READ : Amos 1-4
Amos is a prophet from Judah who is called to preach to Israel. He knows how to get attention. He begins by condemning the sins of the neighboring nations. Then he moves on to the sins of Judah. The Israelites are listening with approval. But then Amos shifts to preaching about their sins.
Their foremost sin was oppressing the poor (2:7a). Amos preaches social righteousness. He makes it clear that God condemns those who take advantage of the powerless. It is wrong to live in luxury and not try to change the system to help the poor.
The second sin was that of sexual misconduct (2:7b). Today one wing of the church calls for social righteousness while another calls for personal godliness. God calls for both.
The third sin was misuse of alcohol (2:8). Amos calls the women who live in luxury while their husbands oppress the poor, asking their husbands for a drink, “cows” (4:1). That must have gained their attention.
Because of sin, God sends national disasters, one after the other, but the refrain after each is “‘yet you did not return to me,’ says the LORD” (4:6, 8-11). Because of all this the prophet says, “Prepare to meet your God” (v. 12). Through Christ we are prepared, but that doesn’t relieve us of responsibility for godliness.
Father, our only hope is in Christ, but help us also to work for righteousness in all of life. In Christ. Amen.