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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10/19/11 Amos 9:1-10

I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said: “Strike the tops of the pillars so that the thresholds shake.  Bring them down on the heads of all the people; those who are left I will kill with the sword.
Not one will get away, none will escape. 2 Though they dig down to the depths below, from there my hand will take them. Though they climb up to the heavens above, from there I will bring them down.
3 Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, there I will hunt them down and seize them.
Though they hide from my eyes at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent to bite them.
4 Though they are driven into exile by their enemies, there I will command the sword to slay them. “I will keep my eye on them for harm and not for good.” 5 The Lord, the LORD Almighty— he touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mourn; the whole land rises like the Nile,
then sinks like the river of Egypt; 6 he builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the earth; he calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land—
the LORD is his name. 7 “Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?”  declares the LORD.
“Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?
8 “Surely the eyes of the Sovereign LORD  are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. Yet I will not totally destroy the descendants of Jacob,” declares the LORD. 9 “For I will give the command,  and I will shake the people of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve,
and not a pebble will reach the ground. 10 All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’

(Grain Sieve)
Handel "Thus Saith the Lord...I will shake"

Thoughts: Jesus said that in the end God will separate the wheat from the weeds and the bad fish from the good fish.  Here Amos says a similar thing- that God will separate as with a grain sieve the true believers from the false ones.  God knows the heart- and He alone can truly separate.  Not one bad grain will be left (not one piece of bone in the chicken salad).  The purification of the church does not come until God makes it come.  Too many try to find or make the perfect church here, when we should try to make a gracious church that pursues holiness together.   

Prayer: Help me to trust in your separation, and your shaking.  The holiness of the church depends, Lord, not on my separating myself from sinners, but your making your church pure.  

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