Finding Jesus in Amos
Ah…another election. Americans will go to the polls, yet again, with one major issue on their mind: the economy. It’s been the number one priority for decades and every politician stands strong on their promises. Economic prosperity means wealth and a high standard of living; who doesn’t want that?
The prophet Amos was called by God during a time of unprecedented prosperity in both the northern kingdom of Israel and southern kingdom of Judah. Interestingly, he lived in the south but was sent to the north. His message began with a declaration of God’s approaching judgment; why such a beginning? Undoubtedly because the economy was also on the mind of evil King Jeroboam but not in alignment with God. Judgment was announced through Amos as a consequence to their prosperity. They ignored the poor and needy, allowed a collapse in morality, and tolerated idolatry. Sound familiar? When God’s people continuously reject Him justice will eventually prevail. Don’t pray for God’s justice; cry out for His mercy.
It’s wonderful when Christians are blessed but when we keep a tight grip on those blessings we’re missing the point. Believers are to be a funnel from God to His Church. We take care of each other; that’s His way. Amos’ message from God was that He had reached His limit of patience with them. Chapter four tells us again and again, “yet you did not return to Me.”
Has America reached that point? On Sept. 12, 2001 it was reported that the churches were full. Everyone was turning to God in our time of distress. How long did that last? Several months. When the trauma dissipated so did church attendance. Economic prosperity, as we learn from Amos, did not bring spiritual renewal so why is that our number one political concern?
Amos entered into a powerful role in chapter seven: intercessor. He prayed and God answered. That’s the place I believe the Church can be the most effective: prayer. We have a unique position with God when we enter into His presence in prayer. He promises to listen and answer. Let’s agree to pray for our leaders and each election that God’s plan will prevail.
Amos completed his message with the familiar phrases, “on that day,” and “the days are coming.” This draws our attention to the end times and where we find Jesus. The Lord, Messiah, was standing when he spoke to Amos (9:1) and proclaimed the Kingdom of David to be restored and true prosperity, in Christ, reigning. Pastor James from the Jerusalem Church (Acts 15:13-17) quoted this passage as he declared that among the Gentiles (non-Jewish) were a people to be united with the Jew for His name.
And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:6 NLT