February 28, 2010

When It's Too Late

Amos 8:9-14

People will stagger … and wander … searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.
Amos 8:12


In some cases there is a time when God cannot be found. Amos was speaking to people who all their lives had the opportunity to turn back to God. They acted as if they were following God. They went through their religious rituals, never missing a tithe or a sacrifice. They sang worship songs and considered themselves highly religious.

But they were practical atheists. Without a pang of conscience, they treated themselves to a lifestyle of luxury while their fellow countrymen starved. They exploited the poor for their own advantage. They hoarded their money and ignored the pleas of the starving. They lived in mansions while the very people who worked for them lived in misery. It was scandalous: a religious veneer over rotten morals.

In his great mercy God warned them again and again. He sent plagues and famine. Some of their young men fell in battle. God sent prophets, but their messages were ignored. The people refused to return to God. They kept on saying to him, “Not your will, but mine be done.” If they were seeking God at all, it was for their own sake.

Let’s make sure that we “seek the Lord while he may be found” and share his love with others so that they too may “turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them … for he will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:6–7).

Father, spare us from ever turning our backs on you. Seek us, that we may seek you. Draw us, that we may draw near to you—and, finding you, find full life forever. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Kenneth D. Koeman

Rev. Ken Koeman is a pastor at Bellevue, Washington, Christian Reformed Church. He has written Today devotions in past years and has also authored numerous articles for The Banner, the magazine of the Christian Reformed Church. Ken and his wife, Kay, live in Bellevue and have two children and five grandchildren.

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