Summary: A different look at Amos’ exhortation and judgment given in Amos 6.
Woe to you who are complacent in Nashville,
And to you who feel secure in your fine homes,
You notable men whom conservative Christians look,
Think about History,
Read the prophecies of Amos to Israel, are you better than them?
You wage a war on terror by bringing terror on others,
You lie on your beds and sit on your recliners.
Every night you search for the next best restaurant to eat at,
While passing homeless people on the side of the road.
You trust the money in your wallet and the smart twenty first century technology more than you trust God.
You do not help those who need help, while you live the American dream.
Therefore, don’t be surprised when you are stripped of your luxuries and you seek what you don’t have from God.
The message of a prophet is not one that is easily heard. I know how I would feel if this message was delivered to me. I know how Israel must have felt when Amos delivered a similar message to them in Amos 6.
Amos’ message to the people was a difficult message for the people to understand due to their extremely wonderful prosperity. Amos was from Judah, but found himself in Northern Israel to talk to them about their choices and consequences. Israel was characterized by a golden age of prosperity. They were at peace with other nations and their wealth increased beyond anytime before. Ivory was one representation of their wealth. Ivory was reserved for the richest and finest of people. They ate until their hearts were content and drank until they were drunk from bowls. They were rich, the wealthy were wealthy.
It’s legitimate to ask that if God were upset with them, why were they so blessed? God must be ok with the things they were doing because of their prosperity and blessing. Then Amos shows up, he paints a picture around Israel geographically. He calls people from Damascus, and Moab among others to judgment. Israel would have been pleased with this. “We hate them anyways, they deserve judgment.” Then Amos strikes them where they are and tells Israel that they face judgment. Their prosperity has turned to greed. Their wealth has turned into punishment on the poor. Their political stability has taken them away from God. Amos 6 falls in this context. They felt secure, they felt blessed, yet they were complacent in their relationship to Yahweh. They spent their time in luxury and wealth. They had time to waste on meaningless music, but obviously no time for Yahweh. They used ointment that was reserved for times of joy and thanksgiving and gladness even though their relationship with the Lord was in ruins.
They were rich economically but poor spiritually.
So Amos gave them the news to serve as both warning and explanation that these powerful and wealthy people would be among the first to be forced out of their plush homes and flashy outfits and prosperity to cracked lips and shaggy hair and poverty in exile. This is what happens when the world dictates wealth. Israel was so prosperous and had such a future. But their future lacked one thing, Yahweh. And so, they faced judgment.