INTRODUCTIONMen seek pleasures for various reasons, but sometimes they simply desire to escape sorrows and grief. In the days of Amos, the people were at ease in their “beds of ivory,” feasting upon “the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall,” listening with anticipation to their new “instruments of musick,” and indulging themselves by drinking “wine in bowls.” In other words, they pampered their flesh “with the chief ointments.” In the midst of all these pleasures, the people of God had no heart to grieve for others who were suffering. Similar to Israel, the church spends so much of its time seeking pleasure that it devotes no time to grieve for their fellow brethren in suffering.
- (For children): It is natural for us to want someone to care when we need help. But when things are going well, do we truly care for others during their times of need (Luke 6:31)? God was not pleased with how the pastors were treating His people who needed help (Ezekiel 34:1-4).
- (For everyone): What forms of pleasure do men seek out today that are comparable to those sought for in the days of Amos? Do any of these pleasures bring lasting joys?
- What do you do in order to forget your sorrows? How does this keep you from being able to grieve for others and for yourself? What benefits could be found in being able to grieve?
- Ask the Lord to help you see when pleasures are hurting you.
- Ask God to show you why you cannot grieve for others.