I live in a nation that worships comfort and recreation. I live in a city that makes its fortune off of the wealth of people who worship comfort, recreation, and indulgence. And if I am not careful, I’ll go with the flow and allow my own comfort to lull me to sleep.
That is why reading about God’s judgment in the book of Amos is a very helpful thing for modern folks. Whether you live here in Las Vegas or anywhere else where life is full of comforts, you need to remember that there is a danger to being at ease for too long in this world.
In Amos 6, we find a judgment from God coming to the people of Israel. We see a nation that, for years and years, has been strong and successful. Their success and their comfort has only served to highlight their lack of a heart for God. Their wealth has served to emphasize their rebellion. And the Lord is clear that this is not a good thing.
4 “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,
5 who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
6 who drink wine in bowls
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
The woes in those verses are woes that could be pronounced on us. The people are lazy and comfortable. They love their music and their wine and their fancy perfumes. But they as a people do not care about the fact that the nation around them is in utter rebellion against the Lord. O, friends, does this not speak to you?
The great danger that comfort presents to us is the danger of numbing us to the reality of the evils in our land. We are in good shape. Our houses are air-conditioned. Our cars are not broken down. Our food supply is abundant. Our phones entertain us more today than our TVs ever could decades previously. And what do we ignore because all this is true? What are we willing to compromise or pretend is not there because we are at our ease in our land?
May we be a people who thank God for the graces and comforts he gives us. No, I do not want to push us toward a legalistic moralism that demands we never watch a movie or enjoy a nice meal. But may we not let that put us to sleep so that we forget about the evils of our land. Our nation is broken and rebellious in so many ways. And we must care. We must cry out for God’s mercy. We must walk toward repentance. We must battle against the kinds of immorality rampant in our land that will bring the judgment of God. We must care about our ruin before it overtakes us.