by J.R. Hudberg

Day 14

Read Amos 5:7-13

We are fascinated by things that turn into something completely different. For example, caterpillars into butterflies and moths, tadpoles into frogs, and coal into diamonds. Even in movies, we love to see transformation–robots into cars, normal people into superheroes, and bad guys having a change of heart and becoming good guys. It's amazing to see one thing becoming something else.

Israel should not doubt their guilt, the intention of God to discipline, nor His power and ability to carry it out.

Israel had this ability to turn one thing into something else. Unfortunately, they were taking something good, valuable, and desirable and turning it into something bad.

In Amos 2:6-8, Amos accused Israel of perverting justice. Now, in 5:7-11, he gives more details on how they have ignored justice. In fact, he says, they have turned ″justice into bitterness″ (v. 7). Justice has become something that people no longer desire (v. 10), and the justice system in Israel has become so corrupt that the poor don't get justice in the courts (v. 12). In fact, those who need to use the courts would rather avoid them (v. 13). Rather than being a source of good in society, the legal system has been transformed by greed into bitterness (vv. 11-12). That is why Amos says these people have cast righteousness (behaving rightly and in good relationship with others) ″to the ground″ (v, 7). It is a picture of contempt for righteousness.

In this section, Amos repeatedly introduces the sins of Israel (vv. 7, 10, 12) and follows with a description of the power of God and the coming consequences of her sins (vv. 8-9, 11-12). This pattern conveys the point that Israel is guilty, and God is powerful enough to discipline. Israel should not doubt their guilt, the intention of God to discipline, nor His power and ability to carry it out. The God who turns the night to day (v. 8) and destroys the stronghold and fortified city in a moment (v. 9) can easily topple a mansion (v. 11).

Again, the discipline that God will give is related to the sin that Israel has committed. The stone mansions were likely built with the dishonest gains taken from the poor using the corrupt legal system (v. 11). God will not allow Israel to enjoy the fruit of their dishonesty and corruption.

Think through:

Reflect on your own personal sense of justice in the light of what the Bible says about it. How does it match up?

If you're asked, ″Where is God in the midst of injustice?″, how would you respond? How does today's passage address this question?




About Author

J.R. Hudberg and his wife, Heidi, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with their two young boys. He was born in Grand Rapids and attended college in Canada (where he met Heidi). After spending time in Ohio, Montana, and California, he returned “home.” In the garden, on a boat, or in the woods, J.R. spends as much time as he can with family and friends enjoying God's creation. He is the executive editor for Our Daily Bread Ministries Discovery Series booklets and is a regular contributor to the Insights for Our Daily Bread.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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