So today was a bit of a review in 2 Kings Chs 11-12
We can’t seem to get rid of Athaliah, eh?
Ok now we have and won’t hear from her anymore
We heard about her in 2 Chronicles and now we are in 2 Kings
Athaliah is reigning over Judah and kills all of the descendants of Ahaziah except for Jehoash….
Wait, who is JEHOASH?
I know who JOASH is!
JEHOASH in 2 Kings is the SAME PERSON as JOASH in 2 Chronicles
Jehoash and Joash are THE SAME (And for today’s notes, I will use JOASH so as to avoid any confusion whenever Fr. Mike refers to JEHOASH because remember, THEY ARE THE SAME 😁)
Joash became king at 7 years old
When he was guided by Jehoiada, the priest, he was doing good things
When Jehoiada dies, Joash did not continue the work that the priest had started him on
Joash recognized that the Temple of the Lord, the place of worship, was falling into disrepair
There were supposed to be tithes given to the priests who were supposed to use it for repairing the Temple
That’s not how things worked out
They got the money, but didn’t do anything with it
People were still giving money, but it wasn’t being used WISELY
Joash saw that and made sure that the money would be used for repairs
Joash did not tear down the false places of worship
Because of that, he ends poorly
So many of God’s people START WELL
So many of God’s people END POORLY
Joash is one of those
This could be any one of us and so we continue to pray and ask the Lord for His Grace
Amos Chs 4-6 he is calling people higher
This is the role of the prophets
He is telling the future of what is going to happen
But what he’s also telling them WHAT IS HAPPENING
This is what prophets do
They tell the TRUTH OF GOD to the people who NEED to hear the truth
What do we hear in these chapters?
Fr. Mike gets so ahead of himself and gets so excited (Yeah, I’ve noticed. Imagine what it’s like to write these notes 😉)
Amos 4:1, “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan…”
That’s not very nice to call ladies cows 😉
“...who are in the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!’”
There is this conviction that Amos has basically saying, “Ok God has blessed you so much and all you are doing with that blessing is you are using it to serve yourselves.
All you are doing with the blessings of God’s gifts is like those priests during the time of Joash.
You are not using it to build the Temple.
You are not using it to help the poor.
You are using it just to simply SERVE YOURSELVES.”
In Amos 5:21, “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and cereal offerings, I will not accept them.”
Because they are NOT BEING JUST
Because they are NOT TAKING CARE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Because they are NOT TAKING CARE OF THE POOR
This is something powerful and true for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US
Keep in mind...
In Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM), they were not worshiping God in the way they were called to
Even if they weren’t worshiping God in the way they were called to, but their hearts were in the right place and they were taking care of the people around them, then maybe God would still accept their offerings
But they weren’t even doing THAT
Amos 6:1, “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria…”
Amos 6:4,” Woe to those who lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat lambs from the flock, and calves from the midst of the stall; who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David invent for themselves instruments of music; who drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils…”
We will get to the last line of that verse in a moment...
Here are a people of COMFORT
Many of us who live in a temperature controlled world where if it’s a little too cool, we turn the heat up
If it’s a little too hot, we turn on the cool
If our beds are a little lumpy, we get a new one
We eat calves from the midst of the stall, not just food, but the BEST FOOD
We sing idle songs from the sound of the harp
We are constantly being entertained
We drink wine in bowls
Whenever we read Amos 6 in Mass, this line always sticks out
You’re not even drinking wine out of glasses, you are drinking wine out of BOWLS
This is the INDULGENCE, and the COMFORT, and the EXTRAVAGANCE that we are living amidst
This is modern 21st century western life
It might not be ALL OF US listening
Everyone listening are in so many different socio-economic strata, different places in the world, so it may not be YOUR experience
It is the experience of A LOT of the cultures that are participating in this Bible in a Year
This is the conviction of Amos, who needs to convict OUR HEARTS
You may say, “That’s not me!!”
Ok, maybe it’s not
If it MIGHT be you or me, it’s WORTH PRAYING THAT PRAYER
IT MIGHT BE ME
MAYBE I AM INCLINED TO COMFORT MORE THAN I AM INCLINED TO JUSTICE
MAYBE I AM MORE INCLINED TO DISTRACTING MYSELF MORE THAN I AM INCLINED TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
So we have all these comforts, “but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!”
I told you we would get to that last line in that verse of Amos 6 😉
So what does that line about Joseph mean?
Remember, the Northern Kingdom of Israel is also called Ephraim
Those relatives of Joseph, these people of Israel
They were not grieved over the ruin of the PEOPLE AROUND THEM
They were not grieved over the fact that they TURNED AWAY FROM THE LORD
They were not grieved over the fact that the POOR GO UNFED
They were not grieved over the fact that those that were WRONGFULLY CONVICTED GO WITHOUT JUSTICE
And here we are IN COMFORT
ALL OF US…
All of us are called, obviously, by the prophets TO GO HIGHER
All of us are called by the prophets TO BE CONVICTED BY THE LORD’S VOICE IN WHATEVER WAY HE IS CALLING US TO BE CONVICTED TODAY
You may not be someone who drinks wine out of bowls
You may not be someone who stretches out on beds of ivory
You may not be someone who is overly comforted
There is something in ALL OF OUR LIVES that leads us to IGNORE the plight of THOSE AROUND US
So every one of us NEEDS A PROPHET
Right now, the prophet that God has given us is the Prophet Amos
“Where, God, are you calling me to open my eyes, to not be blind to the needs of those around me? To not be deaf to the cries of those around me, but to see YOU in THEM? To serve you as well as worship you, but to serve you in those who are poor, to serve you among those who need me?”
THEY NEED US
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “The reason we have no peace is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” (Does this sound familiar to you? Go read Day 80: Cities of Refuge for a refresher of where we heard this before 😉)
It’s worth being reminded of that
We have no justice because we have forgotten that we belong to each other
God keeps sending us PROPHETS into our lives to say, “Ok are you going to turn now? Are you going to come back to me now?”
TIME IS SHORT
ETERNITY IS LONG (Imagine if you will….an enormous beach with brilliant white sand stretching as far as the eye can see...and every 1 BILLION years, an eagle flies and lands and picks up ONE GRAIN OF SAND and flies away….and the time it takes for the eagle to pick up EVERY SINGLE GRAIN OF SAND in that enormous beach….BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS of years to clear EVERY SINGLE GRAIN OF SAND in that ENORMOUS BEACH...that is STILL NOT ETERNITY...🤯🤯)
So let’s turn back to the Lord, WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME
Fr. Mike is praying for YOU
Fr. Mike needs the prophets as well, to speak to his heart, change his heart, and the Lord’s Grace to purify his heart so that God doesn't look at HIM and say, “I despise your feast. I despise the way you are worshiping me.”
Fr. Mike wants to give God his WHOLE HEART
Do you want to give God YOUR WHOLE HEART?
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER