The Hazard of Affluence

How is it possible that during a time of highest prosperity, more and more young people are ending up on a slippery slope, more marriages are failing, and families are being torn apart?  What has happened?

If we read the 6th chapter of the book of Amos, it appears that the true hazard is lurking in our affluence. At the time that Amos describes, the Israelites seemed to have no other ambitions than caring for their own well-being. “Who lie on beds of ivory, stretch out on your couches, eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall; who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, and invent for yourselves musical instruments like David; who drink wine from bowls, and anoint yourselves with the best ointments, but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph” (Amos 6:4-6).

Without a doubt, Amos’ astonishment must have been great when he saw such luxury and wealth. He had come as a poor shepherd from the bare hills of Judea. What he saw impacted him deeply. The people were so engrossed in the things of their prosperous life that they could not find time to serve God. His place in their hearts had been replaced. That realization caused Amos much anguish. 

Affluence often causes lethargy and idleness. Let us reflect for a moment on the past. From the stories of our parents and grandparents, we heard that people would drive more than 30 kilometers by horse and wagon to get to a church service. Also, they would take a whole week to attend church camp meetings. 

Why are we feeling stressed to even get to a Sunday morning church service? What about the midweek prayer meetings? Could it be possible that our prosperity is demanding all of our thoughts and concentration? Could it be that our time is like the days of Amos, in which the people are so concerned about their own well-being that they don’t even notice they are squeezing God out of their hearts? 

Let us be watchful and prayerful in order to allow God to have the first place in our life!

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