1 Kings 22, Amos 6
I know God is good.
I’ve heard church tell me this for a long time. Your Christian friends constantly upload Instagram photos and share Joel Osteen’s Facebook statuses that proclaim that God is good, that He loves you, and that everything is going to be okay.
And they’re right. God is good.
What we begin to do, however, is look at the landscape around us, take a deep breath and say, “This is good.” Perhaps it’s a weekend sunset with a cold beer in your hand, or a hefty tax return you received, or that co-worker you can’t stand that finally got theirs.
This is all nice stuff. But is it of God, or is it of your own contrivance?
Perhaps the co-worker who was disciplined for coming back late from lunch for the third time this week had been dealing with a sloppy divorce and wanted respite during her lunch hour, and your constant surveillance only exasperated the situation and put her in a position to risk losing her job. That’s not good.
Perhaps that hefty tax return was the result of fibbing on your taxable income. That’s not good.
And perhaps that sunset with a cold beer was a blatant avoidance from your wife who has asked you to see your son’s baseball game, which you haven’t bothered to do the entire season because you’re “tired from work” every night. That’s not good, either.
But we justify things, and we want God to see our particular deeds and situations as good when we’re actually compromising in order to achieve self-fulfillment, often at the expense of others.
Ahab did something like this in the reading today. He consults four hundred prophets, all of whom give him a favorable outlook on whether he’d win in battle. Meanwhile, another prophet named Micaiah has a reputation of offering up “bad” prophecy all the time, and when he’s asked about the battle, his judgment is altogether different.
The former prophets are more interested in telling King Ahab what he wants to hear. Micaiah’s intention, the correct motive of a true prophet, is to be the mouthpiece for God’s truth.
Has the Lord recently asked you to change a behavior or give something up? Have you been listening?
If not, Amos — another prophet of the Lord — has a few honest choice words for his people:
Yet you have turned justice into gall,
And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood
The old school King James version uses the term “hemlock” instead of wormwood. Either way, the nation has traded in God’s word for their own bitter versions of truth. In essence, they’ve created a false god and trusted in their own counsel, limited to their human perception, setting up this lie to be worshiped.
Whether you realize it or not, this is exactly what you’ve done.
But in the end, it will only leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Kind of like not going for an extra Drumstick in the freezer, it’s hard to resist your propensity to do what you feel. I mean, that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days anyway. If it feels good, go for it.
And too many Christians have subscribed to this philosophy, trading in the truth of God for false goodness and ear-tickling little sayings coated in an icing of happy thoughts and pats on the back.
What does God’s word say? Is it happening?
If you are twisting the meanings and avoiding correction, congratulations. You’ve made yourself a fake god. And it probably feels good right now, but in the end, it’s going to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
But if place all of your trust in the God who outlasts time itself, it’s going to turn out good. It may not seem good right now, but that’s your temporal perception getting in the way. Let the one true God do His thing, and you’ll be better off while the Lord is given the credit.