How much God do you want?
By Jim Hardenbrook
"I hate, I despise your religious feasts: I cannot stand your assemblies. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" Amos 5:21 and 24
This passage is about repentance not justice. Read all of it (5:21-24) and you will see what I mean.
The people who received this message were religious. They obeyed the prescribed tenets of their faith. Their worship services and prayer meetings were right in line with the tradition they inherited. Everything seemed just fine. Everything, that is, except God. God was not fine.
He hated their worship experiences and their prayers. That’s what it says! A lack of holiness and fair play provoked God’s angry response to these people’s religious traditions.
With penetrating sarcasm Wilbur E. Rees writes:
"I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don't want enough of Him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please."
How much of God would you like? Be careful with your answer. God does not take our commitments, or His, lightly.
Prayer: Lord, I repent of my desire for a comfortable, unchallenging, self-serving faith. Open my eyes to opportunities you place before me. Transform my life so that I will act justly, seek mercy, and walk humbly with you, my God. Amen.