What do you think of history? During the week, following a full day, I went home and just wanted to sit down and relax for half an hour. In an effort to turn my brain off I have been watching a World War 11 series called ‘Victory at Sea’. It is old … in black and white … but still very interesting. In one of the last episodes, it focused on the last days of the war following the allies’ invasion of Europe. To see the carnage and destruction in country after country was to say the least, sobering. There was much war time footage of captured German soldiers. Many were young and no different to our own sons and daughters. What they had been asked to do, as well as witness, is the stuff of nightmares. Surely this should never happen again. Surely we humans would learn from the folly of war.
Sadly, we seem to be unable to learn from past mistakes and errors in judgement. Similar poor choices are made because our memories seem to fade and forget the terrible outcomes of these choices. When will learn the hard lessons of life from history? Millions of people paid the ultimate price during the early 1940s because people and world leaders failed to learn from the mistakes of World War 1. This forgetfulness was catastrophic for mankind.
In our Bible text this morning from Amos there is much for us to reflect on. The Jews of Amos’ time obviously had serious problems with their memories. They failed once again in learning how serious God is when it comes to the consequences of disobedience and sin. They simply forgot who God is and decided to gamble big time with their lives. Amos was given five visions concerning God’s intention to carry out justice on His chosen people. Amos was overwhelmed in what God revealed to him. He even cried out to the Lord for mercy! Alas, judgement was pronounced on these people because they failed to take heed of God’s constant warnings from His many messengers. Obedience to His word was not one of their strong point. Time was up for these complacent and disobedient people. However, will we learn from history and God’s dealing with His people? I hope so!