23 Nov. Amos 5:1-7,10-15

23 Nov. Amos denounces social injustice in Israel

“Listen to this funeral song that I sing about you, people of Israel. ‘The young girl Israel has fallen, and she will not rise up again. She was left alone in her own land, and there is no one to help her up.’”

“This is what the Lord GOD says: ‘If 1,000 soldiers leave a city, only 100 will return; if 100 soldiers leave a city, only ten will return.’”

“This is what the LORD says to the nation of Israel: ‘Come to me and live. But do not look in Bethel or go to Gilgal, and do not go down to Beersheba. The people of Gilgal will be taken away as captives, and Bethel will become nothing.’”

“Come to the LORD and live, or he will move like fire against the descendants of Joseph. The fire will burn Bethel, and there will be no one to put it out. You turn justice upside down, and you throw on the ground what is right…”

“You hate those who speak in court against evil, and you can’t stand those who tell the truth. You walk on poor people, forcing them to give you grain. You have built fancy houses of cut stone, but you will not live in them. You have planted beautiful vineyards, but you will not drink the wine from them.”

“I know your many crimes, your terrible sins. You hurt people who do right, you take money to do wrong, and you keep the poor from getting justice in court…”

“Try to do good, not evil, so that you will live, and the LORD God All-powerful will be with you just as you say he is. Hate evil and love good; be fair in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God All-powerful will be kind to the people of Joseph who are left alive.”

          (Amos 5:1-7,10-15)

 

 

The Book of Amos was written between c.760 and c.750BC before the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC. In his prophesy, Amos denounced the injustices evident in contemporary society in Israel, and warned that God would punish the nation for the widespread oppression of the poor.

In this passage, God called his people to repent and to turn away from the worship of pagan gods at the altars set up by King Jeroboam  in the ‘high places’ at Bethel and Gilgal (see 2 Kings 12:29-33 and 14:23). “This is what the LORD says to the nation of Israel: ‘Come to me and live. Do not look in Bethel or go to Gilgal, and do not go down to Beersheba. The people of Gilgal will be taken away as captives, and Bethel will become nothing.’” (Amos 5:5)

Later in Chapter 5, Amos warned against celebrating the traditional Jewish religious festivals while neglecting social justice in society: “The LORD says, ‘I completely hate your feasts; I cannot stand your religious meetings… Take the noise of your songs away; I won't listen to the music of your harps. But let justice flow like a river, and let goodness flow like a stream that never stops.” (Amos 5:21-24)

Further on, in Chapters 6 to 8, Amos had a vision of the destruction of Jerusalem, followed by visions of locusts, fire, a plumb line and ripe fruit - all indicating destruction on account of immoral living.

Amos ended his prophesy by looking ahead to the restoration of Israel after the exile. “The kingdom of David is like a fallen tent, but in that day I will set it up again and mend its broken places. I will rebuild its ruins as it was before.” (Amos 9:11)

The photo (by gugganij) shows the Tel Be'er Sheva archaeological site at Beersheba. 

You can read more from the Book of Amos @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/38-amos-hosea-amp-micah-pan-israel-amp-judah/amos-denounces-social-injustice-in-israel/


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