“I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation” (Amos 8:10)
God loves to see people rejoice in Him, in His good creation, and in the beautiful things of life. In fact, in His presence is abounding joy.
But God does not want people to celebrate at the cost of others. In Israel, there was an elite that exploited the poor in order to increase their own wealth. They “trampled on the needy” and disregarded the Lord’s commandments. They were proud and rejoiced in injustice. This had to stop. The Lord God will turn these people’s songs and feasts into lamentation, Amos says.
Psalm 137 shows the result of God’s judgment. The people of Israel were conquered by the Babylonians and many of them were taken captive. There they sat down in a foreign country and wept, remembering their beloved city of Zion (Jerusalem). Even though their captors asked them for songs, they could only mourn. Sitting by the rivers of Babylon, the people reflected on all they had lost — but by then it was too late to turn the tide. After years of warnings, God’s judgment had come.
The people of Israel were judged for “trampling on the needy” and disregarding the Lord’s commandments. Can you think of some current examples, maybe in your own life? What do you think, do these also evoke God’s wrath?