Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:21-24 NIV)
I’m wondering if God could say the same thing about all our conferences, training events, book signings, music festivals, pod casts, blogs and worship services. If there is a difference between what we preach and how we live (a disconnect between our marketing, branding, hype and chatter, and the reality of justice and righteousness present in our lives), then the answer is booming “Yes.”
Israel's remedy like ours is often today was more events and more offerings. This, however, never solved anything. Amos sarcastically shut this down as he wrote: "Come to Bethel, and transgress; to Gilgal, and multiply transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days; offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel!" declares the Lord GOD. (Amos 4:4-5 ESV) His point here is that having another festival or worship event or bringing more sacrifices would only add to their guilt. We call it getting caught up in the Spirit and really worshipping, but it was all hypocrisy and insincerity. They had many gods. Israel was not walking by faith and did not love the Lord with all its heart, soul, and might. And God's refused to listen ... He stopped up His ears. What they called worship and praise was a mockery to His holy name.
What’s the solution for them and for us? The prophet told his generation: For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live” … Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. (Amos 5:4, 14-15 ESV)
Sounds like the cord should be pulled on our amp and speakers as well. The guitars should be put away for now and falling to our knees, we should seek Christ again in brokenness and humility. Since God's more interested in righteousness and justice than what He is in perfectly choreographed events, we should be also.