Profiting From the Prophets|
“Woe to you who put far off the
day of doom.” (Amos 6:3)
By Steven J. Wallace
The Lord’s prophet, Amos, announced these words to a corrupt Israelite society (ca. 760-755 B.C.). He ministered during the reign of the popular and powerful king, Jeroboam II. The “day of doom” was imminent, but Israel often ignored this fact.
Certain things blinded Israel to Jehovah’s “day of doom.” One such thing was their great prosperity. Several had winter and summer houses; many were “houses of ivory” (Amos 3:15). Sin corrupts us; but even the blessing of prosperity can corrupt us and become a curse. If a poor person is greedy, when God blesses him with prosperity, his greed may radiate. One rich fool expressed it this way:
“ . . I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater. . . And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’” (Luke 12:18,19)
His “day of doom” was near, but he didn’t know it:
“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20,21)
Another man’s love for riches pierced him through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10).
Decadence was another thing that blinded Israel to the “day of doom.”
“Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Israel; and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals. They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, and pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go in to the same girl, to defile My holy name. They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge, and drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.’” (Amos 2:6-8)
This passage is a specimen of several. Amos saw the righteous and the poor sold and crushed. He saw evil men making merry with what they had extracted from them (cf. Amos 4:1; 5:12); he saw the people committing gross immorality; he saw an abundance of false religions/teachers/altars. Wow! One might think he was describing America with its contradicting religions that readily sacrifice unity to keep their human creeds and doctrines of men.
Likewise, the news causes us to raise our eyebrows at how some famous people who engage in seemingly criminal behavior go free as innocent in the courts of a land where justice is for all. Does our nation also sell out justice? Are our judges bought by bribes? Further, the sexual deviancy of politicians and priests is commonplace in the news. Churches have sold out the Lord’s moral government by fellowshipping those in love with adultery. Some even ordain homosexual preachers, and others tolerate unscriptural divorce and remarriage (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Matthew 19:9).
Finally, the core reason for Israel ’s demise was their abhorrence of those who cried against their sins; “They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks uprightly.” (Amos 5:10)
Jesus said, “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light. . .” (John 3:20) Do we despise the law of the Lord (Amos 2:4)? The citizens of this mighty nation are becoming more intolerant of preaching that condemns sin and more adoring of teachers who omit “the day of doom” from their messages. High esteem for these teachers is evidenced by the sheer numbers flocking to hear them!
Why not begin preparing for the judgment day?
In last month’s Messenger, Brother Wallace dealt with our need to be cautious about the use of our tongues. Following is a sample of what the Bible says about dangerous, as well as good, words and uses of our tongues:
- “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” (Job 6:24)
- “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” (Psalm 34:13)
- “The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice.” (Psalm 37:30)
- “My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness.” (Psalm 119:172)
- “For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.” (Psalm 137:4)
- “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little.” (Proverbs 10:20)
- “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” (Proverbs 15:2)
- “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
- “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.” (James 1:26)
- “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” (James 3:5)
- “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10)
- “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
- “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.” (1 Peter 3:10)
Are you using your tongue for God’s glory or for your own? (KMG)
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