When will this be over? When can we get back to doing what we were doing?
The people might have attended worship, but their minds and hearts were not in it. They were just waiting for the moment they could get back to what they were doing – which was certainly not behaviour honouring God.
Israel Is Doomed
The Lord said:
4 You people crush those in need
and wipe out the poor.
5 You say to yourselves,
“How much longer before the end
of the New Moon Festival?
When will the Sabbath be over?
Our wheat is ready,
and we want to sell it now.
We can’t wait to cheat
and charge high prices
for the grain we sell.
We will use dishonest scales
6 and mix dust in the grain.
Those who are needy and poor
don’t have any money.
We will make them our slaves
for the price
of a pair of sandals.”
7 I, the Lord, won’t forget
any of this,
though you take great pride
in your ancestor Jacob.
I’m sure all our minds wander in church… But are we thinking of trampling the poor and needy? Or do we think we are?
All the people were interested in was getting the best deal and advantage for themselves.
Of course, we wouldn’t do that. Would we?
Are we more interested in a good price for what we’re buying, without caring about those producing it.
(More can be found about Fairtrade here)
Amos points us to it being our religious responsibility to care about how others are treated. But it also goes beyond that:
Are we less than honest in our dealings with people?
Do we stand up for the rights of the poor and down-trodden? Do we let untruths continue to be peddled without challenging them. (See the excellent Truth and Lies Report – don’t believe everything the press tells you!)
Do we take advantage of people?
All these attitudes are matters of faith. God calls out those whose attitudes are wrong. And it’s not just the big things, it’s the small attitudes in our lives day by day.
When will this be over? It will be over when attitudes change. When people want others to get as good a deal, if not better, than they are.
And by people – I mean me, and you.
Could Amos’ words apply to me? Am I going to do something about it? Will such behaviour be over in my life?
There is no greater prayer than this song by Graham Kendrick