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 possible. 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 longsuffering 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 God against logic and God against 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.

And it is grace that they are offered. The only solution to people who are intransigent in their sin is the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. It is easy to grumble and complain about the sins of the ungodly. It is easy to hunker down and isolate ourselves from a wicked world and live in a Christian ghetto where it is safe. But God calls the lost to repentance and offers grace. And they will only hear of the Gospel of grace from those who already have it. There is no one who is as strong as the grace of God. There is no sin that the cross is unable to cover.

What a mission He has sent us on. What a glorious work He plans to accomplish. Let us give people the Gospel.