Amos 5:4-6 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.  Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
The secret to a joyous, full, and blessed life is to seek the Lord. The word “seek” used in this text is דָּרַשׁ dârash (pronounced daw-rash’) which means “to follow after, to pursue, to worship, to seek”. Seek the Lord and LIVE! Do not seek the idols of this world.
“Idols” you say. “What idols do we worship today instead of God”? We worship the idol of SELF. We make ourselves to be gods. As a matter of fact, this is the ORIGINAL SIN. The Devil told Adam and Eve in the Garden “You shall not die if you eat the forbidden” …
Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
An idol is anything that is worshipped above God … and the idols of today are seen in Facebook and Twitter. We have made idols of ourselves. That is what is wrong with America today – IDOLATRY.
We must turn back to God.
1 The Power Of A People Is In The God Of The Scripture. An idol is no god. God said “Seek ye ME and you SHALL LIVE”.
a Turning From The God Of The Bible We Lose ECONOMIC Prosperity. To set our desire on the I instead of the Great I AM is to eventually lose out. The power of God’s Israel and God’s Church is in it’s seeking of God. God told His people:
Amos 5:2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
It is God Who blesses. It is God Who lifts up a nation. When we cease seeking God and start following what we THINK rather than what GOD HAS SAID then we invite disaster. Israel had fallen and there was NONE TO RAISE HER UP. Why? Because she had turned away from the Almighty God. The great truth of the Scripture is what King David learned:
Psalms 16:5 (HCSB) LORD, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.
A nation can be no greater than it’s reliance upon the God of the Scripture. When Israel turned from following God the Lord told them:
Amos 5:3 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.
The backsliding and idolatry that has taken this country and many of its churches will eventually cost us in strength. The city that went out by a thousand – a prosperous city that exported much – now leaves a hundred. And that which went forth by a hundred now leaves by ten. Gradually but certainly those who will not seek God lose. They cease to live and just exist. It is sad that the unbeliever runs around asking “What shall we eat?” and “what shall we drink?” and “what shall we wear?”. It is far sadder that the Prodigal Son walk away from the blessings of God’s presence, trading the fatted calf for the slop of the pig pen. As His Children God says ….
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Seek God and live. We have the promise of Christ that if we cling to Him and forsake the darkness of sin and self that …
Matthew 19:29 … every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
The unrighteous may seem to prevail for a time, but in eternity (where time is but a drop in the ocean) those who seek the Lord will be blessed forever.
b Turning From The God Of The Bible We Lose Our ETHICS – Our Moral Compass – And Our Common Sense. The “Sexual Revolution” of the 60s turned into the “Abortion Industry” of the 70s which has now morphed into a state where we don’t know which restroom to use. How did we get from Mayberry to Mayhem? Because we turned from SEEKING God’s Word to SEEKING our feelings. If I FEEL this way it is right, regardless as to what common sense or medical science might say.
What is the solution to our moral rot? It is to seek God. The Lord said:
Amos 5:7-8 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,  Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:
America as a nation is morally confused, because judgment apart from God’s Word leads to wormwood – to bitterness – to dismay, destruction, and death. What has led to the sexual sin in our country? The Apostle Paul said that it begins with not seeking God. He said:
Romans 1:21-32 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
It is no trifle to turn from seeking God! It is a slippery slope that – in time – leads to anarchy. We are about there now. And people do not want to hear what God has said. Our text tells us that …
Amos 5:10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
The hardest thing that I face as a Pastor is not in sermon preparation, nor even in the counseling sessions that I do during the week. The hardest thing I face is – as Pastor Shane Idleman said – “witnessing the tragic results of spiritual dehydration – people dying spiritually with the living water of God just steps away.
“Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst” (John 4:14)
You get the water of God by seeking God. Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). What you seek, you find. If you seek SIN and PERVERSION then you will find it. But if you seek God you will find Him. And if you find Him, you will be blessed.
c If You Do Not Seek The God Of The Bible Your Heart Will Harden. When Jesus Christ walked this earth, everywhere He went He did good. Eleven of His Apostles saw the heart of Christ, how He was always reaching out to others to lift them up in the Love of God. But one – Judas Iscariot – he was not seeking God. He was greedy. The Bible says that when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with oil Judas said:
John 12:5-6 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?  This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
When you seek the Lord the Son of God will melt your hearts and bring them in line with His will. But if you seek self and sin then eventually you become calloused. We read:
Amos 5:11-12 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.  For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
People are not things – they are made in the image of God. Every person – no matter how big or small – was meant to walk with and for God.
I heard a story once I thought I’d share with you. A little boy had heard about God in Sunday School, so he set out to seek God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his an old Walmart sack with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of cola and started his journey. When he had gone about three blocks he saw an old man sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his cola when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him some chips. The old man thanked him – and then he smiled at the boy. His smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a cola. Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word. As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. The old man gave him his biggest smile ever. When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?” He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? He’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!” Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, “Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?” He replied “I ate potato chips in the park with God.” However, before his son responded, he added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”
When you seek God you live as God the Son showed us how to live. We are to love others as He loved us. To reach out to others to uplift, not to strangle nor tear down. Those who seek God know that there is no blessing in living a ME centered life. God’s Children are commanded to love God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). We are not loving our neighbor when we see him in pain and do nothing. When we see a brother or a sister hungering, should we not feed them? The Apostle Paul worked hard, giving an example to us, and reminding us that …
Acts 20:35 (KJV) …. laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
It is ALWAYS more blessed to give than to receive. Seeking God you will discover this great truth.
d If You Do Not Seek The God Of The Bible With All Your Heart Even Your WORSHIP Will Be Rejected. On Sundays and Wednesdays I can see what you do on the outside – but God sees what you are doing on the inside. God told wayward Israel:
Amos 5:21-24 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.  Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.  Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.  BUT let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
The Holy Spirit of God knows our hearts. As we sing, we should be seeking God. As we pray, we should be seeking God. As we give, we should be seeking God. As we serve, we should be seeking God. We should not be half hearted in our seeking of Him.
The Bible says “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3 Adrian Rogers once said “I read about some children in a Sunday School class who wrote letters to a missionary to let him know they were praying for him. The teacher of the class said, ‘Now, children, the missionary is a very busy person, so don’t expect him to write you back.’ One little girl’s letter read, ‘Dear Brother Brown, We’re praying for you. We don’t expect an answer.’”
That’s the way that many of us seek God. We take the time and pray – but expect no answer. When God doesn’t answer then we say “See there – I told you God wouldn’t answer”. But God does answer – but we must seek Him with all our hearts.
2 There Is No Salvation Unless You Seek The God Of The Scripture. The Lord said:
Amos 5:6 Seek the LORD, and ye SHALL LIVE …
This is a promise of God. Seek Me – and YOU SHALL LIVE. Israel sacrificed the blood of bulls and of sheep because God told them to do so. Yet the Bible says:
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
If it is not possible that sacrificing these animals would take away sin, then why did God have them do it? Because He wanted to teach Israel that a Redeemer was coming, an Innocent who would die for their sins and for ours. This Innocent is Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the …
John 1:29 (HCSB) … Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
The Bible declares that
Hebrews 10:10 … we have been set apart (sanctified) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all …
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Seek the Lord and He will receive you as you are. Seek Him, and He will bring you into His Family. God has promised:
Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw nearer to you.
Many say “I’ve tried God, and it just didn’t work out”. God doesn’t say “Try Me”, He says “Seek Me”. God isn’t a deodorant that you try on to see if the stink is covered. God isn’t a clothes detergent that you try to see if it gets your clothes clean. God is the Creator of the Universe, the One that you will one day stand before and give an account. He is not a temporal product but the Lord of Hosts, the Great I AM. When you seek God He will change you. The Bible says:
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
Psalm 119:2 Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.
Life is too short to live miserable. Seeking God produces a joy that is indescribable as well as sustainable every day of your life. Seek Him in prayer. Seek Him in His Word. Seek Him through good devotionals. Seek Him in His Church. Seek Him and you will live. Seek Him and you will live forever!
May God touch your hearts with His Word.