HandcuffsI’m not a fan of the word punishment. It definitely sounds more negative than positive. It means, “The penalty inflicted as retribution for an offense”. I’ve been punished over the years and it’s not a glamorous or fun experience. In fact, most of the time, punishment is painful. I try everyday to avoid behavior that leads to punishment. The neighboring countries were being punished for their behavior and their negative dealings with the people of Israel. Check this out….

1 These are the words of Amos, one of the shepherds from the town of Tekoa. He saw this vision about Israel two years before the earthquake. It was at the time Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.
2 Amos said, “The Lord will roar from Jerusalem; he will send his voice from Jerusalem. The pastures of the shepherds will become dry, and even the top of Mount Carmel will dry up.” (Amos 1:1-2 NCV)

After this the Lord announced punishment on 6 of the neighboring countries to Israel & Judah. A phrase that jumped off the page at me was “The Lord will roar…” He expects to be heard. I believe that the Lord speaks daily. He doesn’t always roar, but He always speaks. Sometimes I have to turn the noise of my life down significantly to hear Him speak. If I don’t listen to Him speak, how can I know what He wants me to do or where He wants me to go.  If I’m not listening, then I’m sure to make an incorrect choice and then be punished. I want to listen intently and follow Him on purpose not only to avoid punishment, but simply to honor Him!

 Pressing On!