1 Corinthians 7:25-40; 1 Kings 21; Amos 5
Israel had become a sick society. Although still officially a part of God’s chosen people, they had chosen to follow other gods. They strayed from a proper relationship with the One, True God and it showed in their beliefs, their moral systems, and their actions. They opposed God’s prophets and people who were truly righteous. They oppressed the poor. Bribery was a quick way to get things done in that society. Amos came to Israel and, as is generally true with God’s prophets, thundered not only about the problems of society – he offered God’s cure. “But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:24) Our land today sees some of the same problems that Israel had: the poor are oppressed and maintained in their poverty, justice seems like it depends on who gets the better lawyer and our corporate world thrives on corruption. The cure for Israel, and for any society that has gone astray is justice and righteousness. Such a cure can only begin with the people of God who have their hearts set on Him. The words of Amos speak of justice and righteousness being refreshment to those in a desert land. Justice, running down like water, in order to be maintained needs to come not from someone imposing it from the outside; it must come from the heart so that it continues. The mighty stream of righteousness must flow like living water from our relationship with God. Justice and righteousness must flow from who we are in our relationship with God, not from doing a few things right. Justice and righteousness are not just actions performed at the right time – it comes from a lifestyle of devotion and commitment to God. The cure for society is God’s people living in a right relationship with Him.
Oh Lord, I see the problems of society and want to blame others. Yet I participate in unjust and unrighteous actions myself. Draw me so close to You that I will abhor injustice and unrighteousness. Let my life reflect Your true justice and righteousness to my world and let me influence others to follow You.