God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12 - Amos 6-9: God Will Sift the Nations and Protect the Righteous

Today’s Reading: Amos 6-9

The Message

English Standard Version

Today we finish Amos (book 19). Don't worry, it gets less violent and more hopeful near the end.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

On God's Judgment Day no righteous person will be punished and no wicked person will be rewarded.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Amos continues God's warnings against Israel, "You who think you are strong, wake up. Disaster is right around the corner. Your luxurious life will vanish instantly.
"God will wipe out your arrogance using pagan armies.
"God prepared calamities against Judah. I begged for mercy and He relented. Instead, He will destroy the shrines and kill Jeroboam's family."
Amaziah confronted Amos. Amos replied that God's punishment would come whether Amaziah heard it or not.
God warns that Judgment Day is coming. All fake-god worshipers will be killed. Israel will be sifted. Worldwide, the righteous will be protected and the wicked punished.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God uses irony to show Israel their significance on the earth.

Israel has enjoyed peace and prosperity for so long they now believe they brought peace through their own strength. Now they boast in their strength and luxurious goods. God reminds them of their surrounding countries and mocks Israel, "Compared to them, you’re not much, are you?" (6:2, The Message). Instead of protecting Israel from their technologically-advanced neighbors, He will use these "pagan" armies to destroy Israel. Israel was to be God's example of righteousness to the world. Instead, they became just as corrupt as the nations around them. Since they forfeited their significance, God would show them how strong they were on their own. Our significance does not come from our strength or advanced culture/technology. Our significance comes from our advanced righteousness.

Israel will be sifted and the righteous and wicked separated—just like every other nation.

I have already written on how God's punishment extends to everyone. What Israel would find insulting about God doing such a thing is God's lowering of Israel from Chosen Nation status. Israel thought of themselves as higher, better, and more civilized than the other nations. God would not throw them in a sieve with the rest of the world. Israel was God's perfect nation. The other nations had no redeemable qualities. God, on the other hand, will put Israel through because He knows there are wicked people in His Chosen Nation of Chosen People. He will separate the righteous from the wicked in every nation. Your status as "righteous" or "wicked" is not dependent on your status as "Chosen" or "non-Chosen."

God will put everyone under His Influence into the same place and protect them forever.

Everyone under God's Influence, whether part of the Promise of Abraham, the promise of David, or outside the Law of Moses would be under God's hedge of protection. They would live the luxurious life Israel thought they were currently living. Everyone under God's Influence will one day be under the protection of God's Promise.
This is most likely a reference to the Church coming which would unite people from all countries throughout the world. However, it is a reference to what will happen in the end as well. Individuals from the Church, under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ (the phrase from Romans), will only be protected by the Promise if they are under God's Influence. Those outside the Church are under the same conditions—righteousness leads to God's protection. Wickedness leads to God's punishment. Things are always the same with God! Only the names are changed as time goes by.

Are you under God's Influence or do you trust in your Chosen status?

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