Today we begin the relatively short book of Amos. This book was written by the prophet Amos probably around the reigns of Jeroboam II of Israel and Uzziah of Judah (approximately 760-750 B.C.). Amos wrote this prophesy for Israel during a time of prosperity and peace which led the people into complacency where the rich oppressed the poor and even sold some of them into slavery. This book was a warning of what was to come because soon Israel would be conquered by Assyria and even the rich would become slaves. We, as Americans, must not grow complacent of the world around us. It is easy to feel as though the rest of the world is as blessed as we are, but the reality is the majority is not. Let us look to God for direction in how we can be used by Him in the lives of others. We can and should allow ourselves to help bless others and allow them to feel God’s presence and love.
Today’s reading in Ecclesiastes fits nicely with the theme of complacency in the book of Amos. Solomon describes how God gives some people blessings so they lack nothing their heart desires, yet they are not able to fully enjoy the blessing because they can not find meaning in their possessions. In the end, it all ends up in the same place. Ecclesiastes 6:5-6 Solomon compares a prosperous man who does not enjoy his blessings with a stillborn child, 5 Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man — 6 even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place? God blesses us for OUR enjoyment. Let us not grow complacent and lose sight of the blessings He has given us. We all end up the same way, but when God blesses us, let us be content and thankful for the blessings He has given us during our short time here on this earth.