Thursday, June 18, 2020

history repeats itself

Amos was a prophet in Old Testament times. The Lord spoke through him to reproach the peoples of Israel and Judah for their unfaithfulness to Him.

Here is a portion of chapter 6 from the book of Amos:

Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
    and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
you notable men of the foremost nation,
    to whom the people of Israel come!
Go to Kalneh and look at it;
    go from there to great Hamath,
    and then go down to Gath in Philistia.
Are they better off than your two kingdoms?
    Is their land larger than yours?
You put off the day of disaster
    and bring near a reign of terror.
You lie on beds adorned with ivory
    and lounge on your couches.
You dine on choice lambs
    and fattened calves.
You strum away on your harps like David
    and improvise on musical instruments.
You drink wine by the bowlful
    and use the finest lotions,
    but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
    your feasting and lounging will end.

At the time, Zion was the capital of Israel (the northern kingdom) and Samaria the capital of Judah (the southern kingdom). By "notable men," Amos is referring to the leadership of these Jewish nations.

What came to mind as I read this particular passage? 

Congress. Our House of Representatives, and the Senate. 

Doesn't it sound like them?  They put off the day of disaster = kicking the can down the road. Look how many career politicians hold those 535 seats that govern our nation. Their collective years in politics is staggering, yet what of substance has been accomplished?  How many of the problems from yesteryear still plague us today?  Indeed, every day brings us further into a reign of terror

Maybe they don't lie on beds adorned with ivory, but you get the idea. They do live lives of luxury, so many having enriched themselves by taking advantage of the position they hold. They make laws that they themselves don't feel they have to follow.  They get generous pensions, not social security when they retire.  Their healthcare plan? Not like what you and I have. 

They live privileged lives and it seems like their first priority is not the American people that they were elected to serve, but themselves and getting reelected. 

Granted, not all of them are like that, but way too many are.  Look at the shape our country is in, and as Amos told the people back then, it is still true today - you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph (or America).  I feel like America is the Titanic and the members of Congress are the ones pushing women and children out of the way to get on the lifeboats. 

Look at the recent pandemic and the effect it had on the economy. Many people lost their jobs, many businesses suffered. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives took a vacation in fear of the pandemic. Did they forego their generous paychecks?  Did they give up anything during this time while so many suffered?  It wouldn't surprise me if they found some loophole that enabled them to receive stimulus checks, even though their salaries should have disqualified them. 

Like I said, not all of our elected officials are like that, but too many fit the mold. And for those that do fit that mold, then will verse 7 hold true? Keep all this in mind as the November elections draw near and vote accordingly.

Also, take the time to read the remainder of Amos 6. It is dangerously close to home. The geography may be different but not the substance.

The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himself—the Lord God Almighty declares:
“I abhor the pride of Jacob
    and detest his fortresses;
I will deliver up the city
    and everything in it.”
If ten people are left in one house, they too will die. 10 And if the relative who comes to carry the bodies out of the house to burn them asks anyone who might be hiding there, “Is anyone else with you?” and he says, “No,” then he will go on to say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.”
11 For the Lord has given the command,
    and he will smash the great house into pieces
    and the small house into bits.
12 Do horses run on the rocky crags?
    Does one plow the sea with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
    and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness—
13 you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar
    and say, “Did we not take Karnaim by our own strength?”
14 For the Lord God Almighty declares,
    “I will stir up a nation against you, Israel,
that will oppress you all the way
    from Lebo Hamath to the valley of the Arabah.”

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