Happiness In Four Words
Libraries are filled with books describing the pursuit of happiness. Television shows with famous stars tout the latest fad to give life a full meaning. Experimenting with drugs, alcohol and sex appeal to the carnal nature of man to seek fleshly utopia. The most sought after need of man since the beginning of creation has been to find happiness. All the wisdom, fads and experiments of men have failed bringing greater misery and unhappiness. When God created man, he embedded within his nature the need for happiness and showed him the only way to fulfill that happiness was to seek after the One who made him.
All men are eternal. Created in the image of God, man has a beginning but has no end. The image of God is wrapped in a fleshly body that struggles to find happiness in carnal pleasures. From the Garden of Eden the Lord has told man contentment will only come from seeking Him and following His word. Imagine how beautiful it was in Eden. Everything man could imagine was provided and there was no hatred, anger, death, disease or sin. Man was created to be happy. God put him in a world filled with peace and joy but man was not satisfied. Expelled from the Garden, man found happiness would only come from seeking the will of God.
The world of Noah was so corrupt it was destroyed by the hand of God. Man had taken carnal pleasure to the worship of selfish needs in the short-lived depravity of the flesh. Noah found happiness obeying the word of the Lord finding peace inside the ark. Generations later, the nation of Israel is told to return to the Lord and find peace. Amos is a prophet of the pre-exilic days of Israel pleading with the rebellious children of Israel to find happiness in the Lord. Life would be blessed if the people would repent and turn to the Lord. Four words describe the need: Seek God and live. The only source of happiness is found in the Lord. Sadly, the people refused and found despair in the destruction of Israel.
Happiness is still the focus of man today and like all generations; men fail to find a lasting joy. The carnal pleasures still appeal but only for a short time. Wisdom from man fails to measure up to a lasting joy. Fads come and go. The question of life and its meaning escapes man as he looks in all the wrong places for contentment. Amos appeals to modern man with the same words. Seeking the Lord will give life. The only real life man will find is in the word of God. He made us and knows what we need. Anything we find in the pleasures of the flesh is temporary. Seeking the Lord will give life eternal. Godliness removes the stains of sin and its consequences. Purity of mind brings peace, sanctification of the body removes impurities and holiness of a life consecrated to God will promise eternal life. Seeking God is seeking happiness. Life can only be found in a personal relationship with the Father and Creator of the world.
When we try to reach real happiness on cheap terms, what we get is bound to be cheap. (David Roberts, The Grandeur and Misery of Man, 1955)