Thank you so much for all your prayers! I felt my spirit lift shortly after my last post. God is good. And faithful! He gave me such a wonderful dream that night of being surrounded by friends praying and laying hands on me! The presence of The Holy Spirit was so thick, I thought, It’s a good thing I’m already lying down, or I would fall down!
Then The Lord gave me a great big hug, with a call from my dear friend, and beta reader (the person who edits my manuscripts before I send them to the agent or publisher). The words she’d written on my manuscript, Watch God Work, were,
“WOW! What a profound testimony of uplifting faith. I could not put the book down.”
After an attack from the enemy telling me what a failure I am, I really needed that. Our Father’s timing is beyond perfect!
Sometimes it’s easier to not try at all, than to risk failure. But, when the Spirit told me pointblank, “Finish the book!” what was I going to say, “Sorry, Lord, I just can’t risk failing You.”?
I have to keep reminding myself that the only way to fail God is disobedience. Not just with the book, but with every assignment He gives me.
And, speaking of assignments . . .
Early the first Sunday of the new year, I was in the middle of a dream, deciding what to name a new baby, when I heard, “Amos!” At first I thought, that’s a strange name for a baby . . . But then I realized I’d just heard from my Editor-in-Chief. God had something to show me in the book of Amos. That’s how He speaks to me lately, and He’s shown me some amazing things.
Some Christians shy away from the Prophets, or the Old Testament entirely, thinking it’s message was meant for a past time and people. Besides, who can pronounce all those crazy names?
But our God is multidimensional. He doesn’t exist in a vacuum, or even in a timeline. He is not limited by time, space, or any other boundaries. Neither is His Word. Every name, every number, every word is fluid, in depth and breadth, living and vital from age to age.
Amos is really exciting in the parallel it draws between Israel and America, just as Isaiah does. If you haven’t yet read, The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn, you should.
Taking the Hebrew words from their origins (my paraphrase), let’s see what Amos has to say about God’s people today. He who has ears, let him hear.
“The message of burden (Amos) made known to the shepherds of the special flock, of the blast of the trumpet (Tekoa), concerning God’s Triumph (Israel) in the days of my strength is Jehovah (Uzziah), the King of the praised (Judah), and in the days when the people will contend (Jeroboam) with what was given by the Lord (Joash), the King of God’s Triumph (Israel), two years before the great shaking (earthquake).”
That’s a mouthful!
A great earthquakes did in fact occur in Palestine two years after Amos received this Word from God and is documented in Zechariah 14:5. Although Uzziah’s name meant, “My strength is Jehovah,” Uzziah was known best for his pride and arrogance, making him a type of anti-Christ. Also, pay attention to the name of Tekoa, meaning “the blast of the trumpet” which is the signal on Rosh Hashanah to repent and return to the Lord. And, what was given given by the Lord was Jesus, with whom the people are contending. But I also want to draw your attention to the timing of two years.
In keeping with its nature, the number two is symbolic of the both ends of a spectrum. On one hand, it represents unity, two entities coming into agreement or covenant. As in marriage, “the two shall become one flesh.”
It also represents derision and separation, as when two entities contend with one another. Did you catch that word, contend, from the opening verse? This is a signpost. A flashing yellow light.
My point is that this devastating earthquake need never have happened. God was warning Israel. He was giving them a choice, “honor our Covenant, and let Me bless you, or continue to contend with Me, and face My wrath.”
Our God is very loving and patient, as a good father should be. He doesn’t smack down His child the moment he strays. He gives a warning, like a parent counting to three. “1 . . . You’re not doing what you’re supposed to do . . . 2 . . . I’m getting the paddle . . . 3 . . . SMACK!” No parent wants to reach 3, but a good parent will follow through swiftly.
Of course, we know Israel chose to ignore the signpost. We also know from our last financial disaster and 911, that America is following in the footsteps of Israel.
The bad news is, according to Amos, this is only two years away from “the time the people contend with Christ.”
The good news is that it doesn’t have to happen. We have a choice, repent, and turn back to The God our nation was founded on, restoring God’s favor and protection, or continue with business as usual, and be humbled by the Hand of God.
“And he said, Jehovah (The God of the redeemed) will roar from a solitary place , and give his voice from the teaching of peace (those who live according to His teaching and covenant); and the pastures of the shepherds shall mourn, and the upper most part of the vineyard shall be dried up.“
Who are these shepherds? Those who tend His flock until His return. However, unlike the “shepherds of the special flock” above, these shepherds have left their first love, turning the living body of Christ into a cold, dead religion. They serve themselves and the world rather than the Living God. These are the ones Jesus speaks of in Matthew 7:21-23 (CJB),
“ “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’ Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!“
In those days, the world will look upon “the church” and say, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen!”
That’s just the first two verses! But I think that’s enough to meditate on for now. Next time, the line between Israel and the U.S. fades, and the “special flock” receive a Word of encouragement and POWER!
God’s grace and peace be yours,