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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Hate evil and love good

Seek the Lord and live,

or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,

and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.

Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,

and bring righteousness to the ground!

They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth. Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate. Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.

Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. ~ Amos 5:6-7,10-15

Amos wasn't the kind of prophet you turned to if you wanted someone warm and fuzzy.

He lived during a time when Israel was becoming a little comfortable. Satisfied. Forgetting what God was all about. And about who God cared for.

So in the midst of this, Amos reminded them.

Reminded them that God has a tender heart for the poor, the afflicted, the needy. And transgressing against them meant transgressing against God.

When you hear the term "social justice," you can imagine Amos himself condemning the actions of a comfortable community of people turning a blind eye to the needs of others. In fact, there's an old saying that good religion should "comfort the afflicted" and "afflict the comfortable." Amos would have agreed.

Gracious God, open my eyes and my heart to the needs of others at all times. Amen

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