Daily Devotional – Seek Good

14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. 15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Amos 5:14-15

AMOS 5


CONTEXT

Here is a good brief summary of The book of Amos I found: 

Amos can see that beneath Israel’s external prosperity and power, internally the nation is corrupt to the core. The sins for which Amos chastens the people are extensive: neglect of God’s Word, idolatry, pagan worship, greed, corrupted leadership, and oppression of the poor. Amos begins by pronouncing a judgment upon all the surrounding nations, then upon his own nation of Judah, and finally, the harshest judgment is given to Israel. His visions from God reveal the same emphatic message: judgment is near. The book ends with God’s promise to Amos of future restoration of the remnant.Summary of Amos

Amos 5 can be broken down into three main areas:

      1.  v.1-6 Israel called to seek the Lord
      2.  v.7-17 Israel called to repentance
      3. v.18-27 Woes concerning judgments over idols

Today we are concerned with the middle area, mainly one specific phrase from verse 14a Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live.

I know of no one that does not want to live a full and complete life. Yes, there are some who are suffering and get to the point where they feel (wrongly) life is not worth living. Yet most of us want a quality of life that worldly affairs just cannot fulfill. 


BREAKDOWN

The theme of seeking God is repeated twice in the first 6 verses v.4&6. By contrast in the following section Israel (we) are called to Seek Goodness. I think the point is simple, one can search for God all they want but as long as they continue along a path of evil, they search in vain.

The end result pointed to in each is the same that ye may live.  Life, that goes beyond just breathing, and material wealth must begin with God.  I offer Dr. John Gills Comments on these verses as a help: 

v.4 seek ye me; seek my fear, as the Targum; fear and reverence, serve and worship, the Lord God; return unto him by repentance; seek to him by prayer and supplication; acknowledge your sins, and humble yourselves before him, and implore his pardoning grace and mercy:

v.4  and ye shall live; in your own land, and not be carried out of it; live comfortably, in great plenty of good things; and live spiritually, enjoying the favour of God, and his presence in his ordinances, and live eternally in the world to come.

v.6 Seek the Lord, and ye shall live,… This is, repeated to stir up unto it, because of their backwardness and slothfulness, and to show the importance and necessity of it. By the “Lord” may be meant the Messiah, Israel’s God that was to come, and they were to prepare to meet, Amos 4:12; and the rather, since life spiritual and eternal is only to be had from him, and he is to be sought unto for it, and all the blessings of it, peace, pardon, righteousness, rest, and salvation as well as temporal deliverance, and all outward mercies:

v.14 Seek good, and not evil,… Seek not unto, or after, evil persons and evil things; not the company and conversation of evil men, which is infectious and dangerous; nor anything that is evil, or has the appearance of it, especially the evil of evils, sin; which is hateful to God, contrary to his nature and will; is evil in its own nature, and bad in its consequences, and therefore not to be sought, but shunned and avoided; but seek that which is good, persons and things: seek the “summum bonnum”, “the chief good”, God, who is essentially, perfectly, immutably, and communicatively good, the fountain of all goodness, and the portion of his people; seek Christ the good Saviour and sacrifice, the good Shepherd, and the good Samaritan, who is good in all his relations, as a father, husband, and friend, and in whom all good things are laid up; seek the good Spirit of God, who works good things in his people, and shows good things to them, and is the Comforter of them; seek to him for assistance in prayer, and to help in the exercise of every grace, and in the discharge of every duty, and as the guide into all truth, and to eternal glory; seek the good ways of God, the way of truth, the path of faith and holiness, and especially the good way to the Father, the way of life and salvation by Christ; seek the good word of God, the Scriptures of truth, the promises contained in them, and the Gospel of them; seek the company of good men, and that good part that shall not be taken away, the true grace of God, the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; seek the glories of another world, the goodness of God laid up, the best things which are reserved to last:

that ye may live; comfortably, spiritually, and eternally, which is the consequence of all this; See Gill on Amos 5:4; See Gill on Amos 5:6

We need to diligently seek God with awe and reverence, we need to repent of our sins as individuals and as a nation in order that we might live a life enjoying the favor of God, and his presence in his ordinances, and live eternally in the world to come.

