Being the perfectly organized person that I am, I've crammed my read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year daily devotions into 16 months...and counting. Renee and I started this together on January 1, 2006, and after about a week of looking back and forth for the the Bible, I decided to let her use the NIV version of our One Year Bile, and I picked up the Living Bible translation. It read very easy, but I've always got in the back of my mind as I read, "I wonder what the REAL Bible says in this passage."
So, part of the reading for today...I mean December 11 was Amos 4. God says, " 'I sent you hunger, but it did no good; you still would not return to me. I ruined your crops...I sent a blight and mildew on your farms and your vineyards; the locusts ate your figs and olive trees. And still you would not return to me...I sent you plagues...I killed your lads in war and drove away your horses...And yet you refused to come. I destroyed some of your cities...And still you won't return to me', says the Lord."
I know that sometimes, I get caught in the trap that if life is comfortable, then I must be doing what God wants. This passage just really struck me for some reason this morning that God gave them trouble in an effort to renew his relationship with his people. The NIV translation of Amos 4:6 says, "I gave you empty stomachs..."
I hope our country, people, church can return to God without needing the gift of trouble to turn our hearts.