Have We Grown Complacent?

Complacent. That was a problem with the people of God during the time of the Old Testament prophets. Has complacency become a problem with the people of God today?

According to Dictionary.com’s definition, complacency is “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.”

I’ve gone back to reading the prophets again. Not that they are books of overt comfort, but books of warning. Warning to God’s people to stop being complacent, wake up, take a thorough inspection of our lives to see how we line up with God’s word, and make necessary changes.

The prophet Amos was burdened over the sin of the northern kingdom in the eighth century B.C. He was outraged at the violence God’s people did to the justice and righteousness of God. He felt social justice inseparable from true piety. He believed, based on what the Lord showed him, you can’t have true piety without the social justice and vice versa.

You can’t be complacent.

Previously, I wrote a post taken from the book of Amos titled Fat Cows. This post discussed the women of Bashan. Women who were content with the way things were. They were unconcerned with the events going on around them. As long as their husbands continued to bring them what they wanted, they were fine. Who cared about the oppressed, poor, or needy? Certainly not them.

They were complacent.

Another post from Amos talked about God’s plumb line, saying one day God will take out his plumb line, hold it against the walls of our lives and judge accordingly those who become complacent.

Looking at the book of Amos, we see the Lord roared like a ferocious lion from his Temple on Mount Zion against the sins of his people. God states he will not leave the people unpunished any longer. The Lord asks, how can he and his people talk together with their sins between them?

How indeed.

God tells his people to seek him and live. Stop chasing after idols. He says the evil men make justice a bitter pill for the poor and oppressed. Righteousness and fair play are meaningless fictions to them. The Lord says evil men hate honest judges and despise people who tell the truth. They trample the poor and steal their smallest crumb.

The Lord says he hates show and pretense; the hypocrisy of honoring him with solemn gatherings. He will no longer accept hymns of praise because they have become mere noise to his ears.

Instead, God wants to see a mighty flood of justice, a torrent of doing good.

The closing chapters of Amos predict destruction. The final chapter ends with restoration.

As the Lord spoke through his prophet Amos against the complacent sins of his people, I believe he speaks through the same prophets to his people today.

There is much to learn from God’s prophets of the Old Testament. Wouldn’t you agree?

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I am the Lord, and I know your terrible sins. You cheat honest people and take bribes; you rob the poor of justice. Times are so evil that anyone with good sense will keep quiet. If you really want to live, you must stop doing wrong and start doing right. I, the Lord God All-Powerful, will then be on your side, just as you claim I am.  Choose good instead of evil! See that justice is done. Maybe I, the Lord All-Powerful, will be kind to what’s left of your people. Amos 5:12-15 (CEV)

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Fat Cows

In the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Amos, the prophet calls the women of Israel fat cows. Not flattering, and definitely not something to say if Amos’ intent was to win the women to his way of thinking.

But Amos gave the women, and men, God’s words. Not his own. He was willing to offend with the truth of God if necessary. Amos was willing to face the fall-out from being the bearer of God’s truth.

If we picture fat cows in our minds, perhaps we see them mindlessly chewing their cud. Content with the way things are. Unconcerned with the events going on around them. Swishing their tails to keep the flies away.

It seems this may be the picture Amos painted of the women of Bashan. They were content with the way things were. Unconcerned with the events going on around them. As long as their husbands continued to bring them what they wanted, they were fine. Who cared about the oppressed, poor, or needy? Certainly not them.

This kind of thinking reminds me of a phrase I often heard in high school…oblivious.

Amos went further to pronounce God’s judgment upon such callous me-first thinkers. These women would be taken into captivity by fishhooks in their noses.

Harsh. But true.

The Assyrians captured the rich and royal upper class of Israel. They put hooks through their captives’ noses and lips and paraded them through town.

God’s commands call his people to be concerned for the poor. Jesus commands his followers to take care of those less fortunate than themselves.

It seems if we want to keep from being called a fat cow and led away by fishhooks, we need to open our eyes to those around us, and be sensitive to the opportunities God presents us with to be his hands and feet in our corner of the world and beyond.

I sure don’t want God to call me a fat cow. Do you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Listen to me, you fat cows living in Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and who are always calling to your husbands, “Bring us another drink!”

The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by his holiness: “The time will come when you will be led away with hooks in your noses. Every last one of you will be dragged away like a fish on a hook! You will be led out through the ruins of the wall; you will be thrown from your fortresses, says the Lord. Amos 4:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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