Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 21, 2018

“Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD. “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; … Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”

Today’s devotion comes from Amos chapter 4.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Amos+4&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“9 “I smote you with scorching wind and mildew;
And the caterpillar was devouring
Your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.
10 “I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt;
I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses,
And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.
11 “I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.
12 “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
Because I will do this to you,
Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.” Amos 4:9-12.

————-

Three times in the quoted Scripture above, God’s punishment is followed by God’s declaration:  “Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.”

Thus, today’s Scripture teaches us that God’s punishment can be good for us if it causes us to return to God.

But, if God’s punishment does not cause us to return to God, then there remains only God’s final conclusion:  “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”.  Verse 12.

For God’s elect, “… He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.  All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful;  yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”  Hebrews 12:10-11.  For this reason, we should accept God’s punishment, repent, return to God, learn from it, and endure.

For God’s non-elect, they go on sinning willfully, and there only remains a certain terrifying expectation of judgment.

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.  Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said: “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.”  And again, THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Hebrews 10:26-31.


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