What does the Bible have to say about social justice? What images does it use? What descriptions does it provide? What calls to action does it put forth? We want to know, and the Book of Amos is a good place to start.
The Book of Amos is an Old Testament book that has a lot to say about social justice. This prophetic book takes place in the 8th century BC and, in it, God gets very personal with His people. He turns towards the northern kingdom of Israel, His very own people, and begins to condemn them for their wickedness. In God’s address of the northern kingdom of Israel through the book of Amos, the transgressions are utterly ruthless and heartbreaking. God’s problem with Israel is that those with social standing, those with influence, and those who have a voice are committing social injustice after injustice. In particular, the powerful in Israel are known for taking advantage of the vulnerable of society.
In other words, Amos is about God’s disapproval and judgment against injustices towards the vulnerable of society.
You know, you can learn a lot about someone by observing what angers him or her. In the same way, we will learn a lot about God and His vision of humanity by observing what He hates and what He stands against. God’s heart and thoughts are outlined in detail through the various images evoked in Amos’ address to the people, and this will be our starting point.
This month we will study a variety of passages in Amos, looking at the images described and making these images personal for us today.