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.

Tell me what you think: 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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