Amos 1-5, Psalm 126
In 1992, in the race for the White House, one of the slogans popularized by candidate Bill Clinton was, "It's the Economy Stupid". We, as a nation, have strayed so far from our roots, which has led to our moral decay. In Washington's Farewell Address, the first president advised his fellow citizens that "Religion and morality" were the "great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens." "National morality," he added, could not exist "in exclusion of religious principle." "Virtue or morality", he concluded, as the products of religion, were a "necessary spring of popular government." If I'm not mistaken, I heard in a previous message by Pastor Lloyd Pulley that this portion of Washington's Farewell Address is now omitted from our school's textbooks. Many "intellects" now question the faith of our Founding Fathers. One need only look at their many quotes to see the Christian foundation that our nation arose from. Every nation which departs from their moral origins crumbles under the weight of moral decay. Why do we arrogantly believe that our nation is any different. We as a nation now exalt every position that stands in opposition to God's position. Arrogantly we as a nation, like every one before us, believe that we are so unique. But in reality, the continual circle of history continues. God cannot overlook the destruction of God ordained marriage as outline in Genesis 2:24, or the killing of approximately 60 million unborn babies in the name of "choice" or "woman's rights", or practically every other stance our nation now takes in opposition to Him.
God will hold accountable those things which are appropriate to those nations. In Amos 1 the pagan nations mentioned were not accountable to the Mosaic Covenant, but they were accountable the Noahic Covenant as outlined in Genesis 9:5-17. We read in Genesis 9:6, "Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man." This covenant was made to all people. When it came to the nation of Judah who were established as the people of God, we read in Amos 2:4-5, "Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they have despised the law of the Lord, And have not kept His commandments. Their lies lead them astray, Lies which their fathers followed. But I will send a fire upon Judah, And it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem." In a similar fashion God says to Israel in 2:10, 12, "Also it was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, And led you forty years through the wilderness, To possess the land of the Amorite..."But you gave the Nazarites wine to drink, And commanded the prophets saying 'Do not prophesy!'" The Jewish nation was under the Mosaic Covenant and the curses outlined for disobedience to it were clearly outlined in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. Both Judah and Israel received the curses outlined in this section. When any society formed under God begins to despise the Law of the Lord, they not only ignore and disobey it, they eventually hate it. When this hatred towards God's Word takes root publicly as we now see in our nation, devastation and destruction are close behind.
As we read in Amos 4, God lovingly and continually reaches out to His people with increasingly worsening disasters in order to get their attention, but the recurring phrase is written, "Yet you have not returned to Me," Says the Lord." (Amos 4:6,8,9,10,11). We call the natural disasters that plague our nation and our world in ever increasing fashion, "Acts of God", but are we allowing them to bring us back to Him or are we continuing to shake our collective fists at Him in defiance. Rather than seeing these events as actions on the part of a loving God are people blaming God instead. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes are intensifying in magnitude and number. Random gun violence, deaths from drug abuse, pornography and the sex slave trade are escalating in our "civilized" society. We are a nation formed under a loving God. But we are nation that has turned our back on God. As Washington said so long ago, the foundation which needs to be rested upon is that of God, not the next policy. God is trying to get our attention, are we listening? We in the body of Christ need to reach out to those who have forgotten or don't know God while there is still time.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: