Thursday, March 22, 2012

Woe To You Says The Lion

Woe to them that are at ease in Zion,...Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
Amos 6:1a, 3-6

Israel, the Northern Kingdom was spiritually in a mess.  Their leaders were corrupt.  Justice had been perverted and cut off.  The majority were living in careless luxury while the poor and disadvantaged were exploited.  To make things worse, their worship was tainted with worldliness as they lived in reckless indifference towards God.  In this horrid state of affairs, God, in mercy, sends Amos who greatly hampers their irresponsible living with a call to repentance and warnings of impending judgement.  Amos, the LORD's voice to a complacent "church", was desperately trying to get them to hear the warnings and respond appropriately.  Their response, according to the warnings woe of chapter six, was unreflective of the seriousness of the situation they would soon face--total dispersion by the hands of the Assyrians.  A dispersion that has lasted until this generation's regathering.  It is this regathering to the land of Israel that reminds us to be equally reflective as this world is in dire straits with the soon coming Tribulation.

The first problem Amos addresses in this chapter is their careless, worldly living.  Remember, he is addressing a group that sees themselves as the chosen of God.  However, were they "chosen" to be at ease in this world to the point that you could not tell them from the world?  Is this not the same today?  The majority of folks in most churches will tell you that they feel that this is the generation when the LORD will return.  Yet, their lives do not seem to exhibit any conviction in respect to their belief.  They amble on as if we have ten million years while the message of salvation is ignored or not given.  If Jesus is coming soon, who is warning those who are unprepared?  Are we at ease in "Zion"?  

Verse three also is telling, and it directly relates to statements that Jesus made about believers in the last day. It says, "Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near..."  Because they were insensitive to the LORD's spirit and message for the hour, they were claiming that the Day of the Lord's judgment by Assyria far off.  Jesus addressed this very same sentiment in Matthew 24.  Read carefully the warning of our Lord and compare it to the same idea shared by Amos:  
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Matthew 24:45-51

This text from Matthew is directly addressing the end of this age.  Jesus warns with a woe similar to Amos that many will still put the coming of the LORD far off even though the warnings are all around them.  Rather than being sober, vigilant, and ever looking for that blessed hope--the rapture--they are caught up in worldly affairs.  This is the Lion of Judah's woe!  Does it apply to you?  If so, make correction as Jesus Christ is soon to come!  

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