The prophets of the Old Testament times were not usually very popular. They seemed to be always calling attention to misbehavior and sins of the people. And not many people like to have their dirty laundry aired in public. But, I like to read the prophets – well, to be honest, I just like to read the Bible.
One of my favorite prophets to read is Amos. He was a simple man who earned his living as a shepherd and taking care of a sycamore fig grove. His prophecy is full of rich depictions of illustrations. The plumb line and basket of fruit are just two of those pictures that come to mind. I love good object lessons, and Amos has plenty.
Right in the middle of that prophecy, however is a reminder that we have responsibilities as God’s people. There are plenty of places that Amos tells us what God is going to do, but right there in chapter 5, verse 15 we are told:
“Hate evil, love good, maintain justice in the courts.”
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t have much control over what happens in the court, so I would sort of figure this didn’t apply to me. But not much farther down he tells us that God doesn’t want our religiosity, but our faithfulness. Uhoh! That means I can do all the ritual I want but what God really wants is my faithful living.
That’s what the verse above is about. We are not to take on things that don’t concern us. But we are to live faithful lives as God’s own children.
That’s the challenge, friends. (Don’t you just hate it when you think you can ignore something and suddenly it’s right in your lap?) Let’s try to live faithfully for the whole month of May. And then into June and……. It’s what God tells us through the Prophet!