God, a Consuming Fire

 from Lynda Lindsey

I will send fire upon the house of ... that will consume the fortress of ... Amos 1-2

On the day I punish Israel for her sins, I will destroy the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. Amos 3:14

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

Amos 5:14-15

Amos, a shepherd from the southern kingdom, was sent to prophesy and warn Israel of God’s impending judgment. Politically and economically Israel was at the peak of power, yet the nation was spiritually corrupt. Idolatry flourished where God alone was supposed to reign supreme. Spiritual leaders encouraged sin and pretense, greed, hypocrisy, injustice, depravity, and oppression.

Total destruction, warned Amos, was imminent. God is pictured as a lion poised to devour the unfaithful. God’s consuming fire would destroy all nations, including Israel and Judah. God would even desert the altars of Bethel, a place of protection, leaving people no place of refuge. God had warned His people over and over to return to Him, to seek Him and live, to no avail. People, preferring to glorify self rather than God, chose extravagant, hedonistic lifestyles all the while taking advantage of the poor.

God, a consuming fire, is a jealous God. He will have no other gods before Him. He desires, and deserves, our worship. God, in His holiness, will consume our sin and wickedness as surely as a silversmith’s fire burns away dross. Today’s society mirrors society in Amos’ day. We have been warned. Seek good, not evil, that we may live. God is good. Seek Him. Seek God above all else. We have no need of the horns on the altar for protection now, for we have the risen, living Savior as our refuge. Allow Jesus to be an all consuming Presence. He’s more than enough!