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Prepare to Meet God

“Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, And lack of bread in all your places;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.

“I also withheld rain from you, When there were still three months to the harvest.
I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city.
One part was rained upon, And where it did not rain the part withered.

So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water,
But they were not satisfied;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.

“I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased,
Your vineyards, Your fig trees, And your olive trees,
The locust devoured them;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.

“I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt;
Your young men I killed with a sword, Along with your captive horses;
I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.

“I overthrew some of you, As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
And you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.

“Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel;
Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”

For behold, He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind, Who declares to man what his thought is,
And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth—
The Lord God of hosts is His name.  (Amos 4:6-13 NKJV)

It is an awful act when God Almighty challenges a crippled nation to a final combat. “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel!” This is a declaration of war. All negotiations had failed, a ruptured had come. Now, after the manner of men, God challenges them to battle. It is quite apparent that in their past this would be a hopeless struggle. And to this end doubtless was it made.

Jehovah had been trying to subdue them in other more merciful ways; and when the last of these failed, behold a challenge came. God gives His reasons before He utters His ultimatum.

  1. “I have given you cleanness of teeth (starvation) in all your cities, yet ye have not returned unto me.” (v. 6)
  2. “I have caused it to rain in one city and not another.” Thus making distinctions that should have awakened anxiety, “yet have ye not returned unto me.” (v. 8)
  3. “I have sent among you pestilence. Your young men have I slain with the sword. Yet have you not returned unto me.” (v. 10)
  4. “I have overthrown some of you, like Sodom and Gomorrah and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning. Yet ye have not returned unto me.” (v. 11) The purpose of these chastenings was to bring them to Himself, but they would not.

“I have called you and ye refused.” Now then, “Prepare to meet thy God.” Are we hearing His voice and seeing His warning hand in His providential dealings with us? It is a miserable thing to be carrying on, it may be silently, a daily controversy with the God whose merciful purpose is that we should return unto Him. “I will arise and go to my father.”

You must meet God. But, how? Is it to be in battle or peace? Will it be as an enemy or friend? If it is a question of our own strength, against the might of our God, then who shall be able to stand? Though one man could be prepared by being endowed with all the best resources inherent in the human race, he could not dare with any hope of success to face and defy the “wrath of God.” To meet God in your own moral strength and virtue, all preparation is utterly vain and presumptive. Yet meet Him we must, and meet Him we can, but never with hope as an antagonist. Then how can we meet Him in peace; we who have deliberately rebelled against His law and insulted His forbearance?

Ah, herein lies the mystery and the majesty of Grace. It is through Jesus Christ, His own Beloved son, who on our and on God’s behalf gave His life a ransom for our sins. That through faith in His conquering Name, we are reconciled to God. It is now that we can come with boldness before His throne, and find grace to help in our every need (Heb. 4:16). Christ, for us, hath met all the just demands of God’s holy law and all the claims of His holiness. Hence, our preparation to meet God, in joy and peace, lies in our acceptance and trust in the finished work and victorious Name of Jesus.

 

 

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