October 8

Amos 5:6-7, 10-12

“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.” vs. 6

King Jeroboam II, of the tribe of Ephraim, one of Joseph’s sons, was riding high. The country of Israel was enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity and the wealthy were getting even richer. They were hard-pressed to think of what to spend their money on and were even building winter homes in the Jordan Valley and decorating them with ivory imported from Africa. That was the scene when Amos, from the country of Judah, showed up with his message of doom. Where others saw riches he saw injustice, recognizing that the new found wealth stemmed from exploitation of the poor. While the royal court had contempt for Amos and his message some scribes believed that he spoke a word from the Lord and wrote down his oracles…and those words are now a part of our scripture. They remind us that too often wealth and prosperity come at the expense of the needy and the poor. It’s a message for all time…and needs to be heard in every nation that is focused on material gain. Amos’ words were remembered because they came true…and now they may very well be a wake-up call for us. Greed and injustice always go together, and when they dominate the culture, the consequences are devastating.

Thought for the Day: When does prosperity become a curse?

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