Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
“Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground, except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, ” declares the Lord. “For behold, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the earth. All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.'”Amos 9:8-10 (ESV)
Two things strike me about Amos 9:8-10.
The first occurs in Amos 9:8: “the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it.” This segment of verse 8 should instantly strike awe and fear of God in all our hearts. NOTHING is hidden from God. He literally sees everything. And He sees ALL the evil His kids have done, are doing, or will do. And He hates it. He will destroy it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be destroyed. I don’t want God to be disappointed in me, to be sad because of me. Amos 9:8 is a great reminder that what God actually wants for His kids is for us to be holy — to be set apart. We need to remember that we are NOT of this world, we’re just occupying some space in this world for a God-ordained amount of time.
The second thing that strikes me occurs in verse 10: “All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.'” This verse is talking about God’s kids who confidently assert they won’t go through tribulations even though they are sinning against God. These are people who say they believe in God but act differently. For a long while now I have struggled with some Christians’ confidence that they are part of the Bride and will escape what is to come. I hear things like, “Don’t worry. If you believe in Jesus you will be saved from the tribulation.” Yet, this verse in Amos directly contradicts their confidence. If you are willfully sinning, if you are picking and choosing the parts of the Bible you want to obey and ignoring the rest, you should not be confident about your safety and security during the coming Tribulation.
If you read my post from last week, you know my stance on the Bride and the Rapture. You know that I believe the Bride is a very small remnant of a specific type of believer — a member of the assembly of Philadelphia (Revelation 3). I think it is incredibly dangerous to confidently say, “Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.” The honest truth is none of us know for sure if we will be counted worthy to escape what is to come. Our hearts are deceptive. Again, it’s all about the type of relationship we have with Jesus.
So, what type of relationship do you have with God? Now is the time to suss this answer out.