Woe to Those at Ease in Zion
6 “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria,
the notable men of the first of the nations,
to whom the house of Israel comes!
Pass over to Calneh, and see,
and from there go to Hamath the great;
then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than these kingdoms?
Or is their territory greater than your territory,
O you who put far away the day of disaster
and bring near the seat of violence?
“Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory
and stretch themselves out on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock
and calves from the midst of the stall,
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
who drink wine in bowls
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
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 Lord GOD has sworn by himself, declares the LORD, the God of hosts:
“I abhor the pride of Jacob
and hate his strongholds,
and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”
And if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. And when one’s relative, the one who anoints him for burial, shall take him up to bring the bones out of the house, and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, “Is there still anyone with you?” he shall say, “No”; and he shall say, “Silence! We must not mention the name of the LORD.”
For behold, the LORD commands,
and the great house shall be struck down into fragments,
and the little house into bits.
Do horses run on rocks?
Does one plow there with oxen?
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 own strength
captured Karnaim for ourselves?”
“For behold, I will raise up against you a nation,
O house of Israel,” declares the LORD, the God of hosts;
“and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath
to the Brook of the Arabah.”
Amos 6 Commentary
by Hank Workman
It’s an unnoticed disease that creeps upon most unexpectedly. The tentacles of self-satisfaction, self-reliance begin to grip the mind and heart ever so slowly. Once its fingers have latched themselves, an alteration of thought and false outlook of security take over. It’s the slow death of a person once set free and alive.
It begins with a determination to do ‘what I want to do’ regardless. The unteachable mindset and willfulness set us up for compromise. The crazy part is complacency sneaks up without even realizing it.
“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.”Proverbs 1:32
In a time of peace, economic security, the Israelites felt as though they had it all. The wealthy were living a life of leisure and luxury, while the poor and needy went unattended. Their self-indulgence had put them at ease and there was no sorrow for their spiritual state. Consequently, there was no repentance to be found. Although I’m sure they didn’t say it this way, they more than likely felt untouchable.
But they were. They were touchable by the finger of God who in this chapter declares their downfall. Due to their complacent hearts, they’d be the first to go into exile even before the neighboring countries that God’s judgment had already been declared.
There’s not a lot of wiggle room when it comes to God’s opinion of the complacent. As His Spirit continues to call and woo us to an openness toward His ways and perspective, He expects obedience. But as we neglect our personal time of renewal each day with Him; when we fail to pick up His Word and look for His strength and instruction daily; when we overlook the seeking of the Spirit of God in our lives we set ourselves up for complacency to take root.
“Complacency will be the architecture of your downfall.”Unknown
Reflecting on this today, think about the fact God still stays involved. He still calls us out of this even when our mind and heart is numb. As with the Israelites then, the same is true today. He will allow circumstances and situations to drive us to Him. For them, it was only going to get worse before it got better. It would take a jolt that would snap them back. He allows the same thing to take place with us. Because of His great love and desire He holds for us; because He longs for an intimate relationship; He will bring about whatever necessary to renew our hearts, minds and trust in Him once again.
Amos 6 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
You never know a good thing until it’s gone
You never see a crash until it’s head on
Why we think we’re right when we’re dead wrong,
You never know a good thing ’til it’s gone
As I read this chapter, I am reminded of the song by Kris Allen titled “Live Like We’re Dying.” The song points out how much different our daily decisions would really be if we lived like we were dying. The things that we currently think of as high-priority might not even appear on the radar. The things that we seemingly never think about or act upon will suddenly rise to the top of the list. It’s really an enlightening thought.
The issue for Israel was their indifferent attitude toward the ways of God. This issue was complicated by their embracing of personal comforts and pleasures. In this chapter, Zion receives judgment along with Samaria due to their gluttony, drunkenness, and disrespect. Their decisions were not driven by a love for God but a love of self.
“The greatness of approaching judgment is illustrated by a simple incident. A household of eleven is smitten by plague; ten die, one only survives. So great has been the mortality that no nearer relative than an uncle is left to carry out the dead for cremation; and when the matter of a funeral service is broached, the suggestion is instantly met by the remark, “Those old customs cannot be observed amid the stress of such a time; we do not now mention God’s name.” Funeral rites would pass out of use. God’s dealings with His people had been as useless as plowing rocks would be.”F.B. Meyer