Posts Tagged ‘Amos 5:14-15’

Taking a look at leftovers: God’s remnant

January 8, 2018

amos-5 14

Recently the Verses of the Day on Biblegateway.com have focused on what the people of God should and should not be doing. Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for January 8, 2018 comes from Amos 5:14-15 (NLT):

Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

This passage from the Old Testament is part of a dirge, a song expressing sorrow or distress over a great loss, such as the death of a loved one. If the people of God will adhere to the commands of God, “perhaps” or “peradventure,” God will be merciful to “the remnant of His people.”  Maurer goes on to explain “the remnant of Israel that shall have been left after the wicked have been destroyed.” On the Logos Research System this concept is further described as a

. . . group of people who survive a catastrophe brought about by God, ordinarily in judgment for sin. This group becomes the nucleus for the continuation of mankind or the people of God; the future existence of the larger group focuses in this purified, holy remnant that has undergone and survived the judgment of God.

Our discussion of “the remnant” also brings to mind a recent article spotlighting a number of popular London restaurants, such as WastED (the ED stands for education), and other venues who have been taking kitchen leftovers and turning them into ­spectacular meals. In an attempt to highlight Britain’s staggering food waste problem, some of Britain’s top chefs explain how we can all love our leftovers at home and reduce the millions of tons of food thrown away each year. Certainly God, our gracious Heavenly Father, is far greater than any master chef, and He can take what has been rejected and discarded and transform it into a glorious masterpiece.

Throughout the Bible we find accounts referring to a remnant people who will ultimately fulfill the purposes of God. The passage from Amos brings to mind this portrait:

God’s Remnant

God is never left without a remnant.

Apostle Eric L. Warren


And the remnant that is escaped of

the house of Judah shall yet again take

root downward, and bear fruit upward.

2 Kings 19:30

 

God is looking for a remnant; what is left over

Will suffice in the strong hands of a master craftsman.

Those who seek to know the mind of God will discover

That He keeps a remnant, set apart to stand alone,

A residue, an intricate part of His grand plan.

What the builders rejected is the chief cornerstone.

God uses what is left to fulfill His purposes in the earth.

As God’s remnant, to be hidden is our destiny.

We take root downward and bear fruit upward to give birth

To the glory that God intended our lives to be,

For remnant people maintain the same integrity

As the original: pure in essence—whole, complete,

As leaven remains hidden in three measures of wheat.

In closing, Worship Central reminds believers that we are “Set Apart”:

 

 

To seek good is to seek God

January 8, 2017

amos-5 14

In the Verse of the Day for January 8, 2017 we find strong words of encouragement to direct our efforts found in the Classic Amplified Bible:

Amos 5:14-15:

Seek (inquire for and require) good and not evil that you may live, and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate the evil and love the good and establish justice in the [court of the city’s] gate. It may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph [the northern kingdom].

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

To “seek (inquire for and require) good” is to seek God, for the term “good” is derived from God, who alone is good. Indeed, the essence of God is goodness. Jesus Christ declared, “There is none good but the father.”

In Proverbs 11:27 we find a similar reminder regarding the individual who pursues good:

He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil.

We also recall the words of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 7:7-8 expressed in the New Living Translation:

[Effective Prayer] “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

As mature followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are continually seeking, following after, earnestly pursuing God. Our lives should demonstrate our desire for more of the presence of God. The following poem personalizes our sincere yearning to “seek good” which is to seek for more of God:

The Proof of Desire

The proof of desire is pursuit.

Mike Murdock

 

In this new season our lives shall abound with fruit,
As we follow after God and seek His favor,
To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

This passion to please is our relentless pursuit,
As we seek to taste His goodness and to savor.
In this new season our lives shall abound with fruit.

Seasoned trees are strengthened from the leaf to the root,
As we flow with fullness of joy while we labor,
To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

Though we may seek as silver His wisdom and truth,
This life swiftly passes, fleeting as a vapor.
In this new season our lives shall abound with fruit.

Having yearned for God’s presence, even in our youth,
We now forsake all to scale the heights of Mount Tabor,
To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

We ever seek to know God’s will and to do it,
To follow in the steps of Jesus, our Savior.
In this new season our lives shall abound with fruit,
To show that the proof of desire is pursuit.

In reflecting upon our seeking, following after, and pursuing God, I thought of the lyrics of the Don Moen song “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee.”

