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July 13 – Warning signs

“Yet you have not returned to Me,” says the LORD. – Amos 4:6b

Scripture reading: Amos 4:6-13

All the warning signs were there, but they ignored them to their peril. God sent famine (“cleanness of teeth”) on their land (vs.6). He shut up the heavens and caused drought (vs.7,8). He sent disease, mold, and locusts to destroy their crops (vs.9). He sent plagues and invaders (vs.10). There were even times when Israel was on the brink of defeat (vs.11). But they refused to take the message to heart.

What is that message? It is that God holds all things in His hand and we are not in control of the circumstances of life. Therefore, when disasters and hardships come into our lives we should never think of them as purely the result of natural cause. God uses secondary causes to carry out His purposes, but ultimately all things – both pleasant and painful – come to us from His fatherly hand. It is “He who forms mountains, and creates the wind”.

Moreover, Israel should be asking the question: what is the Lord telling us? Had they turned to His Word they would have recognized the covenant curses of Deuteronomy 28 being visited on them. These were divine messages from their Saviour, trumpet calls to repentance, warning signs pointing to the cliff of judgment to which they were hurtling.

When the Lord sends disasters upon this world, it is not for us to say what exactly God is up to and why He sent the disaster where He sent it. But there is one question that we should ask ourselves: am I ready to meet God on that Day?

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for spiritual sensitivity to God’s trumpet calls of repentance. Pray for the Lord to use His providences to awaken unbelieving loved ones and neighbors to their need for Christ.

Rev. Gary Zekveld is the pastor of New Westminster United Reformed Church in British Columbia, This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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