Amos 6 has the prophet continuing to speak God’s truth as he warns Israel of its sinful living. “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion”. Israel was filled with pride and their main objective at this time was a life filled with luxury and ease. Is luxury and ease a sin? Maybe. It certainly was for God’s people at this time. Anytime anything pushes God from His place on the throne of our life – it is sin. Good things become sin when we allow them to become the most important pursuits of our life. And for the Israelites at this time – that pursuit of luxury and ease had become a sinful behavior. A bad choice of making it the thing they most cared about.
Don’t get it wrong. The idea of rest isn’t bad by itself. In fact, God made it one of the 10 Commandments. In the New testament, Jesus wants to give us rest. We need it to be able to live effectively for and with Him. There is a rest waiting for the people of God when we enter into eternity with Him. But then there is another kind of rest, a sinful kind of rest – connected to indifference, laziness, and self indulgence. It is all about how we focus and make it god in our life. When we live for self, and for self only, and the things we want and pursue it rather than the things of God – it is sin!
“Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory…. but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph”! Things were good in the kingdom of Israel during this time. People were living in economic prosperity, but completely ignoring where that gift came from (God’s blessing) and forgetting completely the reality of those who were not able to participate in that prosperity. Their self focus was so total and complete that anything else was completely ignored. And when that happens – when we get so self focused that we completely ignore God and the world around us – look out because God’s going to get our attention. And Amos delivers a powerful prophecy of just how God’s going to do exactly that.
“Therefore they shall now be the first of those who go into exile, and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall pass away”. The people were living very highly, and fell to another sin that God can’t stand – pride. As much as their sinful life of luxury and ease, God hated their pride equally as much. In their season of prosperity and success they lifted their hearts high in pride, and God will send a destroying army to bring them back to reality and down to earth. It didn’t need to end this way. God isn’t against luxury and ease – but He is absolutely against us believing it happens because of our own efforts and when we make it the pursuit of our life. God must remain on the throne of our life – it’s a choice – and when we choose something else we sin and will pay a price just like the Israelites will for their sin through Amos’ prophecy.