Thursday, July 08, 2010

Does it satisfy?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Amos 4:1-13

TO CHEW ON: "So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water. But they were not satisfied. Yet you have not returned to Me." Amos 4:8

If there is one thing we can know for sure, it is that for our whole healthy lives we will need to turn to food and water again and again for physical satisfaction. Here, Amos draws a parallel to the perpetual lack of physical  satisfaction and Israel's spiritual state. They too are continually seeking satisfaction, but seeking in the wrong places. And despite the fact that God is raining the consequences of their sins on their own heads, it's not bringing about the desired spiritual changes.

He sent famine, withheld rain, appeared preferential (sending rain on one city but not another), troubled their gardens with pests and disease, allowed their own children to fall to the plague. But it was all to no avail. "Yet you have not returned to Me."

Amos tells them what will bring lasting satisfaction. It is the destination to which all his doom-filled predictions are meant to drive them - to God Himself. "Seek Me and live (5:4); Seek the Lord and live (5:6); Seek good and not evil that you may live (5:14); Let justice rain down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream (5:24).

We are not so different from these Israelites. Our search for satisfaction takes us down paths of overwork, shopping, too much food and drink, sex, sometimes even drunkenness and addiction. But we're looking in the wrong places. Because only God can once-and-for-all satisfy the gnawing hunger that creeps back when we feed in other places.

The way the prophet Jeremiah describes what we do is so right-on:

"My people have committed a compound sin:
   they've walked out on me, the fountain
Of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns—
   cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves." - Jeremiah 2:13 (Message)

God's invitation to come to Him for lasting, spiritual thirst-quenching is clear. Jesus promised that those hungering and thirsting for righteousness would be filled. He promised He would be water that would be like an artesian fountain flowing from within, and forever satisfying bread.

Do I come to Him to be satisfied? Do you?

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to look for satisfaction in You. I confess I don't always go to You first when I'm 'thirsty.' Teach me how finding satisfaction in You looks in my day-to-day life. Amen.

MORE: "This is the Air I Breathe" music and lyrics by Marie Barnett
(Sung by Hillsong)

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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