Prayer of the Day
O God, from you come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works. Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments; and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen
Amos’s words to the people of Israel was a dire warning, yet the Israelites refused to listen to it. Isn’t that like what we all are? We hear the rumblings of warning and yet we blithely go along ignoring everything around us, you know the proverbial head in the sand approach. Then it happens and we’re like “but…but….” We were warned, yet we chose not to listen. Israel was warned, yet they chose not to listen to God’s warnings and look where it got them. Assyria took the northern kingdom and obliterated it from off the face of the earth.
Psalm 85:8-13 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
8 I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace unto His people and to His saints; but let them not turn again to folly.
9 Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good, and our land shall yield her increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before Him, and shall set us in the way of His steps.
When people read this particular section in Ephesians they always state “oh look, we’re predestined to do ‘whatever’.” Then when we look at other sections of Scripture we see that we are given free will to chose whatever we wish. God watches us and knows where we’re going to go and He can’t do a thing about it because of free will, and that’s what grieves Him the most. There’s nothing He can do about it. We see everything from the finite side of the picture. It would be like going back in time and wanting to change some particular event, but we cannot, for we don’t know what that would do for the future. So, in that instance we would be like God because we know what’s going to happen, yet for the safety for our own lives and time there’s nothing we can do about it.
It’s interesting the reasons why people keep things. Herod obviously liked to listen to what John had to say, but never took that final step. Then there was Herod’s illegally gotten wife Herodias. She didn’t want to hear anything John said because she knew how guilty she was. So instead of fixing her problem, she destroyed the messenger. It’s the same thing with the Old Testament reading. They were wanting to destroy, or kick Amos out because they didn’t want to hear what they were doing wrong, you know, sticking their head in the sand, or their fingers in their ears and saying “I’m not listening!”
If only we did listen, then things would turn out so much better.