Scripture

Amos 5:18 (NIV)

Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord!
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
That day will be darkness, not light.

Observation

We know that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV). However, when we examine Scripture we must do so with the understanding that can only come from the Holy Spirit. When we read something in the Bible that doesn’t make sense to us then we need to ask God to tell us what He’s trying to say to us. If we do otherwise, that is, to read something and then blindly go forth on it without understanding that is nothing more than superstition.

We know that God’s ways are not our ways and that His thoughts are above our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8), and His wisdom is beyond our understanding (Romans 11:33). However, if we ignore the lack of understanding on our part and then try and teach it to others, we are grossly in error, as I have said, and merely spreading superstitious lies. If you are a Christian then you are a servant of God and these verses in 2 Timothy apply to you.

There are myriad tools available to help you understand the Bible. Here are some that I use when studying.

  1. The Holy Spirit – ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what He wants you to know. Whether it be for you or someone else.
  2. Different translations of the Bible – I know that it’s easy to have a “favorite” translation. However, using different versions to interpret scripture is essential to understanding. YouVersion has a handy “compare” option that can be used to immediately see how other versions present the text.
  3. Bible Hub – I can’t say enough about how good Biblehub.com is for studying the Bible. There are loads of different versions in addition to commentaries.
  4. Bible Study with other people – This is one of my favorite ways to study the Bible.
  5. Ask your pastor – Your pastor wants to help you better understand the word of God.
  6. Be humble – It may not seem like it but sometimes the biggest obstacle we face in understanding scripture is when it conflicts with how we see ourselves. Let the Holy Spirit work in you and you will be delighted in the change!

Here in Amos 5:18, we see the prophet Amos telling the Israelites who are longing for the day of the Lord that they shouldn’t be looking forward it to because it’s not going to be what they think it is. These verses in Amos are not about the Second Coming of Christ. The Israelites here were looking forward to the day when God would deliver them from the heathens and all of those who oppressed Israel. Their belief in the covenant that they had with God blinded them to the reality of how they failed to serve Him. Some worshipped idols on the high places (Amos 4:4) and levied taxes on the poor (Amos 5:11) while oppressing the innocent, taking bribes, and depriving people of justice (Amos 5:12). They did all of this and still thought themselves to be God’s holy chosen people.

Self-righteous people are often those who do the most disservice to God in how they behave. When we take pride in hand and deny humility we are no different than those Israelites we read of here in Amos. Obedience to God is worth more than any sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). When we love as God loves us then we are patient, kind, we do not envy, we do not boast, we are humble, and do not dishonor others. Those who love as God loves are not self-seeking or easily angered. They keep no record of wrongs and do not delight in evil but rejoice in the truth of God (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV).

Therefore, these verses in Amos have an application to us today as a reminder to not live a life of religion thinking that as Believers we are better than anyone else. We aren’t. The same grace that gives us life and freedom in Christ is available to all who accept the gift. We can never forget that is only by God’s grace that we have been saved and the faith that we have is also given by God that we might tell others of His love for them and how they too, can be saved and become a member of our family, the family of God (Ephesians 2:8).

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. Nothing is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.