National sins bring down national judgments; and when God grows angry against the people, he makes the places of their feasting, the vineyards where grow their choicest vines, to become the places of their sorrow, so that wailing and distress are heard on all sides. Oh, that nations knew the day of their visitation, and would do justly! Then would such judgments be averted? – C.H. Spurgeon


APPLICATION

Pray for that we as believers would continually seek Him with. Pray especially that those who do not know God would feel the urging of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts and seek Him today. Pray for our Nation to turn and Repent from its evil ways. 

Address God with Reverence and Awe

Having thus engaged our hearts to approach God. Jeremiah 30:21(ESV)

We must solemnly address ourselves to that infinitely great and glorious Being with whom we have to do, as those who are possessed with a full belief of his presence and a holy awe and reverence of his Majesty, which we may do in such expressions as these:

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! Revelation 4:8(ESV)

O you whose name is the LORD, who alone are the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 83:18(ESV)

O God, you are our God, earnestly we seek you; Psalm 63:1(ESV) our God, and we will praise you; our fathers’ God, and we will exalt you. Exodus 15:2(ESV)

O you who are the true God, the living God, the one only living and true God, 1 Thessalonians 1:9(ESV) and the everlasting King! Jeremiah 10:10(ESV) The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Deuteronomy 6:4(ESV)

And may we thus distinguish ourselves from the worshipers of false gods.

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, they are vanity and a lie, the work of human hands; Psalm 115:4(ESV) those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them. Psalm 115:8(ESV) But the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name, Jeremiah 10:16(ESV) God over all, blessed forever. Romans 9:5(ESV)

Their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves, Deuteronomy 32:31(ESV) for he is the Rock of ages; the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock: Isaiah 26:4(ESV) His name endures forever, and his renown throughout all ages, Psalm 135:13(ESV) even when the gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.

Devotional Thought for Today – 12/10/2020

Morning Prayer: Wed, 15 Mar – Psalm 77:11-14 ~ God works wonders – The  Peanut Gallery

Psalm 77

CONTEXT:  The Psalmist write about being in a state of near desperation v.1-9  until he begins to recall the all the great works God has done v.10-20. He climbs from despair to hope, by seeking the Lord in his day of trouble. 

 Days of trouble must be days of prayer; when God seems to have withdrawn from us, we must seek him till we find him…. READ MORE Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise)

The turning point comes in v.10-11 (KJV) And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. 11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. The psalmist id done with the pity party, no more poor, poor pitiful me. Pulling himself up by his boot (or sandal) straps, he concludes that God has allowed this and instead of dwelling on the things afflicting him he will dwell on the Great Works of God.

 And I said, This is my infirmity. He has won the day, he talks reasonably now, and surveys the field with a cooler mind. He confesses that unbelief is an infirmity, a weakness, a folly, a sin. He may also be understood to mean, “this is my appointed sorrow, “I will bear it without complaint. When we perceive that our affliction is meted out by the Lord, and is the ordained portion of our cup, we become reconciled to it, and no longer rebel against the inevitable. Why should we not be content if it be the Lord’s will? What he arranges it is not for us to cavil at. But I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. Here a good deal is supplied by our translators, and they make the sense to be that the psalmist would console himself by remembering the goodness of God to himself and others of his people in times gone by: but the original seems to consist only of the words, “the years of the right hand of the most High, “and to express the idea that his long continued affliction, reaching through several years, was allotted to him by the Sovereign Lord of all. It is well when a consideration of the divine goodness and greatness silences all complaining, and creates a childlike acquiescence.  – C.H. Spurgeon

I will remember. Faith is a considering grace: he that believes will not make haste; no, not to think or speak of God. Faith hath a good memory, and can tell the Christian many stories of ancient mercies; and when his present meal falls short, it can entertain the soul with a cold dish, and not complain that God keeps a bad house. Thus David recovered himself, when he was even tumbling down the hill of temptation: This is my infirmity; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember thy wonders of old. Therefore, Christian, when thou art in the depths of affliction, and Satan tempts thee to asperse God, as if he were forgetful of thee, stop his mouth with this: No, Satan, God hath not forgot to do for me, but I have forgot what he hath done for me, or else I could not question his fatherly care at present over me. Go, Christian, play over thy own lessons, praise God for past mercies, and it will not be long before thou hast a new song put into thy mouth for a present mercy. . . .

