“For I know how many are your offences and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts.” (Amos 5:12/NIV).
Only a couple of weeks ago in a bible study group, I have been speaking on the book of Amos. Amos was called by God to earnestly warn the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. In spite of apparent safety at the time they were treading on a dangerous path.
They were expecting God to help them and to provide for them in adversity, yet they did not really care about God’s commandments. Amos was to tell them, they were heading towards divine judgment and military defeat.
People were not prepared to heed correction based on God’s ethical standards. They did not like those who were concerned about being faithful to God.
Taking bribes is another sin held against these people. Any services they were to give to others they would not do unless receiving some extra additional benefit.
Corruption also today is considered as an offense. A democratic politician who receives some additional salary from certain rich people may be held liable to legal prosecution. A politician is elected a representative of the people and must not indulge in serving private interests of those granting them extra pay.
Leadership that forsakes its responsibilities is a danger to the people. A leader who first of all is looking for selfish advantages does not really care for those entrusted to him.
Another aspect of this was the way they treated poor people. Those who could not pay bribes would not receive their legal rights in the court.
This led to the poor becoming even poorer. The rich were increasing their riches. They became very comfortable.
Amos was a prophet of God. Yet in my bible study I have suggested that some of his message could have been based on plain common sense too.
The poor people, who were harshly oppressed, would not make good soldiers in case of an enemy attack. Their morals would be too low.
The rich, who got used to having everything done for them, would not make good soldiers either. They had become far too comfortable.
Amos announced divine judgment. Yet common sense might tell any strategist that a nation must have certain qualities to be able to resist enemy attacks.
The extreme selfishness of the rich was likely to imperil their very riches. This could even lead to more severe military defeat than they had ever experienced so far.
To view my other posts on “selfishness” please check out my subcategory “1 Corinthians 13:5 – selfishness”. In order not to miss any of my upcoming articles, please follow my blog.