June 19, 2018
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 19 June 2018
The prophecy of Amos concludes with a climactic vision (9:1-10), followed by an epilogue that promises restoration for a faithful remnant (vv. 11-15). Amos was a herdsman and a keeper of sycamore trees in the country town of Tekoa. The only reason that he became a preacher was divine compulsion. Amos declared, “A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The LordGodhas spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (3:8). In response to the priest of Bethel (Amaziah), Amos replied, “‘I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. ‘But the Lordtook me from following the flock and the Lordsaid to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Israel’” (7:14-15). In obedience to God’s calling, Amos departed from his pastoral setting in the south and traveled to the Northern Kingdom to proclaim the message that God entrusted to him.
God sent Amos to preach his message to Israel, and until the work was accomplished, he was bound to that duty and could not refuse the divine compulsion. In the days of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther had a similar obligation. Luther received threats and persuasion to desist from his teaching. Having been compelled to teach, Luther said, “Here I stand; I can do no other; so help me God.” The test of a faithful and true messenger of God is to persevere in obedience to the Lord, even among persuasion and threats to do otherwise.
The words of Amos communicate an important point. Amos stated several times in his prophecy that the words he spoke were the very words of God who chose Amos to proclaim the message. God will not inspire you or me (as Amos was); however, through diligent and prayerful preparation, we need to be certain that our actions and thoughts are in obedience to the revealed and living Word of God, and not simply our own perspectives on the issues of the day or whatever we may experience in life. The truth of this statement is especially true with regard to those that God installs providentially as leaders (cf. Prov 8:15; Dan 2:21; 4:17; John 19:11; Rom 13:1).
At his first inauguration on 30 April 1789, our nation’s first President, George Washington, placed his right hand upon the Holy Bible. Following his acceptance of the oath of office, he added, “So help me God.” In his inaugural address, Washington confessed his fervent prayers to God, “who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, [and] his benediction [consecrates] the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States. . . .” Wisdom is acknowledging the providence of God; and therefore, to obey his will, to be grateful for his provisions, and to seek his blessing with humility.
God’s divine commands are always satisfied with his divine provisions. God’s provision is declared in 1 Timothy 2:4 (“who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”). God’s desire is not only salvation, but also “knowledge of the truth.” According to Psalm 19, God has provided general revelation in creation and special revelation through his inspired Word (cf. Ps 138:2; John 14:6). “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps 46:1), and thus it is not an understatement to say that our lives depend upon Him (Amos 5:4, 6).
Your Missionary to Georgia's Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.