Covid 19: Reflections from the Prophet Amos

When we lack vigilance and gratefulness in prosperity, eroding delusion can begin to creep in and give us a false sense of security.  Some poisonous tendencies we’ve seen as a result include an indulgent lifestyle, a drifting morality, immunity to disaster, and even a smug belief that God must really be pleased with us…that He is “on our side.”  For Israel, a local earthquake (1:1) and a nationwide captivity by the Assyrians (6:14) was the imminent result: God was about to roar!  “He whispers in our pleasures, but screams in our pain,” said CS Lewis. 

In their case, Amos, whose name means “burden bearer,” was tasked with the delivery of a very weighty message.  God often uses the “spirit of a prophet” when he wants to reveal a strong and succinct message to a stubborn people.  These are reminders of the clear and coherent message God gave through Amos.  He spoke of a “famine in the land, not of food and water, but of heeding the words of God.” (8:11-12) It is an ominous indictment when God looks at His people and declares that He is “repulsed by their assemblies”! (5:21) “Can two walk together except they are in agreement?!” (3:3)

Whether that is the message of today’s crisis or not, these actions and results from Amos are always worth pursuing.  “Let us prepare ourselves to meet with God.” (4:12-13) “Let us diligently seek Him and then we will live.” (5:4,6) “Let us love that which is good, and reject evil.” (5:14-15) “Then justice will roll on like a river, and righteousness like a never-failing stream.” (5:24)