Today: Psalms 86:1-10; Romans 4:1-15; Amos 5

Psalms 86

David shows us in the Psalms that it’s okay to cry out to God when we are “poor and needy.” We can put our trust in Him because He is “forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who all who call to [Him].” (v.5) God answers us when we call to Him. He is the only true God and some day all the nations He has made “will come and worship before [Him].” (v.9)

Romans 4

In Romans 4, Paul argues that Abraham was saved because he “believed God” even though he lived long before Christ provided a way of salvation. Abraham’s faith in God was “credited to him as righteousness.” (v.3) Abraham did not earn his salvation, it was freely given to him by God. This is true for all of us. We are not saved by any works we do, but by trusting in “God who justifies the ungodly.” Our faith is also “credited as righteousness.” Abraham received this gift of salvation before he was circumcised. Paul uses this fact to argue that salvation is offered not only to Jews, but to anyone who believes.

"The Judgment Day" artwork by Aaron Douglas

Amos 5

“Seek the LORD and live, or He will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire.” Amos 5:6

I believe God’s prophecy to Israel through Amos is also a word from God to US today. Just as God has historically always done before He administers justice, He is raising up prophets around the world today to warn us about what is coming. God warns us and then mercifully delays His judgment to give us time to “seek the LORD and live.”

Could anyone deny that today “the times are evil”? (v.13) Even within our churches there is corruption and evil. The people “cast righteousness to the ground” (v.7) and “detest the one who tells the truth.” (v.10) They get rich by cheating and “oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.” (v.12)

But God says, “I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins.” God says, “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me… away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your songs.” (v.21-23) He tells us not to look to governments or earthly powers for they “will be reduced to nothing.” (v.5) The “Day of the LORD” is coming when God will bring justice. He tells us not to “long for the day of the LORD” for it will be a day of “darkness, not light — pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness.” (v.20)

But God is sending prophets to warn us now because there IS STILL TIME to “seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is.” (v.14)