The reading for today is Amos 8: 1 – 8, NIV.
A Basket of Ripe Fruit
8 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit.2 “What do you see, Amos?” he asked. “A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered. Then the LORD said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer. 3 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies — flung everywhere! Silence!” 4 Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, 5 saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?” — skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, 6 buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat. 7 The LORD has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done. 8 “Will not the land tremble for this, and all who live in it mourn? The whole land will rise like the Nile; it will be stirred up and then sink like the river of Egypt.
Amos is prophesying during a season of plenty, warning the Israelites that God is not pleased with the way they handle the poor and will soon put an end to their good times. We see so often that the Israelites cycle in their obedience to God. We Christians do the same thing! I am reminded of a nursery rhyme, “The Three Little Kittens,” (Eliza Lee Cabot Follen). The kittens are bad, then punished, good, then rewarded, and back and forth it goes.
Knowing our human nature is something we have to battle, let’s make today a day of growing closer to God. Here are some words to a song that I wrote long ago about that struggle.
Lord I’m Yours, I’ve been Yours for a long time
But brick by brick and stone by stone, ‘guess I let Satan build a wall
And that stone wall of my sin blocks out Your Sonshine
‘til I can’t feel Your warmth and I can’t hear Your call
Lord tear it down, make it gone
Without You I’m so alone
And let Your love sink deep into my soul
Like slow rain into the hard dry ground
Let it grow in me as I grow old
Until I know, that I know that I know
That in Your grace my hope is found
And Jesus is loving me . . . home.
I know I fall every day of my lifetime
But day by day, e’en step by step, in patience, You lead on
And on good days I move closer to Your Sonshine
And I learn to love my Savior most of all
Jesus for me, You are enough
Now help me show the world Your love
And let Your love spill over from my soul
Like rain into a cup that’s full
Let me share that love as I grow old
Until all know that they know that they know
That in Your Grace their hope is found
And Jesus is loving us home
Our sweet Jesus . . . is loving us . . . home.
Prayer for today: Thank You, Dear Lord, for the mercy you continue to provide for us daily. We’re sorry that we need it so often. Please endeavor to look upon us and spare us from what we deserve. We praise Your Holy Name!
Prayer Concern: Dear Heavenly Father, help our eyes be opened to the poor among us, whether they are wanting for food, shelter, or just some company, please help us see and act.