Holiness and Joy Part One
A Continued Study of the book of AMos
“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!’ 2 The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks. 3 And you shall go out through the breaches, each one straight ahead; and you shall be cast out into Harmon,” declares the LORD. 4 “Come to Bethel, and transgress; to Gilgal, and multiply transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days; 5 offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel!” declares the Lord GOD.
While “Fatness” is seen in some cultures positively, it appears to be used here negatively, in that the wealthy women of Samaria were, as well as the men, were getting richer and “Fatter” on the backs of the poor, and in spite of their religious actions and continued support of the temple, their oppressive manner and lack of concern for the poor overwhelmed any of the “Good” that they would have done within the temple. God does not want us to be hypocritically religious. Religion saves no one. In fact within the prophets, it is religious activity that ignores the poor that makes God sick. Our religious actions are an abomination and only compound our sin when we remain rich and unconcerned for the poor.
- Once again, we see God’s concern for the poor; why?
- Why is it easier to give to the church than help the poor?
- Which is more important and why?
- How does this type of activity hurt the gospel and the testimony of the church?