Be faithful in an unfaithful world!

God allows us to choose whether or not we want to be in a relationship with Him.

December 12

For I have commanded that Israel be persecuted by the other nations as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet not one true kernel will be lost.

Amos 9:9

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Be faithful in an unfaithful world!

The prophet Amos had the unpleasant task of calling the nation of Israel out.  They had for several generations rebelled against God.  Because God loved them He sent them hundreds of prophets to warn them and teach them about Himself.  But in their rebellion, they refused to yield their hard hearts to their loving God.

The Bible teaches us that God is patient.  That is shown very powerfully in the way He dealt with Israel.  Some people would challenge a statement like that and say that God dealt with them harshly. What they are overlooking is how much He put up with from Israel before He finally took action.

God hates sin.  Sin is everything that God isn’t.  God hates it when His perfect creation is corrupted away from the perfection that he intended for it.  And because he is God and created everything for His purpose and pleasure, He has every right to act when anything or anyone no longer fulfills its God-given purpose.

This is especially true of humans.  We are God’s special creation; we are made in his image.  We bear a resemblance to God because He created us to be in an intimate relationship with Him.  We needed to be able to manifest in some ways many of His attributes for that to be possible.  The attribute that often gets us into trouble is free will.  God allows us to choose whether or not we want to be in a relationship with Him.

When we choose not to be in a relationship with God, we are no longer operating according to the original design.  We are no longer fulfilling God’s purpose, and we cannot possibly please Him.  Even though we are God’s special creation, when we reject His love, we are no longer of any use to Him, and we are then subjects of His judgment.

It is God’s amazing grace that prevents Him from judging us immediately.  But God’s patience does have limits; He will not put up with our rebellion forever.  In our text Amos is speaking of the nation of Israel.  God sets up nations and when they fail to follow His ways, He takes them down.  We live in a nation that once followed the ways of God.  America is not guaranteed a future.  If we as a nation do not humble ourselves before God, we should not be surprised if God chooses to sift us out.

The promise of this verse is that all true believers will persevere.  When God judges a nation or a group of people, sometimes even those who have been faithful to Him get caught in the consequences.  Even His most faithful followers suffer because of the sins of the others.  One great example of this is the wilderness wanderings of Israel.  Caleb and Joshua were faithful to God, while all the rest of the nation was not.  Even though they were righteous in God’s eyes, they had to suffer through the whole wilderness journey.  God had promised to bring them into the land, and He kept His promise.  Be faithful to God even if the whole world around you is not.  God will bring you through to the other side.  Jesus, help us to be faithful.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Read: Amos 7:1-9:15; Revelation 3:7-22; Psalm 131:1-3; Proverbs 29:23