Amos 5:1-6 (ESV)

Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:

[2] “Fallen, no more to rise,

is the virgin Israel;

forsaken on her land,

with none to raise her up.”

[3] For thus says the Lord God:

“The city that went out a thousand

shall have a hundred left,

and that which went out a hundred

shall have ten left

to the house of Israel.”

[4] For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:

“Seek me and live;

[5] but do not seek Bethel,

and do not enter into Gilgal

or cross over to Beersheba;

for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,

and Bethel shall come to nothing.”

[6] Seek the Lord and live,

lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,

and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,

The nation of Israel has forsaken God for idols and religion of their own choosing. God promises punishment but in the midst of that He still holds out His hand to the ones who have abandoned Him for idols. If they will seek Him they will find life. There is still hope. Mercy is still available. The ball is in the court of those who have abandoned their God. This is an opportunity they do not deserve. But our God is the God of great mercy. He is long suffering and even those who have committed the sin of turning their backs on God He still is ready to forgive and restore.

God reminds them who it is that they are rebelling against. He is the God who made the constellations, who causes the earth to turn on its axis and who creates the water cycle for the continual sustenance of the plants that He made. It is a brazen thing indeed to challenge one’s maker. It is a vast act of self righteousness and self aggrandizement. Puny little creatures vaunting themselves up against the One who is larger than the whole created order. This is what those who pit God against science and logic and ethics do all the time. They have no fear but it is a fearful thing to push God off the throne and suppose to be able to run the world on one’s own.

The fact that they are not consumed is a testimony to God’s great mercy. What an incentive this is to give the Gospel to people! We can bemoan the state of the world we live in. We can complain and gossip about the immorality and selfishness and godlessness of our communities. We can worry about what is going to happen to the church and our children and our freedom. But the better response would be to give the Gospel to people.

God’s mercy is not limitless and there are times when God’s patience runs out and the opportunities for repentance cease. But God has not told us if that is the case with us and we would do well not to behave as if He had. The doors of our churches are open because, among other things, God is not done using us yet. Waking up in the morning is a testimony that there is still something that God wants us to do as an act of worship to Him.

Until our churches are permanently closed and it is impossible for us to leave our homes to interact with others, we can give the Gospel. “Seek the Lord and live”. What a message for a dying people and a dying culture. Look out at your communities today and see that God has yet been patient with sinners and here is still hope for them to find God and live.