Amos 4:7,8, "And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD."
Amos chapter 4 contains five things God did to Israel to cause her to return to Him.
(1) Verse 6, He took away her food,
(2) Verse 7,8, He took away her rain,
(3) Verse 9, He gave her blasting [blight] and mildew,
(4) Verse 10, He gave them a losing war,
(5) Verse 11, and he destroyed some of them like He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet Israel did not return to God.
Our nation is not Israel, and cannot claim the promises that God made to Israel. But we ought to realize that our present drought is caused by God. There is really only one sin that has caused God to withhold rain, and that is the sin of failing to love HIM.
God Can Wake Us Up!
A failure to put God first has caused God to get our attention. I heard on the news (6/15/88) that some of the farmers in the Midwestern states are assembling together to pray for rain. Isn't it sad that God must sent a drought before we pray for those things only God can give? I wonder how many of those farmers would attend Sunday church services if they were able to work in their fields? Do you think those farmers will go back to church to thank God for the rain if He sends it?
God could really put us in a bind by simply withholding rain. Some farmers have already plowed their crops under. Some cattle ranchers have sold their cattle early because they don't have the feed to raise them to maturity. This will flood the market, forcing prices down, until all the excess cattle are sold, then prices will go up, but nobody will have any cattle to sell.
Why is it that God must stop the rain before we look to him? Why is it that God must send hunger, thirst, sickness and ruin before we turn to Him? Is this God's plan for us? Or is it the stubbornness of sin that causes us to seek every other way except God's way? May God help us to see our wickedness and turn to Him.
What Does God Have On His Mind?
This question is simple to answer. He wants His children to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." Mark 12:30. A true love for God will cause us to forsake the sin which so easily besets us, trusting God to keep us pure.
How far will things have to go before we turn to God? How many rainless days, weeks, and months will have to pass before we realize that God is in control of everything? We might lift our eyes toward the clear blue skies, looking for the rain clouds, but will we look higher than the clouds, looking for God to answer our prayers?
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Somebody listens to every prayer,
When you are ill and burdened with care,
When your soul is bent with its weight of woe,
Tell it to Someone who loves you so.
Someone will tell you that He understands,
He'll hold your heart in His gentle hands,
Just like a child when the Father's near,
With God at your side, there's nothing to fear.
When days are long and nights have no end,
When things go wrong, there's always one friend.
Just lift your eyes and you'll see Him there,
With His gentle smile as He hears your prayer.