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 pass by 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? What God said was that since they were His people He would punish them. It is because they are His that they will feel God’s displeasure.

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.

James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

Hebrews 12:5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Galatians6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

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 must demonstrate itself in holy living or else it is not grace 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 Him being distance form us. It is a horrible thing to happen. O lord forgive us for being so willing to abandon you at times for the things that will not satisfy. And thank you for graciously bringing us back to yourself through the withdrawal of the sense of your blessing. Thank you that such a thing is so very painful. Help us to remember it before we sin again, so that we will not have to go through the discipline of being distant from the One who loved us and gave Himself for us.