Amos came from humble shepherd roots when God thrust him into the role of prophet to the kingdom of Israel. This was during the time Israel was enjoying a peak in their material and political success, and so hearing Amos denounce their prideful smugness was treasonous. To them, the day of the Lord would be a day of total triumph over all their enemies… for don’t you know, we’re the chosen race, and God’s superior group here on earth! But Amos was warning them that because of their unbelief and wickedness, the day of the Lord would be a day of judgement instead. Anytime elitism rears its ugly head…God’s judgement will follow.
We can’t save ourselves. Nor can we lead a totally blameless and holy life without the help of the Holy Spirit. For it reminds us in Philippians 1:6, “That He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit is ever at work, confirming in you the goals and objectives set before you…until that day the ultimate plan and purpose of your life is fulfilled in you through Christ Jesus. We can’t do this without the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus spoke of this as He called the first disciples in Matthew 4:19, when He said to them, “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The Greek word for “make” here means that Jesus would actually be doing the work…causing and enabling those fishermen to seek and draw out the lost around them. And we now have the Holy Spirit to do that work in us…inspiring, strengthening, and giving us confidence.
For many, God is this tyrant sitting up in heaven taking great delight in causing good people grief and suffering. But this Scripture tells us quite the opposite. God’s desire is that no one perish…but with this Scripture also comes responsibility and accountability on our part. II Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” So what’s God promise in this verse? His promise is the Day of the Lord…or Judgement Day. God gives each one of us ample opportunity to turn our lives around… but it’s our decision though whether we respond or not.
I look at the unethical and immoral activity in the world today and I think to myself, “God, don’t You see this and aren’t You going to do something?” It’s then that He gently reminds me that, #1…God doesn’t see as we do. (Job 10:4) and #2…His eyes are on the ways of men, He sees their every step. (Job 34:21) The wicked of this world may think they’re getting away with their evilness…but God is still watching. And in the end, Hebrews 4:13 tells us, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” There is coming a day of reckoning for all of us…the good as well as the bad…the righteous as well as the unrighteous.
The OT prophet Isaiah spoke of this illuminating glory to come in Isaiah 60:19, ” The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.” There is coming a day when God’s Kingdom will be set up here on earth…His truth and glory will pierce through all darkness, bringing into the light all sin and deception. On that day, the Lord Himself will become our light, and all evil will have to flee.
Many have tried to predict it. Across the centuries, they have prophesied His coming time and time again…all with the same results. No human being knows when the Day of the Lord will come…the day when Jesus returns to judge the earth. In I Thessalonians 5:2 it tells us that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night…suddenly and without warning. So it’s important that we be ready…innocent and faultless before Him.
When a fellow Believer is going through suffering and misery, we sometimes look heavenward and ask God, “Why?” We see examples in the Bible of powerful, Godly people who went through very dark times…and again we ask, “Why?” But if you talk to a Believer who’s gone through a traumatic event, in hindsight they will speak of God’s grace and mercy…of how He carried them when they were exhausted and weak…and of how His peace undergirded them to be able to move ahead day by day. Yes, just like Daniel, we will all spend a night in the lions’ den…but take hope, for God is right there beside you in the darkness until the sunrise.