Saturday, February 21, 2009

Amos 5

What? Amos? Where did that come from? Last night I left work after it was already dark and looked up at the stars. The first thing I saw was Orion. It's my favorite constellation, which is kind of a nerdy thing to say I know. But for some reason, I look up a lot and see that mighty warrior up there with the blood-stained sword in his belt and think of God's constant presence. But it also reminds me of a God that means business.

Well, anyway, that made me think about the verses that mention this starry host in the Bible. I also ran across the verse I quote below from Amos. So ta-da, I landed here in chapter five. Evidently the readers of Amos are basically standing in line for a severe tongue-lashing. Amos is calling God's people to repentance with the threat of death looming in his words. Seek God and live. Which of course implies that failure to seek Him leads to death.

Towards the end there's a beautiful verse that reminds us of what we are called to do. Here it in the Message:

"Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want."

Seek God and live is only part of the take-away meditation of this chapter. But turning your focus outward in doing it is the other part. It's so easy to get distracted with the "me" part of seeking God. Seeking God often looks like pious religious acts of studying, meeting, checklist-driven quiet time, and the other kinds of churchy stuff God mentions He's actually sick and tired of. The kind of seeking God Amos is talking about looks like rushing streams of justice, mercy, and righteousness flowing out to a wounded world.

Seek God and live. Really live.


Bea said...

More deep thought to chew on.