The Troubling Lens of Amos.....


Posted by: Alex on Oct 23, 2012

Our Midweek Study Group is almost finished with their study of the intense Hebrew Prophet Amos.  Though it has only 9 chapters, it is perhaps the most concise and distilled summary of the prophetic genre of ancient Israel.   But a caution here, lest we think “ancient” is synonymous with “irrelevant,” here’s an excerpt from one of our study bibles:

The Lutheran Study Bible says “The message of Amos is a challenge to people and nations caught up in the pursuit of material wealth and comfort.  Societies driven by consumerism can lose sight of faithful stewardship of wealth and the just distribution of good.  Amos reminded the people that true faithfulness is trusting in God alone and treating the neighbor with justice.” Another commentary writes the essence of Amos as declaring “...religious ritual without social responsibility is meaningless.”   Might this apply to our domestic and foreign policy?

Finally, Amos declares:  “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever –flowing stream.”  As you’ve listened to the presidential debates, what have been the salient topics of discussion?  What items have been “omitted?”  How about the oppression of the Palestinians? The unequivocal support of Israel as a ongoing source of hatred towards our nation?  Or the need for sustaining compassionate assistance to those who have no voice and whom states can no longer effectively support?  How about the urgent and critical care of all Creation?  Why not view the various candidates through the lens of Amos and cast your votes accordingly?