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Friday, October 14, 2011

10/15/11 Amos 5:10-15 Seek Good not Evil

10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.
11 You levy a straw tax on the poor and impose a tax on their grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. 12 For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. 13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil. 14 Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. 15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.  Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph. (Amos 5:10-15)

(Desperate beggar while people walk by)

Thoughts: If the prudent keep quiet in such evil times, what was Amos doing talking so boldly about it?  Prudent people try to stay safe and prosper, but sometimes the godly are called to leave prudence behind to speak up for God.  Amos knew it would cost him his reputation, his respect to condemn the leaders and the people. However he was more concerned about pleasing God than individuals. 
     The poor were doubly taxed and deprived of justice, while those with money gave bribes to preserve and enhance their fortunes.  The people were loving evil and seeking it more and more like a drug to which they were addicted.  Amos calls them to love God, seek God, and seek what is good in order to live.  Being apathetic toward God breeds apathy toward neighbor.  But seeking justice ends up seeking God.  While seeking God means not neglecting justice or the poor.  God created and defines justice, and is the ultimate judge of right and wrong.  So we should seek Him, love Him, follow Him.  We also should not be afraid in evil times to speak up and encourage others to seek what is good- in order to live.

Prayer: Help me, O Lord to seek you.  Give me strength and courage to speak up for truth in a world of spin. 

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