Devotional – A Not So Famous Amos

Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’” Amos 7:14-15 ESV

There was nothing special about Amos. By all appearances he was just a regular person going about his own business as a shepherd and a farmer. He had no experience as a prophet, nor did he come from a family of prophets.

Amos was simply going about his own vocation. However, God had a plan and a calling for Amos to prophesy to the people of Israel.

If you want to be used of God to do great things, first be faithful where you are right now! No matter how mundane or boring your daily responsibilities are, go about your daily routine for God’s glory.

God called Amos out of his daily routine to preach to kings and kingdoms. If you are faithful going about your daily routine God may call you to do even greater things than Amos did!

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Editorial note: Originally published September 15, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – The LORD is His Name

Devotional Sun Icon

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the LORD is his name. Amos 5:8 ESV

Pleiades is one of the closest ‘star clusters’ to the Earth and is easily observable to unaided human eye. Although 14 stars can be seen with the naked eye, scientists estimate Pleiades is comprised of well over 1,000 celestial bodies.

Orion is one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky. Visible the world over, Orion has captivated the attention and imagination of mankind throughout history.

Closer to home we are blessed with the reliability of the rising of the Sun each morning, and the setting of the Sun every evening. No matter how dark the night we know the darkness will not last indefinitely… the light of the rising Sun will conquer the darkness of the night.

Even closer to home we are mesmerized by the mighty waters of the World’s oceans. The rise and fall of the tides, the power of the crashing waves, and the unfathomable volume of water that fills the oceans mystifies the human mind.

Who made Pleiades? The LORD.
Who made Orion? The LORD.
Who turns night into day and day into night? The LORD.
Who filled the oceans with water? The LORD.

The LORD is His name!

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Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation)

Editorial note:
Originally published July 29, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Entry Level Theological Truth [32]

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8.

To many people God seems distant and removed from their everyday lives. Much of this situation is self-imposed, for humans have a tendency to hide from their Creator. This behavior first transpired in the garden moments after the fall of Adam and Eve; upon hearing the sound of the Lord’s approach their intuitive response was to hide.

Their modern descendents are no different. Troubled by accusing consciences, contemporary people run and hide from the searching, inescapable gaze of the all-knowing God. As the Scriptures say: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:19-20.) Rather than expose themselves for what they are, people hide from God’s light. This denial of reality leads to chronic self-deception and alienation from the Lord (Ephesians 4:17-18.)

 


Hiding In Plain Sight



 

A nineteenth century writer evokes the atmosphere:

A sense of guilt upon the conscience invariably occasions distant views of God. The moment Adam became conscious of having sinned, He hid himself from God’s eye. He sought concealment from the endearing presence of Him who had been used to walk in the cool of the evening through the bowers of Paradise, in sweet and confiding communion. It is so now! Guilt upon the conscience, sin unconfessed, imparts misty, gloomy, distorted views of God. We lose that clear endearing view of His character which we once had. We dare not look up with holy, humble boldness. We misinterpret His dealings; think harshly of His ways; and if providences are dark, and afflictions come, in a moment we exclaim, ‘I have sinned, and God is angry.’ And so we seek concealment from God. We sink the Father in the Judge, and the child in the slave.1

One of his contemporaries points out the absurdity of hiding from the Almighty: “What madness was this, to think to hide themselves from Him from whom they could not hide themselves, all things being naked and open before him. Hebrews 4:13. What folly was it to fly from him whom they should have flown to; he being the God of all comfort and consolation. Romams 15:5. Did ever any hide himself from God and prosper? (Job 34:22. Amos 9:3. Jeremiah 23:24.) No, never.”2

 


Strategies For Evading Reality



 

Some people hide in pleasures – some of them ordinary and some of them illicit. They try to put God out of their thoughts in a continual round of amusing diversions. Others camouflage their guilt and terror behind a cloak of pseudo-piety. They reason that a facade of good deeds and religiosity may obscure their guilt. Others deny the obvious truth of God Himself, thinking that they can disinvent the Judge of the universe through an act of their wills; they seek to do this by replacing Him with intricate but shallow fables about the origin of the cosmos.

All of these efforts are in vain, however, for God seeks His fallen creatures, poignantly calling out “Adam, where are you?” (Genesis 3:9.) Drawing on Mackintosh’s classic Notes On The Pentateuch, MacDonald notes: “This question proved two things—that man was lost and that God had come to seek. It proved man’s sin and God’s grace. God takes the initiative in salvation, demonstrating the very thing Satan got Eve to doubt—His love.”3

This pursuit of sinful men and women culminates in the coming into the world of the Lord Jesus Christ – “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) – the one who describes His own mission thus: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10.)

The Lord repeatedly exposes people to the light. If they hide and run, he pursues. As the poet Thompson memorably depicted it:

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbéd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
“All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.4

At the end of this life, everyone must meet Him. To those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior now, they will see their most cherished loved One face-to-face (1 John 3:1-2.) To those who do not have a relationship with Christ, He will be their judge (Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:11-15.) The eloquent Scottish preacher-poet Horatius Bonar well articulates this somber reality, bringing the past and the future together:

In the day of wrath this scene of Eden will be repeated,—man fleeing from the presence of God. In the absence of thickets he will betake himself to the rocks and hills (Hosea 10:8; Revelation 6:15, 16). But what will these do? Can His eye not pierce these? Can His hand not pluck them thence? For thus the Lord has spoken, ‘Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down; and though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence’ (Amos 9:2, 3).5

1Octavius Winslow, from the blog: http://octaviuswinslow.org/2010/08/22/august-22/ Accessed on 8/23/10.
2Philip Henry, Exposition of the First Eleven Chapters of Genesis, (London: J. Nisbet and Co., 1839), pp. 74-75.
3Alluding to C. H. Mackintosh, Notes On The Pentateuch: Genesis to Deuteronomy, p. 33; William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad, Ge 3:7–13 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995).
4Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven. Lines 1-13. Accessed on 7/20/12 here: http://poetry.elcore.net/HoundOfHeavenInRtT.html
5Horatius Bonar, Earth’s Morning: Or, Thoughts on Genesis, (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1875), p. 140.

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