We must PREPARE ourselves to MEET OUR GOD: "Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel! For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is, and makes the morning darkness, who treads the high places of the earth -- the Lord God of hosts is His name." (Amos 4:12-13)
The consequences of Israel’s disobedience were catastrophic. The people had rejected God’s ever-increasing warnings. Now they would face God Himself: “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.” When God came in judgment, the people would finally understand that He is “the Lord God Almighty.” From this point on, Amos stressed two key themes: the coming of God in judgment and the covenant name of God (namely, Yahweh).
God used several means of discipline—drought, famine, crop diseases, locusts, plagues, war, and local catastrophes (v. 11)—and yet the people of Israel did not get the message. They had met with God’s disciplines, but the next step was to meet God Himself (v. 12). He was personally coming to judge them.
It was a tragedy that the people of Israel kept living in luxury (vv. 1–3) and carrying out their religious duties (vv. 4–5) while ignoring the call of God. The text “prepare to meet your God” is not a command to meet God in the sense of returning to Him. It was too late for this. This was to be a confrontation in which Yahweh would pronounce sentence. The phrase comes from Exodus 19:15–17, where, after three days of sanctification, the people met the Lord at Sinai. Then they met a God who was graciously forging a covenant with them. Now they would meet a God who was coming to judge their covenant disobedience.
However, by application this statement makes a great gospel warning. The evangelist D. L. Moody found four things in this text: (a) There is one God; (b) We are accountable to him; (c) We must meet him; (d) We need preparation to meet him (Notes from My Bible).
In our comfort and prosperity, we may think that we are immune from God’s judgment, but let us always remember that we will be judged by God one day. Are we prepared to meet our God? If not, let’s prepare ourselves for that greater encounter with God one day!
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Cor 5:10)