Do you ever want to be something you are not? I am guessing we can all relate to this on one level or another. Personally, I would love to be a great runner that leaves my front door and returns home after a 5 mile run in just under a half hour – Nope, not happening! I would also like to tell you how easy it is for me to eat healthy instead of telling you about my pizza and pretzel intake.
Or how about we think of it this way? I want people to be impressed by my…
How would you complete that?
We all like to be thought of highly and that isn’t all bad. But pretending or pretense can be a terrible prison to live in. It creates all kinds of lies and stresses to mask the thing that isn’t true. This is a problem for all of humanity no matter our age, gender, financial position or status in society. God created us to not be caught up in this trap. He made us to find our place and meaning as we live out our days responding to His call and reign on our lives.
Amos was dealing with the most dangerous pretending of all – pretending to be right with God. Israel was going through the motions; well some of the motions. Israel did the "worship stuff" such as sacrifices, festivals and music but it didn't take root so that it was bearing fruit in their day to day living. We see this for instance in Amos’ words from chapter five.
- 11 You levy a straw tax on the poor and impose a tax on their grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. 12 For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
- 15 Hate evil, love good…
God always intends for His people to live out his heart. The heart of God stands up against injustice and oppression. Do we?
The heart of God is holy and sinless. Do we stand up for what God declares as good and oppose what God declares as sin?
Do we rest in God’s love and find our hope there?
God invites us to see things this way and be a part of the “Remnant” described in Amos 5:15. The Remnant remain God’s even in the midst of vast opposition and false gods. They find God to be good and enough always!
Grace and Peace,