Today: Psalms 85:8-13; Romans 3:9-31; Amos 3 & 4
Come home, come home.
Ye who are weary, come home…
Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, ‘Oh sinner, come home!’
(old gospel hymn)
Those lyrics from an old Baptist hymn sprang into my mind as I read today’s Psalm. This is a hard life. We get weary from the perpetual toil and stress.
But God “promises peace to His people, His faithful servants.” (v.8) Jesus is always beckoning us closer, urging us to come home where we belong within His presence, following His guidance. Within His perfect plan is our home, where His glory dwells, where “love and faithfulness meet together,” where “righteousness and peace kiss each other.” (v.10)
In Romans 3, Paul continues to lay out his case for Christ. Both “Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.” (v.9) NONE of us are righteous. We humans are a pretty pathetic lot!
“All have turned away, they have together become worthless, there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:12-18
Look around at the world today and you can see that this passage from Romans 3 is true. We ALL need to be saved from our sinfulness. And that redemption comes through Jesus Christ, who God presented “as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood — to be received by faith.” (v.25)
“Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7
Just as sure as birds do not swoop down for prey when no bait is there, a trap doesn’t “spring up from the ground when it hasn’t caught anything,” just as people are startled when an alarm sounds, so too does God ALWAYS warn us through His prophets about His plans.
Amos’ vision continues with God’s coming judgment against Israel. I believe this is also a warning against the Christian church today; many prophets today are saying this as well:
God says: “They do not know how to do right… they store up in their fortresses what they have plundered and looted.” (v.10 – why did Joel Osteen’s face suddenly pop into my mind?)
God says, you “bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years. Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings.” (v.4-5)
God has already allowed plagues, violence, and hardships but still so many refuse to acknowledge Him.
Here is what He says is coming: “An enemy will overrun your land, pull down your strongholds and plunder your fortresses.” (v.11) “‘I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished,’ declares the LORD.” (v.15)
I doubt that those God is talking to here would ever read my words — but we can pray for them to wake up — the leaders of the big churches, ministries, and parishes getting rich off the backs of the people, delivering lies, living in hypocrisy. God is going to tear it all down. The earthquake will be so severe that even the lowliest of us will feel its trembling. Get ready, church. Pray for God’s mercy.