PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD “for your have not returned to me” saith the Lord. Amos 4

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1-     A Time is Coming
2-     Disaster comes upon Nations who turn from the Lord in order for them to come back to him “For you have not returned to me” saith the Lord. When the Nations and the people continue to ignore the Lords call and His signs, disaster is decreed, and it is written the disaster will be 7x worse “21 ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.  Leviticus 26 
3- Stop doing what  “seems right in our own eyes” : There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.  You shall not at all do as we are doing here today—every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes”  God wants us to seek Him in ALL we do, and not continue doing things we “think” are good ( or making excuses for sin.)  “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. Deut. 12:32, Judges 17:6, Judges 21:25, Prov 14:12, Deut 12:8 

Amos 4:1  Listen to me, you fat cows  living in Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and who are always calling to your husbands,  “Bring us another drink!” (NLV)
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, Who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands. “Bring wine, let us drink!”(NKJ)

Their sins:                                                          
1-oppress the poor
2-crush the needy
3-disrespect their masters saying “bring us another drink”

    If we dissect this, we can see the following sins of the people-   No love for others, no concern for the poor, hard-hearted,  disrespect of elders, parents, husbands, laziness, drunkenness, selfishness, overindulgence, materialistic, pushy, pampered.   
(Do you see this today? My concern is that this sounds like a description of the role models our children see on tv- Disney, Mtv- be careful  and guard the hearts of your children)

Hear the Word of the Lord : TIME IS COMING (  2010 )

Amos 4:2  “ A time will come when you will be led away with hooks in your noses- every last one of you will be dragged way like a fish on a hook”
Jeremiah 9:25  “A time is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will punish all those who are circumcised in body but not in spirit—
2 Timothy 4:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.   A Time Is Coming

Isaiah 37:29 And because of your raging against me
    and your arrogance, which I have heard for myself,
I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth.
I will make you return by the same road on which you came.”

Jer 17:5-9,22
 This is what the Lord says:
Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, (see also Is 51:12)
who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salty land.
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
    with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
Do not do your work on the Sabbath, but make it a holy day. I gave this command to your ancestors,  but they did not listen or obey. They stubbornly refused to pay attention or accept my discipline. ( what do you think about the Sabbath day? is it now obsolete? did Jesus cross it off the 10 commandments when He died? I heard on this day when I heard a time is coming, I also heard “honor the Sabbath” which I had never really considered. When I do, I am beyond blessed, it’s amazing…any thoughts.. revelations on this? I’m curious)

  DID YOU KNOW…..The Lord hears what you say. You are being watched very closely. All you say and do is recorded- and not just that – but your hidden motives for doing the things you do. So BE CAREFUL! Set yourself straight before the Lord….and I heard “Are you going to do what is right? ARE YOU Going to do what is right!”

So what’s wrong with what I’m doing? Amos 4:4-5

Amos 4:4 Go ahead with your rituals! Yes! Attend your services and your meetings in the name of the Lord, let everyone know of your great deeds and fasting. This is what you love to do, Yes! Let everyone hear of your great sacrifices….but you keep disobeying. None of your good works will save you if you don’t change what is really in your heart. See Isaiah 58: a true fast

Don’t want to change? Hear what the Lord says” Amos 4:6-11

He will bring hunger to every city and famine to every town YET YOU HAVE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD

He will keep the rain from falling and your crops will fail, you will stagger and not have enough to drink YET YOU HAVE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD

He will strike our farms and vineyards with blight and mildew, locusts will devour the crops YET YOU HAVE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD

Our cities will be destroyed as were Sodom and Gomorrah, but still YOU HAVE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME, SAITH THE LORD

Therefore, I will bring upon yo all the disasters I have announced.

PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD

  FOR LO, HE THAT FORMETH THE MOUNTAINS, AND CREATETH THE WIND, AND DECLARETH UNTO MAN WHAT IS HIS THOUGHT, THAT MAKETH THE MORNING DARKNESS AND TREADETH UPON THE HIGH PLACES OF THE EARTH. THE LORD, THE GOD OF HOSTS IS HIS NAME. 

PRAISE HIM IN THE HOUSE TODAY! He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, I will lift up my hands to Praise my King. He hears my cries and answers my prayers! In Him I rejoice! There is no God like JEHOVA , There’s no God like JEHOVA !Behold He comes riding on the clouds – out of Zion Salvation comes. Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee and out of Zion salvation Comes.

Disobedience to God. “my ways are higher than your ways” says the Lord Isaiah 55: 8 – 9

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“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

      God’s thoughts are above mine and His reasoning is above mine. The Lord has taught me a big lesson this week. As I think of it, I stand trembling before Him. He has given me instructions and at times, I’ve altered them according to my own ways, thoughts and understanding. I meant good, but what I should have done was to seek God’s guidance. I didn’t even notice my wrong until I was reading through Numbers this week and suddenly this was revealed to me.

Blessed is he whose sins are forgiven
I acknowledged my sin to you
I will confess my sins to the Lord
and you forgave me the iniquity of my sin Ps 32

Moses Punishment: He was not allowed to go into the Promised land- that’s a huge punishment! He spent the last 40 years trying to get there- and he never did. Why? Because of disobedience.

