Too Much at Ease
Father, raise up those who will lead Your people in truth and righteousness, who will sacrifice for that which is eternal.
What are the most significant influences in your life?
So much of Israel's failure can be traced to a failure of leadership. The people look, in Amos's acid words, to the "notable men of the foremost nation" (1) and find a smug and complacent elite, full of their own greatness. Their leaders push away into the far distance the day of God's reckoning, while making, literally, a "seat of violence" a present reality (3, ASV).
Full of themselves, they savor the richest furniture, meals and sensuality, seemingly using sacred bowls to quaff wine, as ordinary glasses simply aren't big enough (4,6). They see themselves akin to David in musical and spiritual gifts (5).
But their complacency is tragically misplaced: they should, instead, be grieving over the ruin of God's people and their role in that. Because of this, they're given one final privilege, to be first to go into exile (7). The leaders have failed and will suffer. Even the king's palace will be crushed (11).
But the people will suffer for their leaders' failures, too. Exile is coming. No human strength, no fortress or military might, can hold back the wrath of the Lord.
How are you using your influence to encourage, direct and build others up in Christ?
Lord, if things of this world are numbing me, wake me up. Let me find comfort in that which will stand on the last day.
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