It would be nice if nice things just happened. It would be nice if all the stuff that needs to happen, just happened. It doesn’t work that way. Someone has to take responsibility.
God had fulfilled his promise that the remnants of Israel would return from exile. Now they were starting to recover and thrive. They had homes, buildings not tents. They were rooting themselves back into the land. At the heart of their thought processes, one would think that God would be front and center. It seems, however, that this wasn’t the case. Despite their return to the land and their homes, they were merely surviving, not thriving.
Haggai goes to them and pronounces that they have their shelter. God should now have a place for them to worship Him. To their credit, they listened. The house of God was rebuilt. God blessed the people again.
Amos, on the other hand, did not receive a positive reception. The response of the powerful was antagonistic, at best. Amos was a prophet when the nations of Israel and Samaria were at relative peace, had mostly restored the boundaries of David and Solomon, and were doing well. The nation was doing well. Actually, the powerful were doing well. The powerful were living lives of excess, and not thinking about tomorrow.
God did not respond well to their selfishness. God informed them that the exile was certain and that all they treasured would no longer be there. That made them very unhappy to hear these words. They wanted to silence them.
Haggai and Amos faithfully delivered God’s words. The people responded quite differently.
1) How are you responding to God’s call on your life? Are you more like those who responded to Haggai or those who responded to Amos?
2) We often look at the superficial and say we’re fine. We often do not see the truth. Where are we not fine? Where are you not fine? Where is the church not fine?
3) Being faithful to God’s house, and being faithful to God’s church often have tension between them. Why do you think that is? What can you do to ease it?