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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Do not prophesy! (Amos 2:12)

I'm amazed at the people today who say "Bible prophecy is not my thing" or "I'm not really into Bible prophecy" or "It just doesn't interest me." Israel had the same mindset. In fact, Amos says refusing to listen to prophecy was one of the sins they were judged for.

Amos was not the son of a prophet or the son of a priest. He was just a regular guy doing his job, providing for his family, and worshiping God. Amos was a shepherd in northern Judah, near the border of the northern kingdom of Israel.

God gave Amos a vision of what would happen to the northern kingdom, and told him to go and share it with them. So Amos obeyed God, went, and shared.

In a nutshell, God sent Amos to first tell Israel about the judgment He would bring on their neighbors: Syria, the Philistines, Phoenicia, Edom, Ammon, and Moab because of their sins. Then God gave him a message of the judgment that would come on Judah because they knew God's law but refused to obey it.

I imagine Israel was delighted and agreeing with the judgments which were pronounced on their neighbors and the southern kingdom of Judah. It's easy to see the sins in the lives of those around us while ignoring the sins in our own lives isn't it?

But then Amos listed out Israel's sins for which God would send judgment on them, unless they repented. These prophecies and warnings themselves are God's grace in action. Out of His great love for us, He sends warnings before He sends judgment.

In that sense, the entire Bible is God's warnings of the future judgments we could face if we do not repent of our sins and trust in Jesus as our Lord, while there is still time. Sadly many just say, they are not interested in Bible prophecy or Bible study. It's not their thing or they don't have time.

But as I read through the warnings God gave Amos to share with Israel, they sound incredibly familiar to our time today. Let me say that differently, many of these prophetic warnings are things I personally need to make note of and make sure I obey.

Amos 2:6 They sell the innocent for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals.

Out of all the sins God listed against Israel, their refusal to take care of the innocent and needy was listed first and repeated. "Innocent and needy" can mean those who are poor, on the streets, out of work, as well as the thousands of "innocent" unborn babies sacrificed for silver, daily. There are many ways we can address these needs. We can support organizations that take care of those in need and we can vote against those who promote "the selling of the innocent for silver."

Amos 2:12 But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets saying, 'Do not prophesy!

We are living in a world that encourages us not to obey God's laws, not to share God's Word, and not to talk about the Bible and certainly not Bible Prophecy. But God says, stay in My Word and keep sharing My prophetic warnings and promises.

Amos 2:14-16 [14] Your fastest runners will not get away. The strongest among you will become weak. Even mighty warriors will be unable to save themselves. 15 The archers will not stand their ground. The swiftest runners won’t be fast enough to escape. Even those riding horses won’t be able to save themselves. 16 On that day the most courageous of your fighting men will drop their weapons and run for their lives,” says the Lord.

Anyone living in our time with eyes to see and ears to hear can see God's judgment about to come upon our nation. We can anticipate the famine and gas shortages. We can make ourselves as independent and prepared as possible. In fact, aren't we being negligent if we are not doing our best to prepare our households?

However, if God's judgment comes upon our land no amount of physical preparations will enable us to outrun it. We need to first prepare our heart and our mind for what is to come by drawing close to God and helping others do the same. We need to repent and prepare to meet the Lord.

Amos 4:12 Prepare to meet your God

Amos 5:4 Seek Me and live

Amos 5:6 Seek the Lord and live.

A society who hates those who stand on the truth of God's Word is bent on destroying itself.

Amos 5:10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.

Amos wrote this message to Israel before God sent Assyria to destroy them and take them captive. But did God also mean these warnings for our time, today? Like Israel and Judah, we know God's laws but we are quick to ignore them. We are quick to say, "I'm not really in to that sort of thing." Yet Jesus said, love Me and love others enough to "teach them everything I have commanded you."

God doesn't want our show and pretense on Sunday morning. He wants our hearts putting Him first and truly dedicated to obeying His Word each day.

Amos 5: 21,23-24 I hate all your show and pretense - the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.

In other words, showing up on Sunday with a smiling face, raising our arms in the air, and going through the motions means absolutely nothing to God if we don't live it out the rest of the week.

Dear Lord, As imperfect and undeserving as I am, I am ready to meet you. I know you will come for us before You unleash your final 7-year period of judgment on this earth. But I also understand that You are sending Your birth pangs upon us to wake us up and draw us back to You just as You did with the nations before us. Thank you for loving us enough to send us warnings.

Lord, please help me stay awake and fully clothed in your righteousness with eyes to see and ears to hear how you are instructing me to prepare. Lord, I pray for those who know of Your Word but prefer to stick their head in the sand and ignore it.

Please wake them up Lord and put a fire in their heart to read, hear, and heed the prophecies in Your Word. For You said in Revelation 1:3, "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near."

In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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