“For behold, I am commanding, and I will shake the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a kernel will fall to the ground.”
These words from Amos 9:9 are resonating with me and I feel called to share them with you during the latter part of our year.
As I move through moments of dismay, suffering, or confusion, I find great encouragement in this promise from the Word.
One study skill in my tool belt from ages back which I still implore today is paying attention to signal words. Just like a flashing light or stop sign, signal words are figurative blinking neon signs telling me to pause and reflect or to act.
God’s advice to Amos starts with the command, “Behold!”
I don’t know about you, but when God speaks to me, I know to listen. And I’m coming from the standpoint of knowing in my heart. I can’t even imagine the intensity of my fault were I to experience an audible from above!
Now that I have your attention, and He has ours, let’s look at the lessons and takeaways.
He is commanding.
God is in the position of Lord. He is an active Commander.
What a blessing it is to know He is not simply watching. He is not passive.
In my life. In your life. In all lives. At all moments – past, present, and future.
While this in and of itself is comforting, it’s also a warning.
Notice he is giving a warning. The people of Israel, and we as Christians, are going to be shaken and God is the one mixing it up and causing the rumble.
Throughout history and today, Christians are not exempt from conflict, strife, and troubles. When God decides to shake it up, it is felt by all. We feel the sifting and the shaking.
I am tumbled, jarred, scarred, tossed, and shocked when I see the impact and results of the shaking.
Like a kernel of grain shaken in a sieve, I see the dirt, leaves, and chaff fly. I see that which is not of value in this world, or my life fall away.
But even as I shake, I have great assurances in Christ.
- I know Who is doing the sifting. He is good but stern. Because He loves me, He will continue to sift until He finishes the job.
- I know that He has promised that all is done according to plan, for the good of me and all others that are His.
- I know that not even one kernel of precious grain produced by the Farmer will fall. I am his treasure, claimed and bought by His blood. He does the keeping of us all, even as He sifts us.
- I can remember that much of the violent shaking that I experience is because of the season of sifting our world is sharing, not just about me. I can seek Him to distinguish and ask, “Am I shaken because you are sifting me, individually, as you allowed Peter to experience? Or are you shifting our peoples, nation, and the world, so I am being affected?”
Whether the sifting is picking up, easing off, or simply holding steady, take heart. Everyone born of God overcomes the world. Victory is ours in Christ. We will not be stirred.