(14) Seek good and not evil, That you may live; So the LORD God of hosts will be with you, As you have spoken. (15) Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the LORD God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. New King James Version
How can this calamity be averted? The solution is so simple and obvious that Godseems to spend very little time on it within the book of Amos. In reality, every word of the book screams what Israel needed to do then - and needs to do today.
"Seek good and not evil, that you may live; so the LORD God of hosts will be with you, as you have spoken. Hate evil, love good; establish justice in the gate." A person does not need to seek God if He has already revealed Himself to him. Thus, seekmeans "to turn" to Him in repentance, not necessarily "to look for." This is a way of saying, "Set aside your time and life for God."
Seekin the Hebrew is imperative and has the force of a command. Seeking good, or seeking God(verse 4), is an act that we have to set ourselves to do; it is not a natural inclination (Romans 8:7). But it is worth the effort, for its product is life - not just physical existence, but life as God lives it (John 17:3). If we determine to seek good, and continue in it, the result - truly living! - will follow. Seeking the Lord produces godly life.
In living by every word of God, we should notice the order in which He lists these commands: "Seek good and not evil. . . . Hate evil, love good." The action of turning to good precedesthe emotions of hating evil and loving good. Holinessinvolves action andemotion: seeking andshunning, loving good andhating evil. He wants us to turn to the good and make it a target in our daily life. If we wait for God to infuse us with the right kind of feeling before we try to do good, then we will wait a long time because it will never come. We have to take action first by faithand the corresponding right feeling will follow.
If holiness does not involve both action and emotion, it becomes something that we can put on and take off. We could hypocritically live one kind of life during the week, and on the Sabbathput on our holy look and go to services. Action and emotion combine to make a whole way of life.
Holiness is not just a way of life or a rule to live by. It also producesthe very best qualityof life - the way God lives eternally. God's people have to think constantly of holiness, appreciating that He has chosen us out of this worldand given us grace to be holy.
— John W. Ritenbaugh
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