Word for Today – Amos 6:1

Alas For Those Who Are at Ease

I did not have to go far into Amos 6 to find a verse that captured my attention.

“Alas for those who are at ease in Zion” (Amos 6:1 NRSV).

Experience tells me that many things go wrong when we feel too at ease, too comfortable. I used to play in a bell choir, and I usually performed better if I didn’t do so well during the dress rehearsal. But, if I had a perfect practice, I felt more at ease going into the performance and usually made the silliest mistakes. Being less than perfect so close to the actual performance kept my mind sharp, otherwise I let my guard down.

I’ve seen this principle in play many times: a winning sports team gets too at ease with their winning season only to lose to a team with a more ravenous appetite for victory. I’ve heard it said that many drowning victims are excellent swimmers who let their guard down in the water, and that people who get too used to luxury forget about reality. Feeling too at ease often leads to complacency.

Complacency! That’s exactly what, according to Amos 6, happened to those people Amos is targeting with his message:

  • Those feeling at ease in ZionĀ  (vs 1)
  • Those feeling secure on Mount Samaria (vs 1)
  • Those laying on ivory beds and couches (vs 4)
  • Those eating lambs and calves (vs 4)
  • Musicians singing idle songs (vs 5)
  • Those drinking a wine from bowls and anointing themselves with oil (vs 6)
  • Those not grieving over the ruin of Joseph (vs 6)

The above categories translate into, but are not limited by, the following descriptions:

  • Selfishness and indifference
  • Reliance on wealth and comfortable lifestyle (laziness)
  • Laziness, showing no charity to those in need
  • Gluttony
  • Entertainment above all else
  • Rich and arrogant attitudes
  • No concern for societies ills

Even in the poorest places on earth, there are those who live at ease such as the rich elite and political leaders. These people often succumb to the complacent and prideful attitudes that accompany such living. Amos is alerting the people to the trouble and judgment they are exposing themselves to.

To me, one of the most disturbing things about this chapter is that Amos is talking to God’s people. Wow, if God’s children from the Old Testament fall victim to a secure life of ease, isn’t it possible that the same can happen to us modern-day believers? Amos goes on to share these words:

“But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood–you who rejoice in Lo-debar, who say, ‘Have we not by our won strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?'” (Amos 6:12-13).

When we feel at ease or get too comfortable, it is easy to forget how much we receive from God. When get too relaxed, we let our guard down and things fall apart. This happens not only in our daily activities, but also in our spiritual lives. We must remember God in all things. When our thoughts rest on Him, we’ll strive to be who He wants us to be. Plus, we will remember that it is because of him we live and things are less likely to fall apart.

Word for Today: Alas to those who are at ease in Zion, but happy are those who remember God.

 

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 at 6:15 pm and is filed under Amos, Word for the Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

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