Rev. Steve Andrews, pastor at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Lee’s Summit, MO, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 5:4-9.
The worship life of Israel comes into focus with this text. The LORD desires His people to seek Him. He alone is the source of life as both Creator and Redeemer. If His people desire life, they will only find it where they find Him. That is why the LORD commands His people not to seek Him in their self-chosen ways. Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba may have an impressive historical pedigree of the LORD’s work in the past, but they no longer carry the LORD’s promise. To seek Him these places now is only idolatry and false worship. Amos’ call to seek the LORD and live is all the more urgent as he once again speaks of the judgment of fire, one that will be unquenchable by any false god. Such judgment comes because Israel has turned justice and righteousness upside down. Because they did not seek the LORD’s gift of righteousness and justice, their actions toward their neighbors became poisonous and filthy. The LORD does the opposite. The Creator of the constellations turns darkness into morning and day into night. Reminding the people of the flood in Noah’s day and the suddenness of lightning, Amos once again calls the people to seek the LORD and live. In the same way, God calls His Christians today to seek Him in the places He has promised to be found, His Word and Sacraments, so that there we will have the forgiveness of sins and live.
“The Day Is Surely Drawing Near” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the book of Amos. This Old Testament prophet speaks the LORD’s roaring Word in order to call us first to repentance over our idolatry and injustice and second to faith in the Messiah in the line of David, Jesus Christ. Only through faith in Him will we stand forgiven and redeemed on the coming Day of the LORD.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:
“Seek me and live;
5 but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beersheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
and Bethel shall come to nothing.”
6 Seek the Lord and live,
lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
7 O you who turn justice to wormwood[a]
and cast down righteousness to the earth!
8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name;
9 who makes destruction flash forth against the strong,
so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
- Amos 5:7 Or to bitter fruit
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.