warning you through the events around you?

How did we know that God was warning the Israelites? Look at Amos 4:6. “I gave you empty stomachs in every city”. Does that tell us God was warning them? No. “And lack of bread in every town”? Does that tell us God was warning them? No. “Yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. Does that tell us God was warning them? Yes, it does.

“I gave you problems at work…”. Does that tell us God is warning you? No. “…and problems at home”. Does that tell us God is warning you? No. ““Yet you have not turned to me,” declares the Lord.” If that is true of you, or if it is true of me, that we need to heed God’s warning before it is too late.

How do we do that? Amos 4:12-13 has the answer:

Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.
He who forms the mountains,
creates the wind,
and reveals his thoughts to man,
he who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads the high places of the earth—
the Lord God Almighty is his name.

I don’t think Amos is simply warning the Israelities they might die. He’s telling them (and us) that if the Lord is warning us, the only solution is to meet with Him. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait until we’re dead for that – because if we did, it would be too late. We can meet Him now, in repentance and faith, and find that His warnings will turn to blessings. What a Saviour we have, and the Lord God Almighty is his name!

Articles in this series:

  1. Do you need to return to the Lord?
  2. Do you need to return to the Lord (part 2)?
  3. Do you need to return to the Lord (part 3)?
  4. Do you need to return to the Lord (part 4)? <-- This article