God's word is truth and He always fulfills his promises. What he says will happen, happens. We have seen it more than once in our time reading through the Bible this year and today we see it happen once again. Exactly one week ago we read from the book of Amos. In it, Amos prophetically tells the nation of Israel that because of their complacency (primarily those with power, wealth, prestige, privilege and influence) they would be the first to be lead into exile. Today is that day, in our reading at least. In today's short reading we see this prophetic message come to pass.
Last week I wrote about the silent killer that complacency can become in our lives, just as it was in the lives of these Israelites. I have to wonder a little bit about these heads of the families that we read about in 1 Chronicles 5:23-26. Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah and Jahdiel were all men of importance, men of prestige, men who, I am assuming, felt that they were leading their families in the ways they should go. They had presumably built up little kingdoms of their own to pass on to the next generation. I am sure they were men who were looked up to and thought highly of. They were men that other men wanted to be. They had it all and the world knew it and wanted it.
We know this because verse 24 tells us so. They were "mighty men of valor, famous men, heads of their fathers’ households." These were not your average joes. These were the Hollywood elite. They were the Kennedy's and the Rockefellers. But at the end of the day, that meant nothing.
I love how the worlds standards for success are consistently shown to be frivolous and without any weight or merit next to what God's standards are for us. It is a good reminder for us when we are faced with the choice of which ones we should be chasing. When it is all said and done, God is not going to be looking over our portfolio or how many people we had wanting to live our life.
By the world's standards these men were men who should have pushed back anyone who tried to take their land, life or liberty. But God, in his infinite wisdom, said otherwise. He allowed the Assyrians to take and lead these titans in Israel into exile. Taking their land, their liberty and in some cases their life. God is very black and white in what he has asked of his people. He has never been gray.
This weekend take a moment to evaluate your life. Spend some time in prayer and in God's word, asking the Lord to show you areas in your life where you may have lost focus on the things that matter to him by instead chasing the things that the world says to focus on. On the world stage America and Americans are still those who have the most power, wealth, prestige, privilege and influence; Don't let complacency and the desire to chase the wrong things become a barrier between you and your Heavenly Father.