Monday, September 12, 2016

Amos 8:4-7 God Will not Forget Our Deeds

KEY TEXT: Amos 8:4-7 “Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, "When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat? The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: 'Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.'"

KEY THOT: Amos the prophet prophesied around 750 BC against the dishonest and unethical business practices of the Northern Kingdom Israelite society, before God’s judgment fell on Israel in 722 BC. Business persons were exploiting the poor and needy, ignoring the Sabbath, and only focused on maximizing their profits at the expense of the weak and vulnerable. They were motivated by greed and have no regard for justice and integrity. The Lord himself promised: “The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.” God notices every act we have done, especially in our workplaces. 

Nothing escapes his attention. Our “holy acts” on weekend in church cannot compensate nor erase the unethical workplace practices. The same God who watches over our ministry practices is the same God who watches over our business/work practices. 

And He says, “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.” Christians in the workplace are under pressure daily to compromise their integrity, to tweak the figures, to make false promises in order to spice up the company's bottomline using less than honest methods. While their pastors may not see how they have conducted themselves on weekdays, God does. He sees everything they do and he will not overlook them. 

There will be a day of reckoning for all, including those who belong to the household of God. Apostle Peter has warned believers: “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17-18). Just because we are believers will not grant us immunity from divine judgment if we refuse to repent. We have no "royal" immunity to sin with impunity. God has given us the power to overcome sin through the Cross and the Spirit. If we do not avail ourselves of these graces of God, God’s judgment will surely come.

Jesus says that one day, our dark deeds will be exposed. Our sins cannot be hidden forever: "Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops" (Luke 12:2-3). The only safe business practice is honesty and integrity. Grace is not an excuse for sin but the power to eradicate sin.

That God sees and remembers everything we do can be good news too, It means that the way of repentance and restoration is open to us. God exposes our dark deeds now so that we can confess them before Him and escape the divine judgment that will come later. When God forgives, He also forgets and he will remember our sins no more. 

Father God, forgive and cleanse us from all our unethical practices in our workplaces. May Your Holy Spirit impart faith and courage to us to do the right things before You. For Jesus' sake. Amen.

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