Amos 5:18, 24 Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light; . . . But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
We are now approaching the end of the church year, and one of the central themes of this time is judgement day, the focus is not so much on Christ’s coming, but on the judgement that coming will bring. Sometimes, when we see evil, or when evil is done to us, we might wish that judgement day would come quickly, at least for those people. It is not hard to feel justified in wishing, or even praying that judgment might come upon them quickly. After all, if we’ve been hurt, we want to see the people who have done it punished, and we can even say – its only right, even fair.
The problem is that our desires, do not fit very well into God’s plan. Here’s what I mean – there would be nothing wrong with wishing that all the wicked people would be punished – if we were perfect. The word is perfect, not better than most – perfect – righteous and without sin. But we are all sinners – so when we call upon God to punish all the sinners – do we really want him to give everyone what they’ve earned and deserved? Do we want to receive what we deserve? Remember the standard – Be ye perfect, as I the Lord your God am perfect.
While God does want all people to be perfect, he also wants all people to be saved. If we cannot be saved by being perfect, that is, by keeping the whole of the law – how then are we to be saved? We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ – that is – salvation is a gift of God, which comes to us through Jesus Christ, he won the salvation – the salvation comes to us through God’s gracious promise, and God even gives us the power to hold on to that promise – we call that faith. So that salvation is not what we do, but what God has done for us.
Now, if God wants all people to be saved – but some people are running away from God – they have not heard about his gift in Jesus Christ – they have not heard about the forgiveness of sins – if these people do not get the time to hear these things – then they will most likely perish. So when we wish to hasten judgment day – we find ourselves against God, and his will – and this is not good. This is why the scriptures says "If anyone thinks he stands, let him take heed lest he fall."1Cor 10 :12
You see, God’s plan for us is something more than just our salvation – otherwise, the instant we came to faith – God would call us immediately to heaven. God’s plan is that we should help him build his kingdom. You see, we confess that when God calls us to faith, he works in us, to make us a new creation – the justice and righteousness that our text talks about, are those things which God puts in us, which come forth in our lives, and serve to point others to the hope that is in us through Christ our Lord. These fruits of faith, are to fill our lives, or to flow as bountifully as a river. To use another picture, we carry the light, which is to enlighten the whole world.
If this then is our purpose, it is important that we have enough fuel, not to shine just for a brief instant – but to keep on shining until the day comes when Christ does return – so that by this light – we may guide many others to the hope which is in us, to Jesus Christ – that they too might be saved. This is why we are here – this is the purpose and God’s plan for our lives – this is our most glorious calling.