TAKING IT EASY
Stir up my heart today, Jesus.
Read Amos 6:1–14
Woe to the Complacent
6 Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
you notable men of the foremost nation,
to whom the people of Israel come!
2 Go to Kalneh and look at it;
go from there to great Hamath,
and then go down to Gath in Philistia.
Are they better off than your two kingdoms?
Is their land larger than yours?
3 You put off the day of disaster
and bring near a reign of terror.
4 You lie on beds adorned with ivory
and lounge on your couches.
You dine on choice lambs
and fattened calves.
5 You strum away on your harps like David
and improvise on musical instruments.
6 You drink wine by the bowlful
and use the finest lotions,
but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
7 Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
your feasting and lounging will end.
The Lord Abhors the Pride of Israel
8 The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himself—the Lord God Almighty declares:
“I abhor the pride of Jacob
and detest his fortresses;
I will deliver up the city
and everything in it.”
9 If ten people are left in one house, they too will die. 10 And if the relative who comes to carry the bodies out of the house to burn them asks anyone who might be hiding there, “Is anyone else with you?” and he says, “No,” then he will go on to say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.”
11 For the Lord has given the command,
and he will smash the great house into pieces
and the small house into bits.
12 Do horses run on the rocky crags?
Does one plow the sea with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness—
13 you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar
and say, “Did we not take Karnaim by our own strength?”
14 For the Lord God Almighty declares,
“I will stir up a nation against you, Israel,
that will oppress you all the way
from Lebo Hamath to the valley of the Arabah.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat in your life makes complacency a temptation?
If you’re reading this in a Western nation, even if your income is lower than others around you, you are still probably in the top 5 or 6 percent of the richest people in the world. God was very frustrated with the complacent people of Israel. They had been blessed in lots of ways and so now had lots of reasons to be complacent. They had luxurious accommodations, the best food, and fine lotions for their skin. Life felt easy and so they took it easy (1–7).
God’s response was to promise them complete devastation in the future. God opposes the proud, even if that pride is found among those who claim to be his. These people were elevating themselves as if their success was somehow earned and deserved (8–14).
Many of us live in relative luxury and earn a relative fortune (compared to the vast majority of people in the world). Western culture is obsessed with leisure and entertainment. If anyone could be at risk of complacency, it would be the wealthy Western church. Look at your own life and imagine how complacency and pride could creep in.
Where is there complacency and pride in your life? What is God’s view toward those areas of life? How can you start to adopt God’s viewpoints?
Forgive me, God, and protect me from any future complacency and pride in my heart.