Update (24 Oct 2011): This post was imported from my old blog
I was reading the book of Amos (عاموس), which is one of these bible books that you either skip or read without any benefit, BUT THIS TIME NO .. I decided I must find something .. And here goes 😀
The last 3 chapters in the book of Amos talk about God showing him 5 visions, please read them first however much they may seem difficult:
1) locust swarms at the beginning of the late crop (7:1-3)
The verse reads that God will send locusts that will eat the “late” crop after the king’s mowings, it some how hit me that it meant fake good work or good work done for a different purpose than God. Because although there was crop, it wasn’t intended for the king. I see the crop owner saying “The king already took his share what more does he want from me!!!” … I see it in different events, I see it after a long day of service followed by a party that Jesus wouldn’t be happily attending, I see it after attending Christmas liturgy then the feast turns into a meat-eating contest, and I also see it in weddings after it starts as a Holy service where we all witness the uniting of two people into one through the Holy Spirit then we end the night with a party that Jesus wouldn’t attend.
So God wants to send locusts to get rid of the crops that show-up after his mowing!!!
2) conflict by fire (7:4-6)
This part I felt was a bit easier, God said that He will send fire, what does fire burn?? Paul says it in a better way in 1 Corinthians 3:12-13 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” So I thought, God is telling us that in the last vision we might be doing things that may seem OK or actually great culturally and socially, but is it??? Now He says he will send His fire to test it; is it gold or is it straw??
3) a plumb line (7:7-9) – a plumb line is a simple tool that measures the verticality of walls.
OK so how should I know that what I’m doing is write or wrong?? Is there something to compare my works with?? Is there something vertical that I can align my life to?? Actually Solomon replies to this and simply says in Proverbs 3:6 “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”. All of a sudden these three visions get tied together, if in all my works I acknowledge God, my paths will be straight, therefore will bare crops that are part of God’s mowing and won’t be affected by fire because they are pure intentions made of gold!!!
4) a basket of summer fruit (8:1-14)
What does a basket of Summer fruit have to do with all of this … well I felt God chose fruit, because fruit in the bible has two meanings, either good fruit like the fruit of the Spirit and also there is bad fruit like the one that was the reason for the fall of mankind. Same thing with works and intentions, you could have good works, but with good or bad intentions. That’s how it is related to the plumb line, it’s a reminder that not everything that looks good is really good …“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) … I also saw God showing me the beauty of living with Him, especially that after a few verses Amos reads, “I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD”, so the basket of fruit is like a teaser showing me that I will miss a lot if I decide not to follow his path, but “when your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty“.
5) the Lord standing by the altar, and He said: “Strike the doorposts” (9:1-10) – Door posts were the main columns that carried buildings, like the ones that Samson destroyed after he regained his strength.
Finally, He was standing next to the alter and asked me to destroy it!! I felt God asking me to demolish everything that I worshipped in my life and everything that I saw Holy or saw that I thought I am doing for God, but I wasn’t. Stop acting religious, stop serving while seeking praise, stop serving others while I’m the one who needs service, DEMOLISH THE ALTER, but then start newly, start fresh, build with Gold, build vertical walls, build for Him only. “Carefully consider [your thoughts, intentions, and works] from this day forward … before stone is laid upon stone in the temple of the LORD” (Haggai 2:15)