Amos 5:14-15 “Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate:”
When life is going smoothly, we need to be careful. It’s at that time we are ripe for complacency and a downfall. In the day of the prophet Amos, the people of Israel were prosperous and began to think they could make it without God. This sounds a lot like us today! We can slip into that dangerous place sometimes without really thinking. This behavior led the people of Isreal toward a path of destruction.
The name Amos means burden or burden bearer. He carried the heavy burden of God’s message to the people. Because the people had become so complacent they acted as if they did not need each other.
They exploited the weak and poor. They were indifferent to the pain of those around them. They enslaved the helpless through extortion and heavy taxation. God created us to live in relationships, not in isolation. This is stated very clearly in the words of a song entitled, I need you to survive by Hezekiah Walker. The lyrics: I need you, you need me, we’re all a part of God’s body, stand with me, agree with me, we’re all a part of God’s body, it is his will that every need be supplied, you are important to me, I need you to survive.
A final similarity between the Israelites and our culture is that many of them kept up outward appearances of religion even though they had abandoned their faith in God. I think many are in danger of falling into the same trap. Are you performing to get the approval of your boss or friends? Are you hiding your failures from your spouse, pretending you're faithfully following God's way when you're not? God is not so concerned with how we appear on the surface; he sees through our false appearances even if others don't. God cares about the attitude of our heart. Man looks at the outward appearances and God looks at the heart.
Remember we must all answer to God for how we live. A complacent present leads to a disastrous future. When we become self sufficient we develop a false sense of security. All that we have has come as a blessing from God, so let’s remember to be thankful. God made all people, therefore, to ignore the poor is to ignore those whom God loves and whom Christ came to save. We must move beyond just feeling bad for the poor and act compassionately to help care for those who are in need.
We are our brother’s keeper and we must show a genuine concern to help when and where we can. In closing I will use additional lyrics from the song; I need you to survive referenced above. The chorus of the song says: I pray for you, you pray for me, I love you, I need you to survive, I won’t harm you with the words from my mouth, I love you, I need you to survive. Today, let us seek good and not evil and live. It’s time for us to grow and develop into the person we were called to be. God Loves You and so do I……… Pastor Tammy