Today we read the prophet Amos’ warning, “Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD?” (5:18). This verse is thought provoking. Why do we desire the day of the Lord? We long for the day when our Saviour comes. The people in the prophet’s day desired the “day of the Lord” when they should not, which seems odd. Were they mistaken in thinking God was on their side?
They were only hearing half the message of the prophets, like today, when many churchgoers think God is purely a God of love. Obadiah, a contemporary of Amos, says, “For the day of the LORD is near upon all nations” (1:15). In the prophet’s day some people in Israel were looking for that day to come – so that their enemies would be destroyed! The day of the Lord will be a time when God shows His anger as well as His love.
Only those trying to be righteous and walk in the sight of God should desire the day of the Lord, knowing it will be a time of great distress. The day of the Lord about to come on the world will affect certain classes of people; Amos writes, “Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches … who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp … invent for themselves instruments of music, who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils …” (6:4-6). The words of Amos are appropriate for those who enjoy prosperity.
Human nature is unchanged, but today there are so many outlets for behaving in an ungodly manner. Let us make sure we desire the day of the Lord for the right reason, being fully aware of what is to take place. In Daniel 12 we read, “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book”. Let us make sure our name is written in God’s book.