Amos 3:2 (ESV)

“You only have I known

of all the families of the earth;

therefore I will punish you

for all your iniquities.

God chose the people of Israel. He knew them as His own children. He chose them and chose in His sovereign justice to look over all the other peoples of the world.

What would you say to a people so blessed who continued to live as if they were not chosen of God? What would you say to such a people who spurned the laws and the love of the One who rescued them, saved them and planned a great future for them? And yet, how many of us humbly speak about being the chosen of God and still live like the world?

Should God deal with us more leniently than he did the ancient Israelites? If He would not let them get away with their sins why should we think that He will let us get away with ours? To whom much is given much shall be required and no one can be given more than grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Those of us who are believers need to be reminded that God holds us to a higher level of accountability. Not many should suppose to be teachers since teachers shall be judged with a harsher treatment (James 3:1). Judgement begins in the house of God. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. Christians are foolish to think that such warning Scriptures do not apply to them. They do. They apply to me. I must live my life in the power of the Holy Spirit in holiness, righteousness, godliness and faithfulness.

Grace will demonstrate itself in holy living or else it has not been received at all. We all sin and one of the ways God shows His displeasure to His saints when they sin is through a sense of His being distant from us. It is a horrible thing to happen. I know. It happens to me far more often than I care to admit.

O lord forgive me for being so willing to abandon you at times for the things that will not satisfy. And thank you for graciously bringing me back to yourself through the withdrawal of the sense of your presence. Thank you that such a thing is so very painful. Help me to remember it before I sin again, so that I will not have to go through the discipline of being distant from the One who loved me and gave Himself for me.