Lo-Debar: Why God Invades Our Comfortable Lives

What happens when comfort dulls our sensitivity to God.

Everything was going so well. A good job. Promising future. Nice place to live. Peace among peers. Then God got involved, and it all changed. Ever had that happen? Me too. So did Israel of old.

Lo-Debar: Why God Invades Our Comfortable Lives

(Photo: Umm ed-Dabar, possible Lo-Debar. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Hebrews sought opulent furniture, the finest food, first-class entertainment, the best wine and perfumes. But they did not seek the Lord.

Sometimes God invades our comfortable lives. Here’s why.

Comfortable, but Not Spiritual

In a time of tremendous affluence, Israel went soft on the Lord. So He sent a fig picker from Judah north to Israel to afflict the comfortable.

The Prophet Amos spoke to those:

Who rejoice in Lodebar, and say, ‘Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?’ —Amos 6:13

Lodebar and Karnaim guarded the approaches to Israel’s Jezreel Valley from the eastern Transjordanian highway. Israel’s recent victories in those regions had given them an arrogant and false sense of security. With ironic sarcasm, God referred to the city of Lodebar as Lo-dabar, which means “no thing.”

In other words, they rejoiced in what amounted to nothing.

Looking east in the direction of Lodebar

(Photo: the Harod Valley toward Lodebar, one approach to the Jezreel Valley from the east. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

As a result, the Lord would bring the Assyrians from that same direction, and they would afflict Israel “from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of the Arabah” (Amos 6:14). From the north to the south, God would afflict the comfortable.

Lo-Debar’s Warning of Comfort

Take a moment of silent, brutal honesty. Where has devotion to God taken a backseat to devotion to His blessings of comfort?

  • Maybe you have given ministry or projects more dedication than your personal time with the Lord.
  • Maybe keeping your home neat and nice has taken priority over kindness to those within it.
  • Israel’s blessings wooed them away from loving the God who blessed them. Are we any different? Are they not the Father’s to give and take?
  • We need to remember that moths and rust destroy the things we treasure here (Matthew 6:19).

If you have anything that you prize very highly, hold it very loosely, for you may easily lose it. —C. H. Spurgeon

Umm ed-Dabar, the possible Lo-Debar

(Photo: Umm ed-Dabar, the possible Lo-Debar. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Of course, just because everything is going well doesn’t mean God is pleased with us. Neither does He invades our lives only because we’re doing something wrong. I only mean that the Lord is committed to our relationship with Him, no matter the cost.

When comfort dulls our sensitivity to God, He has little choice but to remove the obstacle.

Question: Why do we struggle so hard to surrender the blessings we received so easily? To leave a comment, just click here.

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This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.

• These 90 devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, will help you apply the truths of God’s Word to your daily journey of faith.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts. Just keep it kind and relevant. Thanks!

  • Kayleenferguson

    In the moment, I forget that all life is a blessing from God! I feel I earned the blessing by working, waiting, praying, studying, etc. God sends continues reminders to keep my relationship strong WITH Him and not just ABOUT Him.

    •  Keeping our relationship with Him and not just about Him. That’s a great credo! Thanks for the comment.

  • Magdalena

    As I was reading this devotional David’s word somewhere in Psalm cross my mind. He told God that he does not want to get rich lest he forget Him neither poor lest he steal.
    This is always my prayer also, I just want to have enough in life. What I treasure most is my relationship with God. When I can not spend time with Him it makes me a kind of depressed, and it seems that everything go wrong. But when I spend time with Him it lifted up my spirit, and I can face everything.

    • Yes, it’s amazing how we’re designed to stay plugged-in to God in order to function well (John 15:1-7). I appreciate the reminder of the verses you  mentioned:

      “Two things I asked of You, Do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, That I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7–9)

      • Magdalena

        Thank you Wayne (smile) for the verses I will highlight them, for future record. It is always good to have references. Thanks again. And keep up the good work. 

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  • Maryann Favor Chiwona

    We struggle to surrender the blessings because of FEAR

    • I have to agree with you, Maryann. So often, that is the reason. Thanks.

      • RB

        Thank you, Wayne, for another spiritual, convicting, “heart check-up”. I appreciate all the time and effort praying, researching, compiling, writing, and then sharing these Biblical truths with us.
        Randy

        • You’re welcome, Randy. It’s my privilege. Thank you so much for taking a moment to thank me. That means so much.

  • Breitnica Mascarenhas

    ‘Coz we take God & His blessings for granted instead of valuing it.!!

  • Veronica Richardson

    I recently was blessed and did something really stupid

  • Veronica Richardson

    Would god ever forgive me

    • We’ve all been there, Veronica. You cannot out-sin the grace of God. He has promised you that. Read this post about clearing your guilty conscience. Don’t listen to the devil’s lie that you’ve gone too far. That’s impossible. Jesus’ death was infinite. God bless you as you seek Him.