“Thus the LORD GOD showed me: Behold, He formed locust swarms at the beginning of the late crop; indeed it was the late crop after the king’s mowings. And so it was, when they had finished eating the grass of the land, that I said: “O LORD GOD, forgive, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, for he is small! So the LORD Relented concerning this, “It shall not be,” said the LORD.
“Thus the LORD GOD showed me: Behold, the LORD GOD called for conflict by fire, and it consumed the great deep and devoured the territory. Then I said: O LORD GOD, cease, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand for he is small! So the LORD relented concerning this. “This also shall not be,” said the LORD GOD.” (Amos 7:1-6)
This morning as I was reading the Word and sipping on my coffee, I heard the Spirit say “Amos.” So I opened the book of Amos, which I never really go to, and started reading chapter one. From the start, God is mad at everyone in this book! Poor Amos has to give bad news to everyone. Then I saw chapter seven and was pulled up short. For the last year I have been watching events in the world go from bad to worse. Fearful times are everywhere just like in the days of Noah.
I confess I have not been praying for the nation of America because I have written it off as done. I have lost hope that America can ever be great again. Yet, here is Amos interceding for the nation of Israel with the LORD. Judgment was issued against Israel and God showed the judgement to His prophet Amos. When the prophet prayed, God relented of the judgment. These particular judgments were turned back by the LORD because the prophet prayed. This gives me hope, that I can cry out to God for my country, my state, my parish (county) and my town–for mercy.
Isn’t God good? Evil people push Him to issue judgment yet He WANTS to show mercy if only someone will pray. All through the book of Amos, the main transgression is oppression and abuse of the poor and helpless. Those trying to do right. God’s people who love Him. Israel had turned away from the Holy One of Israel to demon gods of stone and wood. They were living the good life because of the blessings of their fathers, but they weren’t sowing righteousness in their generation and the blessings were running out. Judgment was at the door. Yet God, told His prophet Amos what He was about to do to judge Israel and when the prophet prayed, He showed mercy–on two separate judgments. He gave them more time to repent; more time to get back on track with Him.
I honestly don’t think America will ever be great again, but I believe that in my world, in my sphere of influence, my prayers for mercy will make a difference. Today God has given me hope in His mercy. He will do anything for His people if we ask Him in faith. Amos said he wasn’t a prophet, rather he was a sheep breeder and a gardener. God saw him differently–He shared His plans with him and when the prophet prayed, mercy was granted to a whole nation.
God may show you something in His Word that He wants YOU to pray to Him for mercy because He really does love mercy and kindness. We can all pray in spite of the impossibilities for a better day.