The Book of the Twelve for Lent 2016
Response – Amos (5)
Israel’s history with God does not portend a welcome hearing of Amos’ message. As he has in previous sections of his book, the prophet highlights this by a repeated phrase in ch.4: “yet you did not return to me” (4:6,8,9,10,11). In spite of all God’s goodness lavished on his people, they repeatedly turned away from him.How is this possible? How could they (we, me) turn away again and again from such a prodigal lover? This is perhaps the most perplexing thing about us humans. And it testifies to the power of the all that opposes God’s and God’s way in our world. In particular, for Israel and for us, the power of wealth, comfort, and ease is perhaps the most seductive of them. No wonder, the prophets, and above all Jesus himself, warn against wealth’s seductive power, even treating it as a rival deity that challenges and cannot coexist with worship of the true God.
Ken Medema has sung this reality in his “By the Waters of Luxury” from the “Kingdom in the Streets” album. Reflect on it for your own spiritual health today.