God’s Caution to the Complacent

‘Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and you who feel secure on Mount Samaria’ ~ Amos 6:1

A quick look at the definition of complacent describes one who is uncritically satisfied with oneself or their achievements. The complacent are apathetic and smug with regard to an apparent need or problem. When the Israelites were prosperous, they found themselves in such as state. Physically, because they had bountiful and spiritually because God dwelt among them. At that time, the complacent were said to, ‘lie on beds inlaid with ivory, and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions’ (Amos 6:4-6). As their prosperity increased and justice and righteousness diminished, God sent forth a warning. When God warned ‘I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be no more’ (Ezekiel 26:13), it appeared like a distant rumour to the complacent- because they were uncritical and satisfied.

The complacent rest on their security. They have experienced success in whatever form for a long time and feel secure. God says, ‘I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, ‘I will not listen!’ (Jeremiah 22:21). The complacent never take heed to warnings because they feel too secure to behold a calamity, even one right outside their gates. When they hear warnings of God’s coming judgement, they invoke the saying, ‘The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’ (Ezekiel 12:22). But God again says, ‘The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled’ (v23). Still, the complacent remain in unbelief just like ‘The Kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the world’s people, that enemies could enter the gates of Jerusalem’ (Lamentations 4:12). The complacent, ‘put off the evil day’ (Amos 6:3) and so invite terror on themselves, and God declares, ‘Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end’ (v7).

The complacent forget what trouble and suffering is. They have a limited view to things and are uncritical to anything outside of what they experience. They are therefore unsympathetic and unjust, leading them to oppress others and sin. ‘Moab has been at rest from youth, like wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another- she has not gone into exile. So she tastes as she did and her aroma is unchanged. But days are coming when I send who pour out from jars, and they will pour her out; they will empty her jars and smash her jugs’ (Jeremiah 47:11-12). Many do not believe of the coming judgement to earth and mankind, because they continue with wickedness and ‘nothing happens’. They do not consider that God punished wickedness as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. So God asks, ‘Are you more favoured than others?’ (Ezekiel 32:19). But on the day of judgment, God says, ‘At that time I will search and punish those who are complacent, who are like the wine left on dregs, who think the Lord will do nothing, either good or bad (Zephaniah 1:12).

The complacent suppress any convictions of wrong doing. They eat forbidden fruit and ‘wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong’ (Proverbs 30:20). God observes, ‘No they don’t have shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought low when I punish them’ (Jeremiah 6:15). The complacent ‘do not say to themselves, let us fear the Lord our God’ (5:v24). They are good at excusing sin and supressing guilt to a point they accept and lie to themselves that they are not ‘bad people’.  They therefore have an unrepentant heart. To such, God says, ‘But I will pass judgement on you because you say, ‘I have not sinned’’ (2:v35).

The complacent seek options that fit what they want to hear. They close off every word that does not align to their preferences. They do not want to know the Truth which ‘will set you free’ (John 8:32). Instead, ‘the word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it’ (Jeremiah 6:10). And so they come up with their own creed. They say that there are many truths and each person has their own truth. Paul warns, ‘For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths’ (2 Timothy 3:3-4).

They only listen to false prophets who ‘dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious, ‘Peace, peace,’ they say when there is no peace’ (Jeremiah 6:14). In fact, they even hire people who ‘have lied about the Lord; they said, ‘He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine’ (5:v12). However, God tells them, ‘the visions of your prophets were false and worthless: they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading’ (Lamentations 2:14). The complacent do not base their teaching on God’s Word, but on humans. So God asks, ‘Where are your forefathers now? And the prophets, do they live forever? But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your forefathers?’ (Zechariah 1:5).

In the event that they use God’s Word, the complacent misconstrue Scripture to justify their deeds. When they hear of the coming wrath and judgement of God, the complacent ask, ‘Is the Spirit of the Lord angry? Does he do such things?’ (Micah 2:7) but God says, ‘Do not my words do good to him whose ways are upright?’ (v7). They use the Name of God only when they want to support their misdeeds saying, ‘Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us’ (Micah 3:11). They refuse to read and consider what is also written and so miss the part whereby God says, ‘I am merciful, I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt– you have rebelled against the Lord your God’ (Jeremiah 3:12-13).

‘Tremble, you complacent women: shudder you daughter who feel secure’ ~ Isaiah 32:9

‘Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall’ ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12

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