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RELIGION: Are you ready for the Day of the Lord?

Weekly Devotion by Randy Moll | January 13, 2021 at 5:19 a.m.

"Woe to you that desire the day of the LORD! Why do you want the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light, as if someone fled away from a lion, but a bear attacked him, or got into the house and rested his hand on the wall, but a snake bit him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? Will it not be deep darkness, with no brightness in it? I hate, I despise your festivals, and I am not pleased by your solemn assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings or your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard the offerings of your fattened animals. Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Amos 5:18-24

Are you ready for the Day of the Lord? Most have little fear of that day or of its consequences for them. Most assume that all is well with their souls, and God's judgments are far from their minds.

It is much like the days of ancient Israel during the reign of Jeroboam II. Israel became strong again and defeated its enemies. It was a time of prosperity. Yet, Jeroboam II continued in the sinful ways of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Instead of it being a time of repentance and returning to the LORD God who had shown mercy upon His people, they continued in idolatry and disregard for God's commandments (cf. 2 Kings 14:23ff.).

So, today, our people -- even our churches -- live in prosperity and are secure in their sinful ways. They disregard the Bible's teaching and worship and serve gods fashioned after their own image and manner of thinking. Our nation's laws are made to protect abortion, euthanasia, immorality, perversion, robbery and theft. People assume all is well and that they are ready for the Day of the Lord but don't see the judgment of the Almighty which is about to come upon them.

The words of Amos the prophet surely apply: "Woe to you that desire the day of the LORD! Why do you want the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light, as if someone fled away from a lion, but a bear attacked him, or got into the house and rested his hand on the wall, but a snake bit him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? Will it not be deep darkness, with no brightness in it? I hate, I despise your festivals, and I am not pleased by your solemn assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings or your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard the offerings of your fattened animals. Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

The Day of the Lord for our nation and people will not bring vindication; it will bring judgment and death! Our idolatry and sins will be exposed for what they are, and our people will find that their worship and service for God were a sham. God did not accept them because their hearts were far from Him and they paid little regard to His Word (cf. Matt. 15:8-9; Isa. 29:13-14).

And, what about us? Are we ready for the Day of the Lord? Will we be vindicated in God's judgment? As Amos prophesied, it's not enough to say all the right words and to offer up all the right forms of praise. God desires the fruits of true faith! God desires that we trust in His mercy and forgiveness in Christ Jesus and then also live just and righteous lives in accord with His Word. Cf. Isaiah 1:1-20.

What does this prophecy call upon us to do? To examine our ways, to repent of our sins, to turn to the LORD God for mercy and forgiveness for the sake of Christ Jesus our Savior, and then to amend our lives and live for the LORD God in obedience to His Word. Going through the right motions, saying the right words and singing the right hymns are not enough! God calls upon us -- each and every one of us -- to examine our ways and repent, looking to Him for mercy in Christ Jesus and for His help and strength to amend our sinful ways in accord with His perfect Word. Cf. Psalm 139:23-24; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 John 1:7 – 2:6; Micah 6:8; Deuteronomy 10:12-13.

O just and merciful God, we know that the day of Your judgment is coming and that we too are deserving of Your wrath and punishment. Have mercy upon us for Jesus' sake and forgive our sins, and lead us to walk in Your ways and to live in accord with Your perfect Word. Amen.

[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]

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