Amos & the Prosperity Gospel

We are currently studying the minor prophets in our Wednesday evening Bible Study.  We are finishing up Joel, and I began preparing for the book of Amos.  Amos, a self-proclaimed “shepherd”, came to proclaim God’s Word to the Israelites in the Northern Kingdom. He ministered in a time when there was great wealth and prosperity in the land.
As I was reading, I came across this background information from the ESV Study Bible and my mind immediately thought of much of the false prosperity teaching that comes from many American pulpits today.

“As has tended to be true throughout history, the Israelites took this wealth and prosperity to be unmistakable signs of the blessing of God. Thus they were reinforced in their belief that ‘the  Day of the Lord’ would soon draw in which God would subdue their enemies under their feet and make them the rulers of the world. But in fact, their present wealth and power was not evidence of the blessing of God. As Amos conclusively showed, they were actually under the curse of God because of their egregious breaches of their covenant with him.  Much of their wealth had been amassed at the expense of the poor, whom the rich and powerful were systematically oppressing. Their worship of God was little more than attempts at magical manipulation of him, much like the religion of their pagan neighbors.”

 Times have changed, people haven’t. Americans mistake material wealth with spiritual blessing.  Let the Northern Kingdom of Israel be a lesson for us.  God is not a magic vending machine.  He does not exist in order to give us happy, healthy, and wealthy lives.  We exist for His glory. All of our blessings are found in Jesus Christ, not in material possessions.  We must beware of mistaking wealth and success with Divine blessing, when it could be a prelude of judgment.
*Quote taken from the ESV Study Bible.  If you are looking for a great Study Bible resource check it out


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