Summary: A look at the plight of those trapped in poverty; at what God has to say about this situation, and at how these things should speak to us – if at all.
Dakota Community Church
April 25, 2010
I want to move forward in our study of the book of Amos by looking at a couple of the themes given as reason for the coming judgment upon the people of God.
Today I want to look at the plight of those trapped in poverty; at what God has to say about this situation, and at how these things should speak to us – if at all.
Let’s begin by looking at a few key passages from Amos:
They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals.
7 They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.
"They do not know how to do right," declares the LORD, "who hoard plunder and loot in their fortresses."
11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"An enemy will overrun the land; he will pull down your strongholds and plunder your fortresses."
I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished," declares the LORD.
1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks!"
2 The Sovereign LORD has sworn by his holiness:
"The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks.
3 You will each go straight out through breaks in the wall, and you will be cast out toward Harmon," declares the LORD.
4 "Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more.
Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years.
5 Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings— boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do," declares the Sovereign LORD.
You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain.
Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine.
Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light— pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
21 "I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Woe to you who are complacent in Zion… You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves.
5 You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments.
6 You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
7 Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end.
The ruin of Joseph is a direct reference to the brothers of Joseph who ate bread while their brother lay in the pit and then sold him into slavery. - Enjoying life while a brother suffers.
1 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2 "What do you see, Amos?" he asked.
"A basket of ripe fruit," I answered.
Then the LORD said to me, "The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
3 "In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD, "the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. [a] Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!"
4 Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, 5 saying,
"When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?" — skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, 6 buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.