“Hate evil, and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;. . .” (Amos 5:15, ESV)
A lot of people these days dismiss the Bible as irrelevant and archaic. These words from the prophet Amos would indicate otherwise. They are timely and relevant to our current world not just because of the pandemic but also because of the political turmoil and chaos which has ensued in its wake.
The Lord called Amos to warn the people of Israel about the tragedy that would soon befall them. He cited their specific covenant violations. Among these which was their misuse of the legal system and the Mosaic Law to exploit and defraud the poor and needy. They were taking bribes and showing favoritism that deprived many of justice. In addition, they engaged in lying, cheating and theft of property. Doesn’t that sound like today’s political climate?
Amos let them know quite openly that those who did such evil did not know God and had underestimated His power. He called on them to seek justice and mercy for the poor or face harsh judgment.
These words of Amos serve to remind all Christians that the Lord desires we are called to seek justice for those who are poor and oppressed as well as all those who cannot defend themselves. This means that we as individual believers should seek racial and ethnic harmony and fairness. We should not deprive any human being of justice and fair treatment. The church should show respect for all human beings regardless of race, gender, or ethnic origin or even their particular sin or sins. This does not mean that the church must condone, ignore or redefine sin. We rely on God’s word to point out sin. The church is to be a place where all may find God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness. In the love of the Lord the Church confronts sin but also preaches forgiveness for those who confess and repent.