Monday, November 21, 2011

Clean Teeth

Is this what it feels like when you go to the dentist?

We have all recently visited the dentist and gotten our teeth cleaning up to date.  We have the sweetest hygienist that is so thorough in picking all that plaque off,  and thank the Lord she is gentle too.  Chuck and I were talking about how it felt, its like she has a pick axe or jack hammer peeling all that built up plaque off.   It's not the most comfortable thing in the world, but Charles is correct, even though it might hurt just a little bit - it always feels good to have our teeth sparkly clean.

I was curious to see whether there was anything in the Bible about teeth, and guess what.  Teeth are mentioned several times.  It seems like the majority of verses are to do with the gnashing of teeth, but there is also a reference regarding clean teeth in Amos. 

Amos 4:6   And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 

Every reference and study help that I read, explained that this cleanness of teeth did not come from a trip to the dentist.  Nor did it come from daily brushing, flossing and rinsing; instead it referred to the famine that was taking place.   There would be no trouble in cleaning their teeth, because they had nothing to eat. The Lord was using this judgement to bring His people back to Him, but the judgement had no influence on these people.  They would not pull away from their sin or idol worship. 

I would much rather go through a few minutes of pain with the dentist, than a famine with the Lord.   He loves us so much and wants us to have a close relationship with Him. Return to Him, if you have stepped away - He will always accept you with open arms!
 My favorite reference for this verse was from Moody Bible Institute...
Amos 4:4-13 

"You have not returned to Me," says the Lord. —Amos 4:6

The Old Testament book of Amos has given us some memorable phrases: "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" (3:3). "Prepare to meet your God" (4:12). "Let justice run down like water" (5:24).

But the most-repeated phrase in Amos occurs five times in chapter 4. Time after time the Lord speaks of all He has done to discipline His wayward, self-indulgent people and draw them back to Himself. In every case the response is the same: "'You have not returned to Me,' says the Lord" (Amos 4:6,8-11).

As we read and marvel at their hardness of heart, we must also ask if the same could be true of us. If we have sensed that the Lord has been trying to get our attention, how have we responded to Him?

The prophecy of Amos contains warnings of judgment, captivity, and destruction. Yet there are calls for repentance and promises of restoration: "Seek good and not evil, that you may live; so the Lord God of hosts will be with you" (5:14).

The book of Amos has many memorable phrases, but we should never forget God's invitation to all who have wandered away from Him: Return to Me.

If you haven't returned, do it now. —David C. McCasland

I've strayed, O Lord, and turned aside,
I've disobeyed Your voice;
But now with contrite heart I turn
And make Your will my choice. —D. De Haan

True repentance turns from the wrong and returns to the right.

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