September 23

Amos 6:1a, 4-7

“Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory–who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp–who drink wine from bowls–but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!” vss. 4a, 5a, 6a, 6c

Amos was not impressed with the life-styles of the rich and famous in the Israel of King Jeroboam II. He was a non-credentialed prophet from an obscure village in the hill country of Judah and he had a word from the Lord for the wealthy of Samaria. Not only were they living in luxury and enjoying every amenity, they didn’t feel one ounce of compassion for the poor and the needy. We’re all too familiar with the scene–the rich don’t seem to change from one century to the next–and we even see the symptoms in ourselves. We do like to live well! We love furnishing our homes with the finest couches and filling our days with music from Pandora while enjoying fine wines and fragrant oils. We’ve grown accustomed to a life-style that is the envy of the world. Many of us didn’t have this in mind when we started our families and careers. We got along quite well with bricks and boards for our bookshelves. But wealth happened! And we’d hate to give it up! So what shall we do? For Amos everything revolved around the least and the lowly–and that’s the measure of our society too. There are things we can do with our riches that will make life better for the hungry and the hurting. Alas for us if we don’t!

Thought for the Day: How did I get so rich?

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