The Book of Amos: Chapter 1
The author of the book of Amos is Amos himself. Amos was a humble farmer of sycamores, figs, and sheep. He lived 6 miles South of Bethlehem and 11 miles from Jerusalem. His ministry took place between 792-740 BC. The overarching theme of Amos is how followers of God need to be socially active in social justice and how this action is the expression of a true follower of God. This takes place at a time when Israel was powerful, confident, arrogant, and complacent. Which led God to call Amos to call the Israelites to live out their faith rather than live in complacency.
This first chapter is God calling out 5 different cities for the humanitarian atrocities that they have committed. For example, Ammon is condemned for the slaughter of killing pregnant women, and Gaza for capturing whole groups of people and selling them into slavery. Each account is more atrocious than the last in whatever order you read it in. Basically, what Amos is getting at here is that horrible things are happening in the world (even today) and it is the place of the people of God to stand against these atrocities.
Even in the Old Testament the place of the believer was not to be complacent or by extension complicit in the atrocities that take place in our communities when there are opportunities to both stop them and change them. This is our place. As followers of Jesus, standing against societal evils is the exact place where we should be. If you see something wrong, then change it. If you see something happening, then stop it. Jesus built up the poor, the weak, the blind, the lame, and the outcasts of society. That is exactly what we should be doing. There is something that each of us can do in the community that we live in that can make a difference in the lives of people who otherwise don’t have a chance. Racism and other horrors happen every day in our community. You don’t have to believe me. Feel free to come to youth on Wednesday nights when it starts and you will hear about it every week from their own mouths. Our place as Christians is to take a stand and to make a difference. Where can you make a difference? Where can you truly live your faith?
Pastor Alex Gebert
Crossroads Wesleyan Church