Invariably, people long for guidance that is greater than whatever it is man offers. I remember reading and hearing that one particular man would, through the years, collect all the wise saying that he heard, transcribe them and put them in a notebook, or in some handy area where they could be retrieved when struggles mount up, or he just wanted time to contemplate. We all recognize that the experiences of people can turn into profound and practical wisdom that helps others through the valleys of their own lives. Whatever wisdom they accumulate, however, and no matter how great it is, pales in comparison with God’s Word. The Lord’s wisdom carries people through the darkest of times and it never grows stale. In the days of Amos, the Lord’s prophet spoke of a coming day when there would exist a famine of God’s word (Amos 8:11-12). This had a historical application, but a great many people are currently living with a famine of God’s Word in their respective lives even now. Consequently, when struggles mount up, they know not where to turn. It does not have to be this way. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV) RT
The Lord’s prophet, Amos, was a man chosen for a task that was very much a burden to the people. It was to Amos that He spoke the words to Israel (the northern kingdom with its capital in Samaria), “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” (4:12). Though the Lord addressed His words to Israel in particular, it is worth notice that the Lord’s pending judgment was toward those outside of covenant relationship.
The Lord identified seven nations that had judgment against them; not only did He identify these nations, but He also described the problem. Syria was merciless with its army of destruction, the Philistines were the same, Tyre failed to honor its treaty with others, Edom was plagued because of jealous rage, Ammon killed innocent children (a form of abortion), Moab exhibited desecrating destruction, Judah because of their failure to hear and obey the Lord, and to Israel because of slavery, greed, and perversion. The importance of noticing this is because the Lord responded to evil wherever it may have exhibited itself, not simply to those within covenant relationship.
Our country is not in covenant relationship with the Lord; when people speak about this country being a “Christian nation,” what is in view, historically, is the moral foundation put in place that was to guide us. It is clear that the moral foundation put in place has disintegrated. How can we change the direction that our community is traveling? A hard thing to do to be sure, but there are some things that can be done. First, be devoted to the Lord and His way of righteousness. Second, be sure to be a positive influence on those who do not know the Lord’s way. Third, never let your personal politics trump the Lord’s way of righteousness. Fourth, continue to pray for our leaders and our country. These are things that can be done, but in all things the Lord’s desire will be done!