Amos 4:12, 13
Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel: and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.
Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel, etc. "All the means that had been employed to reform the Israelites having proved ineffectual, they are here summoned to prepare for the final judgment, which was to put an end to their national existence. To this judgment reference is emphatically made in the terms כח, 'thus;' and זאח, 'this.' There is a brief resumption of the sentence delivered in vers. 2 and 3." We raise three observations from these words.
I. MAN MUST HAVE A CONSCIOUS MEETING WITH GOD. "Prepare to meet thy God." I shall see God," says Job: "whom I shall see for myself, and not another." Yes, we shall all see God. All men ought ever and everywhere to see him, for he is the great Object in the horizon, nearer to them infinitely than aught besides. But they do not. Their spiritual eye is so closed that they see him not; they are utterly unconscious of his presence. But see him they must one day. All must be Brought into conscious contact with him, and in his presence they will feel the greatest things in the universe melt into nothing- The atheist who denies his existence shall see God; the worldling who ignores his existence shall see God; the theologian who misrepresents his existence shall see God. We must all see God.
II. THIS CONSCIOUS MEETING WITH GOD REQUIRES ON OUR PART PREPARATION.
1. To meet him; reconciliation is needed. Practically we are at enmity with him. How shall an enemy stand in his presence? Who does not feel uneasy and even distressed when he confronts a man he hates, although the man may have no disposition and no power whatever to injure him? How will the soul with enmity in its heart then confront him? "I beseech you then in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."
2. To meet him, moral purity is necessary. How will a consciously corrupt soul feel in the presence of absolute holiness? How are the flames of hell kindled? By the rays of Divine holiness falling on corrupt spirits.
"Eternal Light, eternal Light,
How pure the soul must be,
When, placed within thy searching sight,
It shrinks not, but with calm delight
Can live and look on thee!"
III. THE PROCEDURE OF GOD IS AN ARGUMENT FOR THIS PREPARATION.
1. His procedure is terribly judicial "Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel." He was approaching the sinner in judgment, moving towards him judicially. He was coming towards the Israelites as an Avenger. And so he is ever coming towards wicked men. Prepare, therefore, to meet him. He is coming as a Judge - slowly it may be, but surely and terribly.
2. His procedure is overwhelming grand. "Lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is his Name." This magnificent description of Jehovah is given in order to urge the call to preparation.
CONCLUSION. The one mighty, loud, unceasing voice of God to man through all nature, history, and special revelation is, "Prepare to meet thy God." - D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.
WEB: "Therefore thus will I do to you, Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, Israel.