by Jacob Hudgins
“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion”(Amos 6:1).
We highly value being at ease. It’s enjoyable to relax at the end of the day and to enjoy the freedom of having our movements and time unrestricted. While occasionally being at ease is not a problem, God warns us about the dangers of such living.
Ease keeps us from facing reality. After pronouncing woe, Amos encourages those who are ease to “pass over to Calneh and see, and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory, O you who put far away the day of disaster and bring near the seat of violence?”(Amos 6:2-3). Those who were “at ease in Zion” wound up putting the day of disaster far away. When everything goes great for us, we tend not to see the writing on the wall about our lives, our careers, our children, and our spiritual walks.
Ease keeps us from feeling grief. “Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches…who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp…who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!”(Amos 6:4-6). When we are at ease, we feel no pressure to deal with the emotions that reality presents. When Joseph is ruined, God’s people have left Him for idols, the land is devastated, and the law is forsaken, grief is the only proper emotion! Yet since grieving would take away ease and perhaps prompt further action, it has no place in the heart of the “easy.”
Ease makes us trust in things that are passing. “Therefore they shall now be the first of those who go into exile, and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall pass away”(Amos 6:7). If we become addicted to being at ease, we can be certain that it will be taken from us. There is no ease in exile.
What, then, are we to do? Ease must be kept in perspective. It is no excuse for laziness or devotion to pleasure. It is a passing state that must be abandoned when serious issues surface. When God calls us to action, when reality must be faced, when real emotion is needed, let us never be “at ease in Zion”!