The Cost of Success

Success can be troublesome if it comes at the expense of justice and equity.

Read Amos 7:7-17.

The Israel to whom Amos is speaking is on top of the world. The nation is flourishing economically and politically. The trouble, though, is that the success is at the expense of justice and equity. There is a broad chasm between the rich and powerful, and the poor and powerless. No heed is being given to God’s command to care for the downtrodden and the distressed. Little concern is given to the widows, orphans, outcasts, or foreigners in their midst. Amos’ prophecy is not one that is particularly welcome to the people of Israel. Instead, they would rather Amos go somewhere else to preach his message of gloom and doom.

When things are going well, how motivated are you to look at the underbelly of success, whether it be the success of our own nation, our church, or in your personal life? Have you ever gotten a message that may, in fact, have come from God, but makes you feel defensive? How have you responded to the person who shared it or the source from which it came?

In prayer, ask God to help you be able to discern God’s word in the many voices around you.