Do you expect a child to be thrown in jail for not making their bed? Of course, you do not expect it. The child’s crime is petty and it’s damage to society is negligible.
What about a messenger who fails to sound the warning and many lives are lost? This is an insufferable crime. The messenger was selected particularly to announce the warning and direct the people. His crime is great and his punishment should fit the crime. God reminds Israel, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2). They were called by God to be a blessing to all the nations. “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3). Instead, they behaved like spoiled children. They indulged themselves. The poor were left to suffer. They even placed their own kindred in slavery! They showed no mercy or compassion. This is exactly what God says they will, in turn, see from Him—a postponement of intelligible mercy and compassion. They had such a noble calling! However, such a calling demands action befitting their position.
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). You are graced with a noble calling. Be a blessing to those around you. Our tendency is to fill our schedules with our frivolous agendas. We drain our accounts for our amusement. We failed to act out our intended purpose. What should we do? Amos told the people what to do. He said it two ways, but it’s the same message. “Seek me and ye shall live…Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live” (Amos 5:4, 14). To truly seek God is an active discipline. As we seek God, goodness spills out of our lives. As Amos pictures it, “But let judgment run down as waters, And righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24). We become a blessing. It is often the case as we learn more about God and His ways—you never gain anything by pursuing it directly. You can’t lay hold on happiness itself. You can’t truly be a blessing of eternal proportions by focusing on petty desires. As you pursue God, happiness finds you. As you pursue God, blessings flow from your life like a river.