"I will strike the winter house along with the summer house,
and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses shall come to an end,”
declares the Lord.
No wealth can save your soul. God will judge the small and great, the insignificant societal cog and the most famous celebrity, the beggar and the king, the indigent and the insanely rich. And there is no distinction with Him. Human society creates class and positions. But no social status, no money, no fame among people ultimately answers for us when we give account of ourselves before God. All stand before Him naked sinners, ashamed, with nothing, in the same great need.
When Judah turned away from the Lord and His law, the society went crazy with lust for wealth. Most of the early half of Amos' prophetic proclamations are against the excesses of the wealthiest people both in Judah and the nations around them. This little snippet is just one of them. They may have prided themselves on all their property attainment, like they lived a Monopoly game in ancient Israel, with an estate in Jerusalem and a getaway by the sea, but all that would crumble at the Lord's hands when Babylon came to take them captive. Their rich and famous lifestyles would crash in a burning finish. There would be no more wealth to steal their hearts.
These words are strong and pointed. I live in one of the wealthiest places on earth, and they echo throughout KC suburban stupor. America is materially fixated and my little corner of it maybe even more. Lots of wealthy people live in my county. And by world standards I am one of them, even if I convince myself by comparison I am not. I cannot let that kind of wealth turn my heart from God. Having money is not the issue. Loving it over God, however, is idolatry.
There is a part of me that roots for watching vacation homes crumble. I'd like to run the wrecking ball sometimes if I could. But I also know that if I were given that kind of wealth, I'd easily be tempted to be the kind of person to whom this prophetic warning came. And so I pray for humility, for an attitude of thankfulness for what God provides, and for a strong, responsible, biblical stewardship to drive my view of material possessions.