Time and Place
1The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
2 And he said: “The Lord roars from Zion
and utters his voice from Jerusalem;
the pastures of the shepherds mourn,
and the top of Carmel withers.”
Time and place
With the opening words of the book of Amos, we find that the prophecy is situated in a very clearly defined time and place. There is just very little room to wonder when these events took place. It’s like saying, “this happened two weeks before hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and George W. Bush was President of the United States.” The specifics are right there. And God places Himself right into the midst of these historical events. Time and place.
Because our lives are moving ever forward, it is easy to just let the days pass by without recognition of the fact that God has inserted us into a specific time and place. We are not just creatures of chance or happenstance. Our presence here, in the town where we live, surrounded by the family, friends, and co-workers we see daily happen because God has placed us here, in this time. And even more importantly, He is here with us. We are not here alone to make it on our own, even though we sometimes feel like that is the case.
Perhaps it is a lack of belief in God’s presence inside of our daily lives that allows us to move through our days as if we are the masters of our own destiny. Perhaps ignoring Him allows us to simply pay Him lip service out of habit or maybe even fear. And sadly, God is so very easy to ignore when life is good and we have no worries; or at least no worries we can’t handle on our own (or so we think).
It has been a question for me for a very long time now; why does God allow us to ignore Him? Why is neglect one of our chief sins? Clearly, the people of the Old Testament had the same problem, so it really isn’t new, is it? It isn’t unbelief that trips us up, it’s lazy belief. And lazy belief is deadly. So subtle and slow. No sudden movements. Satan’s best weapon.
So as I read those words in Amos 1:1-2, I am already caught up in some learning about God and about myself. He always there, right where HE has placed me, in the time He wants me there. And should I foolishly choose to ignore Him, perhaps I risk seeing the mountains wither.