As humans, we have been designed as creatures that spend our lives seeking after God. We have been designed to desire to know God. When we choose not to seek after God, our ‘seeking’ does not stop. It simply becomes focused on other people or things. The prophet Amos addresses Israel about this very problem. While the Israelites boast of being God’s Chosen people, they fail to act as such. Instead, Amos says they seek after their own interests. As a result, the nation becomes corrupt. The powerful prey on the poor and accept bribes which deprive people of justice. Righteousness has been forsaken for selfish gain. Those who speak truth are despised by the rest of society. In response, Amos warms of a time when Yahweh, The Great I Am, will consume all of the corruption that has spread among the people. In a great exhibition of His Righteousness, God will bring about destruction on the nation. Those who have once thought themselves powerful will be rendered powerless to withstand God’s Sovereign Judgment against them. Israel will mourn and wail in anguish.
Still, in the midst of this judgment, Amos also relays a chance of hope for the people, which can only be found in God. “Seek good,” he says, “and not evil so that you may live… and the Lord will be with you as you have claimed.” The Lord may relent if they decide to once again seek the good that God seeks, and live as God’s people, the people they claim themselves to be. Even during Israel’s waywardness, God offers another chance for the people to seek after Him. He invites them to live and avoid destruction.
Seeking after people and things other than God leads to destruction. The example of Israel shows what a society without God becomes: one of injustice, oppression, corruption, and greed. Here, the truth is hated and integrity is scoffed at. This type of society exists because the people within it have chosen not to seek God. The only way of true Righteousness is found by following the path God sets before us. When God says, “Seek Me and live,” He is saying that the only way to life is through Him.
What is your daily, weekly, or even moment-by-moment motivation? What in life are your chasing after? What do you spend your life seeking? These are points of self-examination which can either affirm us in our walk with God or recalibrate our steps down the path He calls us. Wherever you may be in your journey of faith, hear the Word of God this day: Seek God and live!