Father, I know that You long to be gracious and You are slow to anger. Let me not try Your patience but turn.
Read: Amos 9:1-10
 I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said: “Strike the tops of the pillars so that the thresholds shake. Bring them down on the heads of all the people; those who are left I will kill with the sword. Not one will get away, none will escape.  Though they dig down to the depths below, from there my hand will take them. Though they climb up to the heavens above, from there I will bring them down.  Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, there I will hunt them down and seize them. Though they hide from my eyes at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent to bite them.  Though they are driven into exile by their enemies, there I will command the sword to slay them. “I will keep my eye on them for harm and not for good.” The Lord, the LORD Almighty- he touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mourn; the whole land rises like the Nile, then sinks like the river of Egypt;  he builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the earth; he calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land- the LORD is his name. “Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?” declares the LORD. “Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?  “Surely the eyes of the Sovereign LORD are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. Yet I will not totally destroy the descendants of Jacob,” declares the LORD.  “For I will give the command, and I will shake the people of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground.  All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’
Reflect: How is God challenging you to grow in character?
The glory of the Lord God Almighty is revealed in many ways: in the beauty, provision and wisdom of creation (6), in his loving kindness and patience, in his faithfulness to his covenant, and in his many deliverances of his people (7). Here, God’s glory and holiness are to be revealed in judgment (5).
Such has been his people’s proud contempt for the Lord, for his Law, for the poor and the vulnerable, and for God’s holiness itself, there is no way back. They have refused all previous overtures (4:6-12; 7:10-17). Judgment is the only holy response, the only way left for God to be faithful to the covenant that has been so utterly broken by his people.
Judgment will begin with their corrupt and idolatrous Temple (1), the very heart of the corruption of the nation, and will spread out from there. There is no escape to be had (2-4). They have rejected all the escape routes God had previously given them. While God’s love is inexhaustible, judgment does come on the unrepentant. It is only God’s mercy and lovingkindness that ever stay his hand (Rom. 11:22-24).
In light of God’s righteous judgment, consider the life offered in Jesus, who gave all that we could be forgiven.
Lord, You are holy. Let us never make light of the cost that Jesus paid to save us, but live worthy of our calling in Christ.