v 11. Therefore,” says the Sovereign Lord, “an enemy is coming!
He will surround them and shatter their defences.
Then he will plunder all their fortresses.”
This is an unbroken and prominent thread woven into the messages from Amos – and indeed other prophets. Sin has consequences – if you put your hand in the fire, it will burn you! ‘My people have forgotten how to do right,” says the Lord.“ Their fortresses are filled with wealth taken by theft and violence.‘ A person with no standards of justice pursues wealth and stuff regardless of the cost to other people. When I put a very cheap packet of chicken pieces in my shopping basket recently, I found myself asking ‘Who has been exploited to provide this for me?’ Question – should I have bought it anyway? Was I simply prolonging some form of social injustice through excessively low wages for a worker – or was I simply a canny shopper? (Your response by email please!)
My ethics of shopping are not the point of today’s reading however. The key word for today is at the start of the quotation; ‘THEREFORE’ – the inevitability in God’s scheme of things that sin has consequences.
Here however is the wonder of God’s plan of salvation through Jesus – the chain of sin and its consequences was broken at the Cross when Jesus died. Redemption through Christ has brought us into the realm where the stain of sin and its power over our lives has been dealt with once for all.
The Israelites in Amos’ time however were going to feel the whole weight of God’s judgement on their social injustice.