Today we read:
Romans 2:17 to 3:8
Amos 1:1 to 2:26
God values all of His creation especially humanity because we are created in his image. Having wealth doesn’t make you better than anyone, in fact in God’s eyes, it can make you worse because it was the rich man who went to hell, and the poor man Lazarus who was taken up to paradise ( Luke 16:19-31). The above passages are a reminder to keep the bond of brotherhood because as Martin Luther King Jr put it ” If we don’t learn to live together as brothers we will perish as fools”.
Proverbs gives us insight into maintaining the bond of love. It shows us that by having a gracious attitude we promote love. When we don’t bring old stuff back up, it causes us to keep our friendships. In the study of the beatitudes with John Stott, it came across my attention that “true mourning” is turning away from repeating a matter. So there are two ways to look at this. The first way is for the person wronged not to bring up the matter again, and the second way is from the person doing the wrong not to do it again. Jesus reminds us to forgive ” 70 times 7″ ( Matthew 18:21) in scriptures, but if we are doing wrong we need to repent because no one who willing sins is living out true love (Hebrews 10:26).
In Romans, we see that we cannot only be hearers of God’s word but doers. The Jews are the “big brothers” whom God chose to give us God’s promise, but sadly they throughout their history have rejected the Promises and lost the benefits of God’s word by rejecting what God said. It’s compared to someone who has lots of gym equipment but never uses it. Jesus compared them to the two sons, one who gladly accepted what his father said, but didn’t do it while the other said he wouldn’t do but did what his father asked. ( Matthew 21:30) What God really cares about is the circumcision of our imagination. Taking out any idols, images, and things that make our hearts a scary place to live. Since God lives in our hearts, we should make it a nice place to live, just like when you invite guests over and want them to have a clean place. The good news is that Jesus will actually come over your house and help you clean up if you invite him over. What’s in our heart plays out on earth, so God wants us to cut out those things that are selfish, self-seeking, and makes the earth a treacherous place.
Amos wraps everything up because we see nations denying brotherhood, prostituting themselves, and selling each other out. The most disturbing thing I saw Israel do was with its women. Father and son “used the same girl” and so profaned God’s name (Amos 2:7). God cares about our sex life, the way we satisfy our sexual desires matters to God. These men of Israel were disrespecting God by disrespecting women, to profane something means to not treat it as sacred. When I hear this I think of the porn, and prostitution industry. They not only did that but ” They sell the righteous for silver” and ” The needy for a pair of sandals” (v.6) They trample on the heads of the poor. The sin of the chosen people seems to always be with that of idolatry, and prostitution. They devalued righteousness, their brothers and sisters, and chose Baal over brotherhood. All throughout this text we see people disregarding “brotherhood” (Amos 1:9-10). The greatest commandments are that we love God with all our heart soul, mind, and strength, and the other is that we love others like we want to be loved! “Tyre sold whole communities captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood”. It’s sad how the money will make a person sell their brother. The first murder in the Bible was between Cain and Abel. Cain’s jealously went unchecked and he slaughtered his brother so he could feel good about himself, but it only made him a curse. We must be careful not to do the same.
” If we don’t learn to live together as brothers we will perish as fools”.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Please restore our brotherhood and sisterhood so that we live in the harmonious family you intended since the creation of the world.