“Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall, who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David, invent for themselves instruments of music, who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph.”
– Amos 6:4–6
Did you hear that last phrase? The picture for almost three full verses before that last phrase is people who are indulging in the things of this world and these things are not necessarily bad – ivory and lambs from the flock and calves in the midst of the stall and songs and instrument and wine and fine oils – but the picture is of people who are indulging themselves in all these things while ignoring the ruin of Joseph.
Amos 6:4–6 Warns Us of Being Comfortable with Sin
The picture here is they’re ignoring the state of God’s people in their sin and their idolatry and their immorality, and instead of grieving over the sin and idolatry and immorality in their midst, they are just sitting comfortable in it. Is that possible for you and for me in our day to indulge ourselves and the things of this world while not grieving over sin and idolatry and immorality around us in our lives, our churches, and in us, for that matter? There is an adversary who would love to lull us to sleep amidst sin and idolatry and immorality around us and in us, and one of the ways he lulls us to sleep is with the luxuries of this world.
Amos 6:4–6 Encourages Us to Grieve over Sin
So God, help us. We pray not to be guilty of what your people were guilty of here in Amos chapter six. God help us to grieve over sin and idolatry and immorality in us, around us. I think about conversation my family was having around the table the other day about idols in our hearts and in our lives. God, we pray that you would continually uncover idols in our hearts, in our lives. Open our eyes to things, to people, to pursuits, to possessions that we put our hope in and our trust in, or we prioritize over you in any way.
God help us to grieve over idolatry and immorality, sin in us, around us. God, keep us from being lulled to sleep by the things of this world, lulled into comfort by the pleasures of this world in such a way that we lose sight over what really matters before you in our lives, around us in our lives, around us in the world.
Praying for the Zaramo People
God, we pray today for the Zaramo people of Tanzania, almost 1.4 million of them, this Muslim people group in Tanzania. God, we pray amidst tribal hostilities among the Zaramo people that you would cause the gospel, the good news of your love for the Zaramo people in Jesus to spread to them. We pray that you would raise up laborers, men and women from your church who will take the gospel to the Zaramo people, who will leave behind the comforts, the luxuries, the stuff this world offers.
Lord, we pray that you would make us the people who grieve over unreached people in the world and who gladly let go of possessions, who gladly do whatever you call us to do, no matter what it costs to get the gospel to them. God make us that kind of people. Don’t let us be a people who live it up in the things of this world while we turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to billions of unreached people in the world. God keep us from being that kind of people. We pray all of this according to your word in Amos chapter six, verses four through six. In Jesus’ name, amen.