On the Opposite Side of God’s Favor

Amos 6:1–6 (NKJV)

6:1 Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, and trust in Mount Samaria, notable persons in the chief nation, to whom the house of Israel comes!

2 Go 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?

The Lord here condemns Judah (Zion) and Israel (Samaria) for their sinfulness again.  They felt as though they were royalty, but behaved the same as the sinful cities of Syria (Calneh and Hamath) and Philistia (Gath).  They had stooped to the idolatrous ways of the pagans.  They had adopted two particular practices of these nations that are addressed in the next few verses: Occult worship (astrology) and laziness.

3 Woe to you who put far off the day of doom, who cause the seat of violence to come near;

4 Who lie on beds of ivory, stretch out on your couches, eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall;

In these verses, the Lord addressed the fact that the people of Israel consult the stars and stay in the house on certain days because their divination says that they should avoid public appearances and interaction with others.  This is similar to the modern practice of consulting one’s horoscope and avoiding activities that it says are negative for that day.  This was, however, in the prophecies estimation, and excuse to avoid work or other activity.

5 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, and invent for yourselves musical instruments like David;

6 Who drink wine from bowls, and anoint yourselves with the best ointments, but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

The indictment continues with a description of the people of God and how they do not work, but they do play and they use the most lavish of items on themselves, being greedy, ostentatious, and wasteful.  Their laziness is abhorrent to the Lord, for He calls Israel and Judah to lifestyles of responsibility and humility.  In the same way, God calls us today to lifestyles of holiness, responsibility, and hard work.  When the people of God respond to the call of God, His blessings will flow.  I never want to be on the opposite side of God’s favor!

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