“I overthrew some of you,
as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
and you were as a brand plucked out of the burning;
yet you did not return to me,”
declares the Lord.
“Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
because I will do this to you,
prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” Amos 4:11-12
Contrary to logic, people who are placed under God’s discipline and judgment do not always respond positively. God sent a series of plagues and trials on Israel. Did they return to the Lord? No! So Amos tells them to prepare to meet their God.
It is not always easy to understand if trials and difficulties we experience are God’s way of disciplining us or if they are merely the result of living in a fallen world. It is important to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). Pray for the ability to respond to whatever discipline that God may send with an open heart eager to learn and grow in Him. Israel failed to do that and suffered for it.
[For more reflections on today’s reading, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].
[Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.]