by Steve Wallace
Woe to you who put far off the day of doom (Amos 6:3)
The Lord's prophet, Amos, announced these words to a corrupt Israelite society (ca. 760-755 BC). He ministered during the reign of a popular and powerful king, Jeroboam II. The "day of doom" was imminent but was often ignored.
There were certain things that blinded Israel to Jehovah's "day of doom." One such thing was their great prosperity. Several had winter and summer houses...many were "houses of ivory" (Am. 3:15). Sin corrupts things, even the blessing of prosperity can be corrupted into a curse. If one is greedy when poor, one's greed will radiate even more so when rich! One rich fool expressed it this way, ... I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater....And I will say to my soul, ''Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry' (Luke 12:18,19). His "day of doom" was also near, and he didn't know it. But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:20, 21). Here is a man whose love for riches pierced himself through with many sorrows (1 Tim. 6:10).
Another thing that blinded Israel to the "day of doom" was their great decadence. Thus says the LORD: 'For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals. They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, and pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go in to the same girl, to defile My holy name. They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge, And drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god' (Amos 2:6-8). This passage is a specimen of several. Amos saw the righteous with the poor sold and crushed. He saw evil men making merry with what had been squeezed from them (cf. Amos 4:1, 5:12); he saw gross immorality committed; he saw an abundance of false religions/teachers/altars.
Wow! One would think he is describing America with our contradicting religions that readily sacrifice unity to keep their human creeds and doctrines of men. Likewise, the news raises our eyebrows of how some famed persons with seemingly criminal behavior can be freed as innocent in the courts of the land where "justice is for all." Does our nation also sell out justice? Are our judges bought by bribes? Further, the sexual deviancy of politicians and priests are commonplace in the news. Churches have sold out the Lord's moral government by fellowshipping those in love with adultery. Some are even ordaining homosexual preachers and others are tolerating unscriptural divorce and remarriage (Hebrew 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Matthew 19:9).
Finally, the core reason of Israel's demise was that they abhorred those who cried against their sins, They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, And they abhor the one who speaks uprightly (Amos 5:10). Jesus identified for everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light... (John. 3:20). Do we despise the law of the Lord (Amos. 2:4)? The citizens of this mighty nation are becoming more intolerant of preaching that condemns sin and are adoring teachers that leave out "the day of doom" in their message. The latter are esteemed highly by the sheer numbers flocking to hear them!
Why not begin preparing for the judgment day? Investigate the church of Christ.
- Steven J. Wallace is the evangelist for the Church of Christ, Sunnyside.