First Monday of Advent
Read Amos 6:9-14
(For those of you who have been following along through this whole Advent blog … are you starting to find yourself longing for some grace?!? I sure am. I suppose that’s a good place for the soul to be during Advent…)
Today I’m amazed at just how stubborn and misinformed we can be when it comes to God.
In vs. 9-10, we have this grizzly prophetic anecdote. Because of the judgment of God on their sins, an entire household of ten will be found dead in their house. An uncle will come by to do his duty of cremating the bodies. While searching for bodies and carrying out his task, he will say, “Shhhh! We must not mention the name of the Lord!”
Why would anyone want to be careful not to mention the name of the Lord?
Perhaps this uncle is in denial. He is stubbornly refusing to believe that what has happened has anything to do with God. Despite the tragedy, he still doesn’t give God his attention.
Or maybe it’s the opposite: Perhaps he knows the LORD is behind the destruction, and he doesn’t want God’s wrath to be kindled any more than it already has been. God has his attention … but his response is misguided.
Our increasingly secular nation seems to be quoting this Samarian uncle these days. “Shhhh! We must not even mention the name of the Lord.” Do they say this because they stubbornly-yet-genuinely refuse to believe in God’s existence? Or might they, deep down, hold to some semblance of belief, and hate the mention of God because it reminds them that a day of reckoning is coming?
Either way, it is pathetic. Though God shows Himself strong all around us, let’s seal our mouths, plug our ears, and burn the bodies. Our godless world, at its most ignoble.
What’s wrong at the root is the theology behind the “shhhh.” God is nothing but good! He created an amazingly beautiful world. Her provides for us miraculously every day. He has saved us time and again (g
arden, flood, exodus, conquest, battles, returns from exile, and ultimately in Jesus). He speaks to us through his prophets. His people
have brought countless practical blessings to the world. And the good news, that God loves, forgives, blesses, empowers and makes alive, continues to take hold of people all over the world, filling them with “inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Pet. 1:8). That is God! And that is grace! Why would you want to “shhhh” that?
Well, ignoring God doesn’t make Him go away. Israel’s godless insistence on injustice, unrighteousness and self-confidence will result in their being “shattered to pieces.”
Advent. A time of proclamation. Don’t let the “shhhh” keep you from calling out to Him, and proclaiming His return.