“Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.” – Amos 5:14-15 NRSV
One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of Amos. It reveals so much about the character of God and the relationship God wants to have with us. In chapter 5, there is this refrain, “Seek the Lord and live.” This refrain comes after God has revealed through Amos his frustration with the people, not just Israel, and has shown them what will happen if they don’t change their ways. Chapter 5 in some Bibles is labeled a lament. God is lamented on behalf of all people, “Seek the Lord and live.” God wants to reconcile. God doesn’t want to punish. God wants to draw close. God wants to pour abundant blessings on the people, but they have to see themselves with honest eyes first.
Repentance is a hard spiritual practice. The first time I attempted it, I only spent about five minutes before I was exhausted. Who wants to take the time to name all the awful, sinful things we have done? This practice is not for God, but for us. We have to see ourselves with honest eyes before we can understand the vastness of God’s amazing glory. I will say that even five minutes of naming and claiming those moments where I was not who God made me to be brought freedom and opened me to receiving God’s forgiveness.
Repentance reminds us we are broken and God can make us whole again. The scar of that broken place may still show, but God has made it beautiful in a way we never imagined. When we acknowledge we have a part in the broken places of this world, God allows us to be a part of the creative process of making it whole again. We become co-creators with God. We are able to seek God and live, live life abundant. Live life in a way that proclaims God’s glory and majesty, all because we stopped and took the time to name that we are broken.
Posted on Thu, March 2, 2017
by Micah James