Today’s reading: Amos 3:1-4:12
Over and over the Lord says to Israel, “Yet you did not return to me.” The Lord speaks through prophets (v.3:7-8) and through circumstances of life, especially calamities. “Does disaster befall a city unless the Lord has caused it?” (v.3:6b). There was hunger and lack of food (v.4:6), lack of water (v.4:7-8), infestation of crops (v.4:9), pestilence (v.4:10), defeat in battle (v.4:11).
Today the world experiences poverty and hunger, lack of potable water, failure of crops, natural calamities, new resistant viruses, bloodshed and civil wars. Countries have their own particular woes, as in the Philippines, with massive corruption, rampant criminality including murders (whether by hired guns or in fraternity initiation), joblessness, insurgencies. Individuals have their own struggles, with finances, family, loss of faith.
One might ask, “Where is God in all of this?” He is right there in the disaster, which He allows to happen. He is allowing us to be punished. “Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” (v.3:2b). Notice that those who have everything (money, power, etc.) are often far from God? Notice how such a one often turns to God when circumstances turn against him (bankruptcy, family woes, fall from power, etc.)?
God wants all peoples to be with Him. But oftentimes they persist in sin and wrongdoing. “They do not know how to do what is right” (v.3:10a). God sends His prophets but they are not listened to. So the only way left is disaster, as a manifestation of God’s punishment, but also of God’s love, as He wants peoples and nations to return to Him. “Therefore thus I will do to you, Israel: and since I will deal thus with you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” (v.4:12).
May all peoples and nations return to God.
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God bless you.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)
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