We have been studying Kings in our Bethel class. If you’ve never studied the Kings and the Prophets-be prepared to read about a land that is filled with a plague called EVIL. It is hard to read and will make your soul weep. It will also bring you to your knees in repentance for your own sins. It has given me a new perspective of how God grieves for us. Yes, US! Think about it, he gave us everything we could ever possibly need and we didn’t have to do anything to get it. Sin crept in and brought the curse upon the world and humanity. Even creation is cursed. It groans with pangs of death and decay-just as we do when we near the end of our life. Look at what is going on in the world today. Earthquakes, monsoons, wars, hurricanes, tornados, snowstorms, flooding, hatred, confusion, chaos and the list goes on and on. These are all symptoms of the curse. I see decay and destruction everywhere I look. I don’t buy the newspaper because I can’t stand reading about all of the things that are wrong with the world. I don’t listen to the news very much for the same reasons. Am I hiding my head in the sand? No, just waiting. I can’t do anything about it- only God can do that.
The scriptures affirmed that this morning in
Amos 5: 13-14
13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil. 14 Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.
We are to be cautious and seek to do good and not evil. It is when we do good that we will live. Amos was a farmer and a shepherd. God sent him to announce His judgment on the northern kingdoms. Uzziah was King of Judah and Jeroboam 2 was King of Israel. The kingdoms were in prosperity at the time and so was the evil. Amos was the messenger of the day. Amos was not shy or timid. He was bold and to the point. He calls attention to the wickedness and then he calls the people to lament and repent. Do they? Read it and find out!
As I was reading I thought, “ugh, more doom and gloom, I can’t stand it anymore. BUT! Oh! How must God feel when he looks down on His creation everyday? Shame on me. Keep reading Donna, there is something better coming and it’s called heaven. God is showing you things so you can show people the glory of His grace.”
The last 6 verses in Amos is about restoration. Read it and rejoice!
13 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD,“when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, 14 and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.
Do you see the PROMISE there? The days ARE ARE ARE coming DECLARES the LORD! There will be new wine dripping and flowing from the hills and I WILL WILL bring my people BACK from exile! A promise from God. They WILL rebuild, they WILL plant, they WILL make gardens and eat.
This verse reminds me of the promise of heaven. I don’t know what heaven looks like or what it will be like, but from the scriptures I am reading I cannot wait to get there! Here are some scriptures that remind me of heaven.
17 “Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.18“In that day the mountains will drip new wine,and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the LORD’s house and will water the valley of acacias.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. 9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
Psalm 104: 1-5
1 Praise the LORD, my soul.LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.2 The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent 3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. 4 He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
So you see, no matter how much evil I read about or how it seems to invade my safe spots, it will never overtake me because my God is a God of GRACE and redemption. Have you redeemed your ticket for eternal life yet? If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so because time is running out. All we have is the moment we are IN and that is right NOW. Don’t wait. God is calling you.
Listen to the Voice of Truth.