“Who sing idle songs”
Do you sing songs? What kind of songs? When? Our world is full of songs, especially ones you listen to; this generation can walk around with leads plugged into their ears; we hear that a few have died, or at least been badly injured for life, because they have tried to cross roads and been oblivious of the traffic!
Our reading in Amos prompted these thoughts. Today’s chapter (6) starts, “Woe to those who are at ease … those who feel secure …” It is these “who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp” (verse 5). God gives Amos a message about how he sees the situation – and the future that is coming – the parallels with today are obvious.
“Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches … who drink bowls of wine …” (verses 4,6). Like today, they set out to enjoy life, ignoring God and living only for the present. Yesterday in chapter 5 we read of God’s reaction, “Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen” (verse 23). In contrast the next verse sets out God’s desire, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an overflowing stream”.
We know that it will need the return of our Lord Jesus for that to happen in our world: but, in those days, the people of Israel had no inclination to think about the future and God through Amos told them, “O you who put far away the day of disaster …” (6:3). But the day of disaster came! And it will also come to this world.
God through Amos said, “For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins” (5:12). That is true for us also, but we have the Lord Jesus and the wonder of his grace – and he challenges us to work on purifying ourselves – remember yesterday’s thoughts?
Tomorrow we start reading Hebrews, glancing ahead to chapter 4 our concluding thoughts are – “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword … discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart …” (verse 12). What do we read? How do we read? What kind of songs do we listen to and sing? God knows! What kind of person are we becoming – or have become! If the answer is not good, there is still time to fill our lamps with oil and stop walking in darkness.
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