Pay close attention- so you understand what he did wrong.
The Lord’s instructions to Moses: (when the people were crying out for water) Numbers 20
1-Take the rod
2-Gather the Children of Israel
3-Speak to the Rock

So Moses did the following:
1-took the rod
2-Gathered the Children of Israel
3-He spoke to the people (he was not told to do this)
4-Struck the rock 2x  (he was not told to do this)

He did three things wrong. He did not speak to the Rock.  He struck the rock 2x. Isn’t that interesting. I wonder if in anyway this is symbolic of Christ?  Instead of speaking to the rock to give them water, he struck it. Jesus is our rock, our source of living water and He was struck.
I’m sure at the time, Moses thought he was obeying- but he added on things of his own understanding and with that we know there was a lack of trust/faith there that was a sin before God.

God said to him in vs 23: because you did not believe in me- to hallow me before the people

Walk in God’s ways not our own ways

” When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.[f] 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.  For,
“Who can know the LORD’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach him?
But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ

If we are going to walk with the Lord, we need to make sure we are not walking in our own understanding or our own knowledge. We need to seek the Lord’s counsel in all things and obey with complete obedience and faith. We obey, we trust. We cannot make the water come out of the rock- we have to trust Him-the Lord. This is similar to stepping out praying for healing for others. We just need to step out in faith knowing we, on our own, cannot do the healing, but our Healer can. We obey- we pray for the sick as Jesus commanded us to (do the works He did) and we have to trust Him that He is there and He heals.

Little sin of Balaam? No, not so little-  punishment of sin is death
In Numbers 24 evil King Balaak wanted Balaam (sorcerer- prophet) to curse the Israelites . The king called for Balaam but Balaam would not go to see him. So Balam went to the Lord to ask Him if he should go to the King.
the Lord said:
You may go only if they ask you again –
The bible says, the next day Balaam got up and went.
Did you notice what Balaam did wrong? He went even though they didn’t ask him to go. Again we see human reasoning. This is probably what ran through Balaam’s mind:  “Well, if God said, I could go, I can go, and they didn’t ask me, but they asked me before, and God didn’t specify exactly what time they were to ask me, therefore I’ll go, and I’m not sinning, because I’m obeying- just with a twist”
Big Punishment: The angel of the Lord tried to kill him 3x while he was on his donkey on the way to see King Balaak. (Balaam needs more study- but just the point here- that he obeyed partially and made up his own way and the Lord counted that as a sin- that deserved death)

Little sin of complaining people against Moses? not so little-they were swallowed up by the earth
 ” So what?” we might think, the people complained against Moses and Aaron. We are so conditioned to hearing complaints about leaders we might think nothing of this sin- but read in Numbers 16 what happened to the families of those who rose up Moses. Their children, wives, family and tents were swallowed up by the earth! The people around them ran screaming for their lives as they heard the screams of those who went down into the earth alive. Was it pride? God wants us to learn from these stories and put within us the first step in walking with Him – this is the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.

Complaining was punishable by death (is your complaining really lack of faith?) Killed 14,700 people
The very next day! After the people saw the complainers getting eaten up in the earth the people complained against Moses again. What happened? A plague killed 14,700 people. Complaining is not trusting. It is so engrained in us, our conversations- do we even notice it?  When I think back of times when I complained- I have to wonder if it all stems from lack of faith in God. Do I really believe His Word? Do I really see Him as a Father. That is one thing I noticed when I studied David and Abraham. Even though they sinned, they both had complete faith and trust in God as their Father. They believed God as a child believes in His father. If you read through the Psalms David wrote, you will understand his relationship with the Lord. No matter what He faced- he always praised God for saving him, even when he wasn’t even yet saved.

“What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,”
says the LORD.
You make plans that are contrary to mine.
You make alliances not directed by my Spirit,
thus piling up your sins.
2 For without consulting me,
you have gone down to Egypt for help.
You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection Isaiah 30:1-2

More Complaining punishable by fiery serpents sent to bite and kill
This happened right after the people had defeated the Canannites.  They had no food, no water and complained about the same old boring bread they were eating. Didn’t they know? Didn’t they remember? Didn’t they know God had never let them down? It’s easy for us to condemn them, but how many times have we feared the worst- when we know that God never abandons us? Don’t complain- go to the throne. This story can be found in Numbers 21. The people were finally spared when they looked at the pole with the serpent on it. That’s another story- Jesus quoted from this in the New Testament.

Little sin of Uzzah- he only touched the ark so it wouldn’t fall! We might think it was a little sin- but it was not before God- punishable by death
That’s too bad, because he was told not to touch it! 6 But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God.  Then the LORD’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this.[d] So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.2 Samuel 6:7 . The things we may think are little or unimportant- are not. We need  to be very careful as we walk with the Lord- especially leaders and teachers. We must know that only God is all knowing and that we are nothing without Christ in us and His leading in us. We are not empowered by our knowledge, our reasoning, our high positions or fame. It is only through God’s spirit that you lead, it is not in ourselves.

Even if we mean well and mean good -we need to make sure our actions and our words are not sin against the Lord our God.
O Lord, create in us a new heart and renew a right spirit within us. Thank you Lord God for saving us through your son Jesus Christ. Surely I deserve death, but Praise you Lord God for your Mercy and Love for us. Teach us to walk along the ancient paths of your prophets. To hear your voice, O God. Remind us to seek your counsel in all we do. Give us the faith of Abraham, to walk with you like Enoch, to live in obedience like Noah and to love others as you have loved us.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen