Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Good evening friends,
Today's reading gives us the Prophet Amos warning Israel about where their actions are leading them. God gives us a lot of freedom, but we are responsible for how we use that freedom. God (through Isaiah) warns Israel that worship, religion, and sacrifice are not the most important part of being faithful. The most important part of being faithful is treating others with justice and righteousness. When we treat our neighbors unjustly, even if we spend all our time in church, we're really worshiping an idol, and we'll be held responsible for that.
16Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord: In all the squares there shall be wailing; and in all the streets they shall say, “Alas! alas!” They shall call the farmers to mourning, and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing; 17in all the vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you, says the Lord. 18Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord! Why do you want the day of the Lord? It is darkness, not light; 19as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake. 20Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?
21I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. 22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. 23Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream. 25Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 26You shall take up Sakkuth your king, and Kaiwan your star-god, your images, which you made for yourselves; 27therefore I will take you into exile beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.