AND NOW – “A WORD FROM OUR PROPHET!”

AMOS 5:21-24: “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.” NLT
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OBSERVATION: I remember the Golden Age of Television. When I was a small boy growing up in the 60s, television was in its heyday. Families gathered around the TV to watch shows during what was called “prime time.” This was usually 7PM – 10PM, although I was never allowed up past 9PM! Unlike today, each show was sponsored by one or two companies. When there was a commercial break the announcer would say,

“And now, a word from our Sponsor!”

It is very rare today that you will hear a sermon from one of the minor prophets. These are the smaller books at the end of the Old Testament that feature the writings of godly prophets who spoke to both the nation of Israel and Judah. They called them back to repentance from their sinful backsliding. They spoke of the nature of God and revealed both His mercy and justice. As I read in the book of Amos today, it was as if I was a small child again, sitting intently at the television, and then I heard,

“And now, a word from our Prophet!”

As I look upon the condition of this world, as I approach a major election in just 3 days, I wonder – am I really engaged in what is going on or am I simply offering up sacrifices and singing songs. The uncomfortable reality that is revealed in the minor prophets is that I can be involved in all the trappings of religion and be completely blind to my true spiritual condition.

This was the reality for both Israel and Judah. They had embraced idols, they participated in injustice, they ignored the poor, they practiced all forms of immorality, and yet they contined offering sacrifices, celebrating feasts, and holding worship services. They ingnored the prophet’s call to repentance.

What did they have to repent for? God loved them. They were God’s chosen people. Certainly these prophets, minor ones to boot, had it all wrong!

How many churches will stand from their pulpits this coming Sunday to call their congregations to repentance, to righteousness, and to vote for principles and candidates that support life, liberty, and justice? How many will look past their worship set, videos, and announcements and take time to cry out to God for His mercy and deliverance. My prayer is that all will do this. Yet, I know this is not the case.

So, as the services start, as people gather to worship, as the morning is planned, perhaps we all need to stop and hear these words,

“And now, a word from our Prophet!”

  • “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.”

Lord, when I hear these words, I do not point a finger. I hear them speaking to my heart. I hear them challenging me to break up my fallow ground and plant seeds of righteousness. I hear them calling me to stand up for the poor, uphold that which is good, and by Your great grace – to be swept away in a mighty flood of justice and and endless river of righteouss living. Lord, transform my heart so that my worship will be acceptable in Your sight. Help me to –

“Hear the word of Your Prophet!”

In Jesus’ Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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1 Response to AND NOW – “A WORD FROM OUR PROPHET!”

  1. I remember watching the Golden Age of Television on our black and white TV. Nothing nasty was ever seen. During the westerns when someone got shot, most of the time you never saw any blood. Married couples slept in single beds. Foul words never poured forth, even from gangsters and evil doers.

    How far we fallen from that time. How dark it has become. The last two paragraphs in your post really hit home…how much we need to give heed to “a word from our Prophet!” Thank you for the very timely reminder!

    Like

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