Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.


Or something more?

Amos 4:9–11

“I blasted you with blight and mildew.
When your gardens increased,
Your vineyards,
Your fig trees,
And your olive trees,
The locust devoured them;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the LORD.

“I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt;
Your young men I killed with a sword,
Along with your captive horses;
I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the LORD.

“I overthrew some of you,
As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
And you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the LORD.

This passage starts out with a contradiction. The word translated here as “blight” (שִׁדָּפֹון “shid-da-phone”) literally means scorching heat. Heat kills mildew. Irrigation systems are set to run in the morning so that the plants can dry out in the day. Water your lawn in the evening and it’ll develop powdery mildew from being wet all night. Scorching heat may be hard on plants, but it prevents mildew. Hmmm.

We’ve seen this before. God tried to get Israel’s attention with an impossible combination of events that they couldn’t dismiss as mere coincidence. And then, when they got past this and their gardens increased, locusts wiped out everything. And that was only the beginning. Plague, war, and even destruction in the manner of Sodom and Gomorrah all came to pass. They definitely should have been wondering what they did wrong.

But no. They didn’t think, and they did not return to the LORD.

The Israelis are disconnected from God. They’re unaware of His presence and influence in their affairs. Their resistance to His clues is striking, but don’t assume we’re any better. We memorize the words that say God is in control of all things, but do we take this seriously? Do we look for God in all things?

Bruce Van Patter’s column at The Fellowship of Ailbe does that. Check it out.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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