Beware the Flammable FraudsSeptember 24, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Posted in Amos, The Fives | 1 Comment
Tags: Amos 5, Cinco de Mayo, Cinco de Mayo devotions, commentary on Amos, consuming fire, forest fires, God's wrath, idolatry, Sunday School lessons on Amos, syncretism
The people of the “House of Israel” thought they had worked out a viable system. Historically, they had been called the people of Jehovah, the One True God, the God of holiness Who hated sin. But they also really liked to indulge in the practices of their pagan neighbors and their many “gods.” So, they took sort of a “best of both worlds” approach, and attempted to worship idols and the true God at the same time.
God’s prophet, Amos, tried to warn them that the real God was coming to deal with them concerning their abominable syncretism.
For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba were places where the people could find altars set up to golden bulls and other false idols representing little fake gods. The Lord was giving them one last chance. They could turn to Him and repent… or they could behave irrationally. What does an irrational person do when he’s confronted with the threat of judgment from a powerful God? He seeks refuge in other, kinder, gentler gods. In those days, the fake gods were images or statues that were built, graven, carried around, and spoken to (although the images themselves were silent and couldn’t talk back). This still goes on today. A person mired in sin gets confronted with the Truth, and, instead of repenting and trusting the mercy of the Savior, he looks for relief in the form of alcohol, drugs, sinful sexual behavior, hobbies, entertainment, luxury purchases, or fine dining. These are just a few of the Gilgals, Bethels, and Beershebas of our day.
Amos was very clear about the consequences of this:
Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
Trying to escape the consuming wrath of the Creator by hiding in or among His creation is like trying to dodge a forest fire by crawling into a papier-mâché tent.
If you have fallen into the sin of idolatry, seek refuge from the wrath of the Savior in the Savior Himself. He is merciful to the repentant.