Sometimes a little writing is found in a man’s study that helps to save his estate, for want of which he had gone to prison; and some one experience remembered keeps the soul from despair, a prison which the devil longs to have the Christian in. “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope, “La 3:21. David was famous for his hope, and not less eminent for his care to observe and preserve the experiences he had of God’s goodness. He was able to recount the dealings of God with him; they were so often the subject of his meditation and matter of his discourse, that he had made them familiar to him. When his hope is at a loss, he doth but exercise his memory a little, and he recovers himself presently, and chides himself for his weakness. I said, this is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. The hound, when he hath lost his scent, hunts backwards and so recovers it, and pursues his game with louder cry than ever. Thus, Christian, when thy hope is at a loss, and you question your salvation in another world, then look backward and see what God hath already done for thee. Some promises have their day of payment here, and others we must stay to receive in heaven. Now the payment which God makes of some promises here, is an earnest given to our faith that the others also shall be faithfully discharged when their date expires; as every judgment inflicted here on the wicked is sent as a pledge of that wrath the full sum whereof God will make up in hell.  – William Gurnall.

Today’s question is whom do you turn to when life get tough? Remember daily God and all He has done. 

 

When Trouble is Near

Image result for PSALM. 22:11

Don’t be far from me, because distress is near and there’s no one to help. (CSB)

No estés lejos de mí, porque la angustia está cerca, pues no hay quien ayude. (LBLA) 

There is an old adage in the military that goes “there are no atheists in foxholes.” While the exact origins can not be determined the context is pretty clear, in times of extreme duress, fear or stress men (mankind) will turn to (hope in) God to get them out of their present situation. The problem is most don’t give a hoot about God the moment the crisis is over. 

Our Bible verse for today is different. David begins this Psalm asking v.1  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning? Sound familiar, it should this was repeated by our Lord and Savior on the Cross.  David feels alone and abandoned, he has been calling out to God v.2 but appears to ignore his pleas. 

In v.3-8 David recalls, his lowly position in life how he has endured scorn and ridicule, again the parallels to Christ can not be missed. Then in v.9-10 he shifts gears a little and acknowledges God’s divine hand in his life from birth forward. Once again the comparisons to Christ are undeniable. 

Finally in our main text v.11 David cries out:

Don’t be far from me; His fear is that God has abandoned him, his prayer is that He would be near. This should be the daily prayer of every believer, to have God by our side through thick and thin. 

because distress is near; Why do we need God near, because distress or trouble is always nearby. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Listen the devil is not about to come up introduce himself and say I am hear to make you do sinful (evil) things. Trouble come in many forms and many are so sneaky and underhanded your are not even aware your doing something wrong until it is too late.  

and there’s no one to help; Who are you going to call on, that neighbor or family member or battle buddy that is living in the world? Yes I know as Christians we have a Church family we can count on BUT nothing compares to the helper we have in Christ  John 14:16 (AMP) And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— 

I encourage you as did the Psalmist (105:4) to daily; Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.


RESOURCES:
Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David Psalm 22

 

Rise up Each Day

Image result for 1 Chronicles 16:11

Buscad a Jehová y su poder;
    Buscad su rostro continuamente. (RVR1960)

There are a multitude (at least 85 that I found)  of bible verses that remind us to seek the Lord, this is one of my favorites.

This is a Psalm of thanksgiving, and while many times we are going through rough patches (the valleys) of life, we still have much to be thankful to God. First and foremost is His Amazing Grace, His only Begotten Son’s atonement at Calvary that saved a miserable sinner like me. That alone is enough to rise up each day, rejoicing in and giving thanks to a merciful God.