“The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD” (Amos 7:6).TEXT — Amos 7:4-9
A mother once approached Napoleon seeking pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death. “But I don’t ask for justice”, the mother explained. “I plead for mercy”. “But your son does not deserve mercy”, Napoleon replied. The woman cried, “Sir, it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for.” “Well, then”, the emperor said, “I will have mercy”. And he spared the woman’s son.
God indeed was slow to punish Israel for their sins. The secret communications between the Most High God and Amos – a herdsman and sycamore fruit gatherer – revealed the depth of love and concern the heavenly Father had for Israel. Amos, a compassionate prophet, was persistent in his intercession until Israel got a reprieve. Each time God spoke of an impending judgment that would befall Israel, the prophet came up with a plea for Israel, repeatedly asking from God, “by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small”.
That we have people standing in the gap and praying for us does not mean we should continue in sin that grace should abound. As God’s people, we must not indulge in sin and rebellion. Prophet Amos’ intercession went on even though the Israelites of the northern kingdom who benefitted from his pleas did not show remorse. Instead, they and their priest, Amaziah, cooperated in persecuting Amos, who came from the southern kingdom of Israel; a God-sent prophet who warned them of the coming danger.
Today, we must ensure we do not frustrate the grace and mercies of God which Christ our Saviour bestows. While divine mercy speaks on our behalf, we must ensure we appropriate all the favours and benefits it brings.
Thought for the day
Do not frustrate the mercy that speaks on your behalf.
- in one year
- LEVITICUS 8 – 11