9 Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt, and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria, and see the great tumults within her, and the oppressed in her midst.”
10 “They do not know how to do right,” declares the Lord, “those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.”
11Therefore thus says the Lord God: “An adversary shall surround the land and bring down your defenses from you, and your strongholds shall be plundered.”
12Thus says the Lord: “As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.
13“Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,” declares the Lord God, the God of hosts,
14 “that on the day I punish Israel for his transgressions, I will punish the altars of Bethel, and the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground.
15 I will strike the winter house along with the summer house, and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall come to an end,” declares the Lord.
The summation of the verses for today is, “even the pagans will be horrified by what happens to you.” That is a dire warning. At this point, if you are paying attention at all, you know that God is not kidding around here. And just like the nation of Israel, sometimes we treat Him like He is doing just that – kidding around. Taking God seriously is a challenge for us for a couple of reasons; one, we can’t see Him so His wrath is basically hidden from us, and two, He is withholding His wrath until the fulfillment of His perfect timing.
Each of us has those areas of our lives that we cater to - those “little” sins that we somehow believe God doesn’t care about or is willing to let slide. Why is that? Do we think that God is willing to look away while we entertain wrong-doing, even though we might consider it minor? For God, sin is sin. It all excludes us from fellowship with Him here on earth and eternity with Him in heaven. We can never regard the justice of God as applying to only certain parts of our lives – He’s not kidding around about our sin.
Because He takes all of our lives so very seriously, He sent Jesus. All of our sin caused Jesus to surrender Himself to death on the cross. He didn’t die just for the big ones (however you define that.) God takes all of our lives seriously and we need to do the same.