A scripture from Amos holds up a mirror for us to consider our ways.
[Darris McNeely] We all know what a mirror is. We hold it up, and we look into it, and we see our reflection. It’s a very interesting device that we use virtually every day. You know, the Word of God and certain scriptures are like a mirror as well. When we read them, we’re reading something from the past, but we’re seeing the reflection of our current world in our society today. There’s a passage in the book of Amos that’s just that way. In chapter 5, the prophet is talking about social injustice. We hear a lot today about social injustice in our world, and particularly in our country, and efforts to address the inequities and the inequalities. Here’s what Amos had to say about it beginning of 5:10, he says, speaking of his people, “They hate him who rebukes in the gate. They abhore him that speaks uprightly.” The gate is kind of like a courthouse, the justice area, the courts of the land where laws are made and decided. He said, “For as much, as your treading is upon the poor and you have taken from him the poor burdens of wheat and you built your own houses of stone, but you shall not dwell in them,” God says, “You have planted vineyards, but you will not drink of the wine that comes from them.” Abundance harvesting, but it’s not equally shared. He goes on, “For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins. Therefore, the prudent will keep silence in that time for it is an evil time. Seek good not evil that you may live. So the Lord, the God of Hosts shall be with you as you have spoken.” And then he concludes in this passage, “Hate the evil, love the good, and establish judgment in the gate, that it may be that the Lord God of Hosts will be gracious to you, the remnant of Joseph.”
Amos addressed the inequalities, the social injustice of his own day. We haven’t made many efforts in that regard in our own world. More than 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson spoke before the American Congress and declared a great society. And he instituted vast welfare reforms in an effort to eradicate poverty, such as in places like Appalachia. He actually made a visit down into the Inez County, Kentucky, a place that I’ve been to many times and visited when I used to live in that area where there was such a grinding poverty, and he made this photo op there of a visit to a very poor family. Unfortunately, Lyndon Johnson’s great society didn’t come completely to pass, so there’s been strides made, but in this part of the country and other pockets, poverty, addictions are still there. And our great society is not here and still today we call for efforts it’s socialism. We call for efforts to replace the market capitalism that we have today and we cry the injustice and the inequities that are here
The problem is, yes, there are inequities, but the real problem is what Amos said, sin and abandoning the law of God. We have forgotten God’s law. And we will not hold that law up to ourselves as a measure of our conduct, and of our morality, and of our relationship before God. Get that right and then the social problems of a nation can be solved and legislation on the human level then can really do work to bring about what God wants, what we want, and what we need. But we must start with the commandments of God and a return to that in our morality for all the other to come to pass. That’s what the book of Amos says. And it holds that mirror up to us today for us to consider our ways, whether or not they are pleasing to God.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.