If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 1 Chronicles 5–6, Hebrews 10, Amos 4, Psalms 148–150. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read Amos 4.
I haven’t seen one in a long time, but I used to see a bumper sticker that quoted from our passage today, Amos 4:12 (KJV): “Prepare to meet Thy God.” Some church vans I’ve seen have it written on the back door of the van. I’ve always found this unsettling on a motor vehicle. Was this a warning from the driver of the vehicle that he or she was about to take me out?
Regardless of what modern drivers mean, Amos wrote this to warn Israel. He warned the women of the Northern Kingdom who oppressed others that they would be expelled from their home (vv. 1-3). He condemned Israel for its idolatry (vv. 4-5), then talked about all the ways they had already suffered for their sins. They suffered famine (v. 6) and drought (vv. 7-8), plagues of locusts and disease (vv. 9-10a) and losses in war (vv. 10-11). Despite all of this, “‘you have not returned to me’ declares the Lord” (v. 11d). The phrase, “prepare to meet your God,” then, is not an invitation to worship on the back of a church van; it is a warning that God is coming to confront his people Israel about their sins. Verse 13 concludes the thought by describing the power of God: “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is his name.”
Because we are in Christ, we do not have to fear meeting God in judgment. Christ has redeemed us from that judgment and introduced us to God’s love. While God is now our Father, he is still immensely powerful, the ruler of all things and judge of all people. In addition to our love and thanks for his forgiveness, our reverence and awe belong to him, too. It deepens our worship and praise when we consider his greatness, power, and majesty. We are completely insignificant in comparison to him, yet he wants to bless us and to receive our worship.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.