When God restored their border, the people who inhabited Jerusalem and Samaria during the reign of Jereboam II were lifted up with pride as high as the mountains of Zion and Samaria in which they lived (2 Kings 14; Amos 6:1, 8). Because they lived in well-fortified cities atop mountains they thought they were invincible to any military threat, and in their minds they put far away the thought of a day of judgment (Amos 6:3).
Because the judgment of God was so far from their minds, they refused to be concerned about the poor and afflicted among their brethren (Amos 6:6 cf. Mt. 24:42-51). They preferred instead to lay upon luxurious beds of ivory, stretch out on their expensive furniture, eat lamb chops and steak, hum along to the best music, drink wine out of bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest of sweet smelling ointments (Amos 6:4-6). Instead of providing for the poor and needy, they would purchase a second house, one for the summer and another for the winter (Amos 3:15).
These Israelites became too comfortable and thought only about themselves. For neglecting their responsibility before God, they would be the first to go into captivity (Amos 6:7). According to the truth of Proverbs 16:18, their pride would lead to destruction. An earthquake would rock their world in just two years and they would run for their lives (Amos 1:1; Zech. 14:5). The Assyrians would come and destroy their homes, both small and great, and they would be led away as prisoners with metal hooks in their noses (Amos 3:15-4:2; 6:9-11).
We pray that God will continue to bless us with prosperity, but perhaps we are not always thinking about our soul’s prosperity when we offer these prayers. The rich Israelites in Amos’ day are just one of the many Bible examples of people forgetting God and others when He blesses them with peace and prosperity. Have we today become too comfortable for our own good? While there is nothing wrong with wealth in and of itself, it can cause us to be blind to the needs of others and neglect our duty to them (Gal. 2:10; 6:10; James 2:5-8).
Instead of standing up and speaking out against sin or giving themselves to help others in both physical and spiritual need, some members of the church today are “at ease in Zion” (Amos 6:1; cf. Heb. 12:22). Let us pray, as John did for Gaius, that we may prosper physically and materially only as well as we prosper spiritually, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2). Are you richer spiritually or materially? Do you use the blessings God has given you only on yourself, or do you in turn bless others?
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate” 1 Timothy 6:17-18