The eyes of the Sovereign Lord are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it. . . . Yet I will not totally destroy . . . (Amos 9:8)
In the first episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast, clergy psychologist Diane Langberg says, “I think that in our country, Christians have ceased to think that the most important thing that we do is be like Christ who serves the least of these. That’s not what we’ve been doing. We’ve been garnering fame and numbers and money and alignment with secular power that makes us look good and baptizing the whole darn thing.”
The Israelites had built economic systems that took advantage of the poor, garnered numbers, money, and alignment with secular power, and baptized the whole thing in sacrifices (see Amos 4:1–5; 5:11–24). Comfortable in stately homes, they were shocked to hear God viewed them as a sinful kingdom, worthy of destruction.
The minor prophets remind us that God views us not only as individuals, but also as members of kingdoms. Our church, workplace, political party, and nation are all little kingdoms that claim to be good, but how does God view them? Amos warned that kingdoms that seek the prosperity of their members at the unjust expense of others are sinful.
Like the Israelites, we often mistake our favorite earthly kingdom for God’s kingdom. However, every earthly kingdom we join is flawed and will end. While God will not destroy his people, he will destroy earthly kingdoms we’ve wrongly put our trust in.
Place unwavering trust in the only kingdom that will endure: God’s kingdom.
Tamar Eisenmann and her husband are Wesleyan pastors from Michigan. She’s a Wesley Seminary doctoral student and a fan of Transformers, her kids, and Jesus.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.