“Seek the Lord and live,
lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
O you who turn justice to wormwood
and cast down righteousness to the earth!
“He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name…
“They hate him who reproves in the gate,
and they abhor him who speaks the truth.
Therefore because you trample on the poor
and you exact taxes of grain from him,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not dwell in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your transgressions
and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
and turn aside the needy in the gate.
Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time,
for it is an evil time.
“Seek good, and not evil,
that you may live…
Hate evil, and love good,
and establish justice in the gate…
“I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer me your burnt offerings..,
I will not accept them…
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:6-8,10-15, 21-24
The powers of the world are formidable, but God’s is greater. (John 8:44; 10:10; 1 Corinthians 15:55-58; 1 John 4:4) The enemy relentlessly distorts, deceives, and destroys, but God is Victor over him, his minions, and every strategy and tool of his trade. In situations where injustice rules and wickedness wins, we can know this is not the ultimate ending, but what to make of present evil?
Could it be that the injustice we see- that cracks open our hearts and contorts our sensibilities- is intended to prompt us to action? What do we do with our angst and anger? Are we learning God’s way of turning it to earnest prayer, of imploring the Righteous One for intervention, exposure, justice? What would change in my attitudes and impulses if I asked for the Lord’s eyes in seeing others? (Luke 19:41-42; James 5:16; Revelation 6:10)
Could it be that the Lord intends for me to thread His shining, unexpected grace here and there through my culture? If the time we spent on ‘show’ and our man-made efforts to please God were replaced with genuine, merciful acts of kindness toward others, we would know true living in the grace and power of His name. Where and in what specific ways can I establish justice in my speech and manner of living? How can I spread good, and sincere love, in my treatment of others?
Could it be that the injustice we see- that seems ubiquitous as it spreads its universal cruelty via people and systems driven by pride and ill-filled agendas- is intended to awaken in us a longing for our heavenly home? There all will be well, we will have no tears. (Revelation 21:1-8,22-27)
Lord Jesus, faithful and just to forgive me, help me honor You by pouring heavenly justice and righteousness through this dark world. (1 John 1:9)