Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.
For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind and declares to man what are His thoughts,
He who makes dawn into darkness and treads on the high places of the earth,
The Lord God of hosts is His name. Amos 4:12-13
The prophet Amos pronounces judgement on the nations surrounding Israel and Judah during the time of the reign of Uzziah. He gets very specific about the transgressions of God’s people that range from idolatry, greed, strife, anger, callous hearts and more. All of this could be forgiven if Israel and Judah would return to God and live by His statutes. That’s the great offer of God – forgiveness is ours both personally and nationally if we will turn to Him. I fear for our country, for the sins of Israel are in many ways the sins of our country.
When I read these words from the prophet Amos, it troubles me. If the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob so loved His people that He would chastise them with plagues, drought, famine, and war… shall we expect anything different if we perceive ourselves as the apple of His eye and the object of His affection and blessing? Isn’t He just in punishing our disobedience? This is not a political statement, its a moral reality.
What can I say to You, O God? Forgive our wickedness. Overlook our shame and shamelessness. Must I name our sins before You? We have called good evil, and evil good. We have unrighteous laws, corrupt judges, lying leaders, idolatrous practices, greedy hearts, powerless churches, cowardice pastors, a blind eye to the destruction of unborn children, feelings of entitlement, abandon of support for Israel, and so much more in our resume. Yet, You love us! I know You love us individually, but You also love the United States. I know there is good in us as well. There are millions of devoted followers who love, admire and pattern our lives after the Son of God, Jesus. Look upon that as well and forego Your judgment. Help us turn in mass and totality back to You. For if You came down and we met our Maker, we would be naked and ashamed.