When I was younger, there was a Welsh band called the Stereophonics that I saw live a couple of times. One of their more light-hearted songs was called ‘I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio’. It was, I think, about the trappings of modern society, namely buying things on credit that we simply don’t need. The chorus went like this,
So you can have it all if you like, you can have it all if you like.
You can have it all if you like, you can have it all if you like, and you can pay for it the rest of your life.
This is very similar to what we see today in Amos, too,
25 “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness,
O house of Israel?
26 You shall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god
–your images that you made for yourselves,
27 and I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,”
says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.
Although Israel still offered sacrifices to God whilst in the wilderness (v.25), they also carried along with them their pagan deities picked up whilst in Egypt (v.26). They are literally wanting their cake, and to eat it too. They want it all. They want to honour God and offer sacrifices to Him (good), but they also want to cling on to paganism and the trappings of their former way of life (bad).
As with the Stereophonics, God’s people seem to want to have it all, but as we see, they will pay for it for what would be, for some of them, the rest of their lives (v.27).
The exile and captivity are surely not what God wants us to have, and are surely not what we want, either. Rather than trying to have our cake and eat it, then paying for it for the rest of our lives, or even with our lives, let us have what God wants for us, let us have it all; life defined by Jesus crucified, life abundant, life eternal.
To have all this, we don’t need to pay for it for the rest of our lives, because Jesus paid for it with His life.
So, yes, we can have it all if we like.
We can either have all that Jesus offers, or all that the world offers.
One was paid for with His life, and the other we will pay for the rest of our lives.