Detours Along The Journey

Today’s Reading: Amos 2:1-16

In many parts of the country, especially the south and the north, there are typically two seasons: for the south there are summer and construction; for the north there is winter and construction. Here in the Midwest in Illinois we have three: Winter, construction, after construction. Construction can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because our infrastructure is being upgraded and becoming safer for our use. It could be seen as a curse because it decreases our ability to get to our destination without obstructions. I have been able to witness in my journeys to different states and different countries that our infrastructure is actually one of the top in the world. Without this infrastructure our daily living and our daily interactions with each other would be hampered.

Whenever we are preparing for a journey, we have to take it into consideration: 1) where we want to go and 2) what route should we take? We know that on our journey at different times of the year, there will be some obstacles and some challenges, but we will reach the destination at a particular time. With current technology, we can actually see what minute we will arrive at our destination.

In our passage for today, Amos is giving us a glimpse and Mapquest report of what Israel and the BIG seven will have on their journey. God has a benevolent and compassionate spirit to all his children. In these first chapters of Amos, we are seeing the sadness and the hurt that God is going through with all of his children. Amos is a prophet, and he is giving the direction or the guidance that God has given to the people. Amos is laying out the MapQuest for the people. God is telling the people that there is something that is going to happen. God is telling them that the journey that they have been on has created obstacles and challenges and what to expect.

Imagine, we are on a highway going to our destination. For a majority of the highway, there are not a lot of obstacles, the road is just minted and newly refurbished. But ahead of us there is construction. There are signs that tell us that within the next 6 miles there will be construction for a certain amount of time. Also, imagine that God is a state trooper and he is our father. There are many cars that are going up and down this highway and we are also driving this highway as well. Because God is our father and he’s also a state trooper, we have a more profound understanding of the rules and regulations of the road.

Everyone that is a driver has to pass a license exam. We have not only passed the licensure exam, we have been taught from an early age the rules of the road. Whenever anybody breaks the rules of the road, especially in a construction zone there are higher penalties and repercussions. For us as children of God, we know the rules of the road and if we choose to break the rules of the road especially in the highest danger zone we are held to a higher expectation.

This is an analogy that helps to describe what Amos is telling us in Chapter 2. Amos is warning the people of these Seven different clans: Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammonites, Moab, Judah, and Israel, about the impending earthquake. This is the largest earthquake that is recorded in the Bible which is a 8.2 earthquake. The magnitude is the equivalent of having a blast with 60 BILLION kilograms of Dynamite.  This earthquake was so major that it could completely destroy cities and villages and leave no trace. This is the magnitude at which Amos is warning all of the BIG Seven peoples about. God is upset with the behavior that they have done, not just the chosen ones but everybody. But He still is compassionate. God still gives us warnings and wants us to acknowledge what we have done and prepare for what is to come.

So this passage could be summed up into three areas:

  • Signs and warnings – We must be aware and vigilant of the signs and the detours that lay ahead of us. If we are not observant of the signs because we are distracted or checking texts or daydreaming , we could find ourselves in a predicament that delays us from getting to our destination.
  • Promises and expectations- God is always giving us promises. Unlike man he delivers on all of his promises. God also gets frustrated when we do not listen and do not comply with his expectations. He is a gentle God and a loving father, but we will have to submit to the consequences of our actions if we do not heed the warnings.
  • Compassion and disappointment– In spite of it all God is compassionate. He will give us warnings and signs to help us to avoid the consequences of our actions. Even though he does have compassion he is disappointed when we choose not to follow his direction. But he’s always willing to bring us back to his loving arms.

Doing this coming week, Lord allow us to see the warning signs and allow us to make corrective actions to be aligned with you.  How is your spirit to strengthen us and give us confidence in the process that you have prepared for us for this journey. Allow us to rest in you knowing that we are safe and we’ll get to our destination.