“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”
There is so much injustice in the world today. There is racial injustice, economic injustice, environmental injustice, social injustice and a host of other injustices. Many people suffer today because justice and righteousness is not much of a concern in many nations or in the church. We see this with the exposing of sexual improprieties that have gone on for years. We are all too often complacent with the way things are. The status quo.
Injustice permeates our world, yet as Christians we too often turn a blind eye to the suffering of others. We do a little something like start a food bank or provide warm clothing to others in the winter, feed the homeless when its not inconvenient, give out backpacks to school children going back to school. This good, but is it enough?
Today, there are people in many nations homeless, living in poverty, addicted to drugs, women and children being abused daily, lack of concern for the aged, lack of adequate healthcare, rampant crime in inner cities, unjust incarceration, slavery and a host of other horrific tragedies. Whole communities are under seige. Should we be eating, drinking and being merry while whole communities lie in ruin? (Isa 58:6-11) It’s not supposed to be this way!
The prophet Amos was fed up, speaking out against the injustices in his day. Amos was not a politician. He was a country farmer with a burden for the Lord. He denounces and calls Israel out for their failure to fully embrace God’s idea of justice. They were oppressing the poor, taking advantage of the helpless, and the men were using the women immorally (Amos 2:6-8; 3:10; 4:1; 5:11-12). The people had lost the concept of caring for others while strengthening their own financial position. They had forgotten God and where He bought them from.
Rather than seeking out opportunities to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord, the Israelites embraced their arrogance, idolatry, self-righteousness, and materialism much like the world and in some cases the church today. Amos 5:7 says: “There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground.” Amos communicated Gods disdain for the hypocritical lives of His people (Amos 5:21-24).
The Bible tells us that in the last days “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy: without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim 3:2-5). It doesn’t have to be this way because God has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). He holds His people accountable for the ill-treatment of others because we should know the truth. When you know the truth and know to do right, and don’t do it, it’s sin (Jam 4:17). We, the church have the potential to make a difference in every sphere of society. To bring about change we must fully embrace God’s idea of justice and righteousness. We must do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord (Micah 6:8).
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise notes.