On our way back from the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon, my husband, daughter, and I drove the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway. It was so beautiful! Hard to believe God created all that just for me. Even more amazing, that it pales in comparison to the splendor of Heaven!
We stopped at Guy W. Talbot State Park to enjoy Latourell Falls, and my husband noticed a trailhead promising another waterfall. We couldn’t resist. Wrapped in the green lushness of nature, we began our hike, the distant roar of water beckoning us forward to the glory it promised.
Of all God’s words that could come to mind in such glorious surroundings, what came took me by surprise.
“But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.” —Amos 5:24
Such ominous words, reeking of vengeance and punishment. In fact, they were God’s Words to Israel, just before the great earthquake we’ve been studying in my previous posts, The Warning Before the Earthquake I, II, and III.
As God’s warning of judgment turned in my mind, I prayed for understanding and was reminded that just before this, God tells His people,
“Seek Me, and you will live!”–Amos 5:4
The Lord began to show me that the words that once caused fear and trepidation are in fact His guide to fulfilling this directive!
A literal translation of Amos 5:24 from the Hebrew would read,
“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing torrent.”
The word “justice” here is the Hebrew mishpa, meaning to pass judgment. This can mean punishment, but it can also mean “vindication” or “justification.” This is what the blood of Jesus provides for those who believe Him.
“Righteousness” is the Hebrew, tsedaqah, also meaning “truthfulness,” “vindication,” “justification,” and “salvation.”
Under the New Covenant, righteousness is not the angry fist of God coming down on us. It is a gift He bestows on us through the blood of Christ.
When we believe Jesus Christ our Savior–not in Him, even the demons believe in Him, but believe Him–we are purified by His precious blood. We are justified by His righteousness. The Holy Spirit rolls down on us, like the water that flowed from Jesus’ side.
And notice the word “ever-flowing.” When we remain in that flow of Living Waters, drinking Him in, His righteousness works in us, as The Holy Spirit convicts us of hidden sin, and we allow Him to wash it away in that ever-flowing torrent. What a picture! Not just clean on the outside, but clean on the inside!
Making time each day to be alone with this Beautiful Savior who gave His life for us, enables us to remain in that flow and know Him more intimately. He is so worth knowing!
It is from this place of abiding that we enter into The Holy of Holies. It is from here that we are transformed by His love. His love is then released through us—and His love has the power to change the world!
Let justification roll down on me with Your Holy Spirit. Let me stand continually in the transforming flow of Your righteousness–never to be the same again. Amen.
God’s grace and peace be yours,