JR. Forasteros - November 4, 2012
When Good Enough isn't Good Enough
From Series: "The Lion Roars"
Amos pictures God as a lion, roaring God's judgment from Mt. Zion. We don't like to think of God as a judge. But the biblical picture of God as judge is founded in God's love as our Father in Heaven. We can hear God's judgment as words as a firm love calling us to be whole.
More From "The Lion Roars"
We all have a tendency to compare ourselves to the people around us. And especially in the Church, this can make us feel better about the rough places in our lives. We say, Sure I need to get my schedule under control, but I’m not as bad as him. Okay, I have a tendency to gossip. But I’m not as bad as she is. I really need to be kinder with my words, but have you heard him? We see the people around us and we think,
Well. It could be a lot worse. I suppose I’m good enough.
But according to Amos, “not bad” is not good enough. According to Amos, our standard for our lives isn’t what we see around us, but what God calls us to be. That’s a tough pill to swallow, so Amos comes at us sideways. He begins his prophecy with oracles against the nations surrounding Israel. Oracles are predictions of doom, and Amos delivers seven, one to each of the nations around Israel.
Amos is clearly getting Israel on his side.
He knows he’s an outsider, a foreigner. And he’s coming to deliver a message from God to this people that’s not his people. So he begins with oracles of judgment against the other nations. He talks about how They, Them, Those People, the Others, are sinning. But Amos wasn’t done. He goes on, in 2:6
This is what the LORD says: “The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sell honorable people for silver and poor people for a pair of sandals. They trample helpless people in the dust and shove the oppressed out of the way. Both father and son sleep with the same woman, corrupting my holy name. At their religious festivals, they lounge in clothing their debtors put up as security. In the house of their god, they drink wine bought with unjust fines. — Amos 2:6-8 (NLT)
Instead of being priests to the world around them, Israel looks like the world. They’re darkness in the midst of darkness. This is why God is so angry: Israel should know better.
And what about us? Could we be like Israel today? Are we tempting God’s judgment?
Join us Sunday as we explore what Amos’ words have to say to us today.