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Ripe fruit - October 1, 2010
The LORD has sworn by the Pride of Jacob, "I will never forget anything they have done."
We wondered what had produced the strong smell in our Ford Focus. An air freshener gone awry? A discarded banana peel from our daughter's lunch bag? A malfunctioning exhaust system?
It turned out that an errant pear had rolled under the seat on the passenger side. We didn't realize what had happened till our son sought the source of the smell. He found the half-rotten pear, removed it, and did his best to eliminate the stench.
In the days of Amos the prophet, the LORD God of Israel compared his people to a basket of ripe fruit (see Amos 8:1-3). Their sinful excess and blatant idolatry smelled like rotten fruit to the LORD. He threatened his judgment. Assyria would soon sweep away the northern kingdom of Israel.
The LORD's words should have disturbed every listener in Israel. He swore by himself, the Pride of Jacob, to never forget the evil they had done. His patience had run out. The end had come.
Most of the people who listened to Amos' message did not take him seriously. They despised him as a foreigner from the southern kingdom of Judah who had come to meddle in the affairs of the northern kingdom of Israel.
Within a generation God carried out his threat. The kingdom of Israel collapsed.
The same God speaks to the world today through his ancient prophet whose words remain true for this generation. He speaks against the sinful excess and blatant idolatry in our lives. How can the Almighty forget the evil we have done?
Yet he makes a promise that repentant sinners love to hear. The God who says, "I will never forget anything they have done," has also declared, "I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more" (Jeremiah 31:34). Through Jesus Christ, he has kept this promise. Repent and believe the good news.
Righteous God, forgive us, renew us, bless us, and keep us steadfast in your gracious love through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.