Happy People

Happy People

Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, or whatever you call them are the manna of which heart attacks are made! The best have the rich sweetness, growing more and more, the closer to the center of the roll you get. The packed cinnamon and concentrated icing at the center of the roll is truly the “sweet spot.”

Our passages for reflection today would actually be a Roll of Judgment. Instead of the center being concentrated with sweetness, we see the center being a concentration of judgment! If you were standing in the crowd listening to Amos, you would hear cheers every few sentences because Amos is announcing judgment against kingdoms who refused to make God their Lord. Amos begins further away with Damascus, then draws steadily closer to home as he proclaims judgment against Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab, while finally hitting Israel’s neighbor, Judah. The crowd is electric, almost frothing at the thought of all these nations getting their desserts from God! Then Amos sinks the fork in the middle of the Roll of Judgment when he announces Israel would face judgment like the nations because, like the nations, they refused to make God their Lord. “The Lord will roar from Zion” and it would truly devastate God’s people (Amos 1:1).

Zedekiah is a solemn reminder of this concentrated judgment. Nebuchadnezzar’s final bombardment of Jerusalem leaves the people writhing in their own painful humiliation. Zedekiah, forced to watch his sons savagely murdered, had the sight permanently imprinted in his mind after his eyes were seared (2 Kings 25:7). He knew the terror of a nation opposed to God.

While it is easy to stand aghast at the wickedness of our nation and point the finger of accusation at those who massacre the innocent and malign the sacred, we must not be too quick to calculate where others stand with God without taking inventory of whether we stand for God. We all can easily ignore God and opt for the trinity of evil—power, pleasure, and prosperity. While the writer of Hebrews advocates for the superiority of Jesus because he was not like the Levitical priests, we see embedded in his reasoning the story of Abraham giving a tithe to Melchizedek. We must remember Abraham had the trinity of evil within his reach. He rejected it all, however, if it would make him independent of God. Power, pleasure, and prosperity will fail you, but “happy is that people, whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 144:15). Why? Because “he continueth ever…[and] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:24-25).

Do you stand for God? Are you a voice, like Amos’s, in this generation pledging your devotion to the Lord? Are you willing to let go of the trinity of evil so that you never risk living independent of God?

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