Skip to main content

Book of Amos: Chapter 6

In chapter six, Amos describes the lifestyles of the wealthy and powerful, and contrasts how they treated themselves versus how they treated those less fortunate, and God. The text reads as the perfect script for humanism. God begins by asking Judah and Israel if they believe they are better than the surrounding nations who also lost their glory. These cities mentioned should be an example of what will happen to Israel. He makes it known that He is not impressed by their wealth, power, or lifestyle. In fact, because they have traded it for justice and righteousness, He hates all of it. Ephraim, East & West Manasseh comprised a large part of the northern territory, which was often referred to as “Joseph”. These areas were named for his two sons. The Israelites had allowed wealth, power, and comfort to be their security, and give them permission to mistreat the marginalized in society. With that security they no longer needed God. Only twice in their history of 1000+years did they ever have it this good! All the other times God was their security. He was their strength. They needed Him then.

What is it in us as human beings that make us behave in such an illogical way? We pray to God for help and mercy. We pray for His sustenance. We pray for justice, for security, for finances, for good health. We seek Him and He stands by us our entire life. But when we receive the things we want, and become comfortable, we put God on the shelf. Maybe He is our genie. Or maybe we really see Him like Israel saw their idols — not there for relationship but for provision and punishment. We throw away the source of our existence in exchange for the things He gives us. Do we do this in other areas of our lives? Do we burn our trees after they give us oranges or apples? Do we destroy our machines once our product is marketed? But there seems to be something unhealthy about self-indulgence that makes us lose touch with reality.

Our skill or lack thereof in using the things that God allows us to have determines whether we lose ourselves and also our need for God our Creator. Indulgence means excess but moderation keeps us in check. Instead of giving the best of all we have to the lover of our souls, we save the best for ourselves. Instead of caring for the things that matter to Him such as each other, we serve ourselves extra. Amos says this is what the Israelites were doing.

The Law required the best for God but they kept it all for themselves. God says no more. The core of the covenant to Abraham was: ‘I will be your God and you will be My people.’ God would be a covenant breaker if He continued to be our God of provision, our God of security while we choose not to be His people. Now He must be our God of justice and judgment.

Key Verses:
You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. ~ Amos 6:5-6

Question to ponder:

  • Have your gifts from God made you feel more secure than your relationship with Him?
Close Menu