Remnant of His people

January 8, 2016

amos-5 14

In keeping with the flow of recent exhortations from the Scriptures, the Verse of the Day for January 8, 2016 comes from Amos 5:14-15 (NLT):

Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

Here we find another instance referring to what the people of God should and should not be doing. This passage from the Old Testament is part of a dirge, a song expressing sorrow or distress over a great loss, such as the death of a loved one. If the people of God will adhere to the commands of God, “perhaps” or “peradventure,” God will be merciful to “the remnant of His people.” Maurer refers to “the remnant of Israel that shall have been left after the wicked have been destroyed.” On the Logos Research System this concept is further described as a

. . . group of people who survive a catastrophe brought about by God, ordinarily in judgment for sin. This group becomes the nucleus for the continuation of mankind or the people of God; the future existence of the larger group focuses in this purified, holy remnant that has undergone and survived the judgment of God.

Throughout the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, we find accounts that refer to a remnant people who will ultimately fulfill the purposes of God. The passage from Amos brings to mind this portrait:

God’s Remnant

God is never left without a remnant.
Apostle Eric L. Warren

And the remnant that is escaped of

the house of Judah shall yet again take

root downward, and bear fruit upward.

2 Kings 19:30 

God is looking for a remnant; what is left over
Will suffice in the strong hands of a master craftsman.
Those who seek to know the mind of God will discover
That He keeps a remnant, set apart to stand alone,
A residue, an intricate part of His grand plan.
What the builders rejected is the chief cornerstone.
God uses what is left to fulfill His purposes in the earth.
As God’s remnant, to be hidden is our destiny.
We take root downward and bear fruit upward to give birth
To the glory that God intended our lives to be,
For remnant people maintain the same integrity
As the original: pure in essence—whole, complete,
As leaven remains hidden in three measures of wheat.

Worship Central reminds believers that we are “Set Apart”:

Hate the evil: Guard the gates

January 8, 2014

amos-5 14

Amos 5:14-15 make up the Verse of the Day for January 8, 2014:

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.

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.

In this instance, I prefer the New Living Translation of this passage:

Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed.

Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice.
Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

A similar reminder of what our attitude toward good and evil should be occurs in Romans 12:12:

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Three_wise_monkeys_figure

In our efforts to do what is good and to shun or to avoid evil, we must learn to be guardians of what John Bunyan calls, “the gates of our heart.”Howard Morgan speaks of “gates” in this way: “They are the places that we have to monitor diligently so that we allow only that which is positive and healthy into our lives.” Three such gates are the “ear gate,” “eye gate,” and “mouth gate.” The picture of the three wise monkeys comes to mind to remind us that we must consciously seek to “hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.” This becomes part of our strategy to run from evil, as we pay attention to what we hear, see, and speak:

 Watch what we hear: Hear No Evil

Whenever possible, individuals should consciously and consistently make every effort to listen to words and music that edify and encourage rather than words and music that tear down and destroy. Positive generates positive, while negative produces negative. We must learn to listen attentively that we might not only hear but also understand. We should consciously make a concerted effort to listen to hear words of life and hope, for as K. Eubanks noted, “It is faith that breathes life into hope. It is hope that fuels a positive life-giving attitude.”

 Watch what you see: See No Evil

Without question the mind can be flooded with negative images of all sorts, but we can choose to focus our attention on the positive aspects of life as revealed in the Word of God. In the same way that David determined: “I covenant with my eyes to see no evil,” we must determine to dwell upon positive mental images rather than negative ones. We can use visualization techniques to see ourselves successfully completing the tasks set before us. Paul J. Meyer maintains that “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass.”

Watch what you speak: Speak No Evil

Since “life and death are in the power of the tongue,” we must carefully choose the words that we speak, as this poem states:

We know the tongue has power to generate life,

To produce seeds that will eventually take root

And will bring forth two very different kinds of fruit:

Love, joy and peace or envy, confusion and strife

Can build or destroy a brother, a friend, a wife.

We are encouraged to make positive confessions and to speak words of positive affirmation regarding ourselves and others. The Scriptures remind believers to let our words always be seasoned with salt, that they may minister grace to the hearers.

The essence of the importance of guarding these three gates is captured in a simple children’s song that expresses profound truths: “O Be Careful Little Eyes: