On Judgement Day

On Judgement Day

Amos 8:1-12
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Just a guess,
but I’m thinking Amos
didn’t get invited to a lot of dinner parties.
He was one of the raging prophets
that railed against
the ruling class’s perpetration of cruelty
and enforced poverty
against the already poor.
Yet rather than write off
the howlings of Amos,
let us look at
who, when, what, and why
he was.
He was the first of the prophets
to preach the death
and destruction of
God’s people because
of their indecent treatment of the poor.
But he was also a rancher who was,
or had been of the upper middle class
of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
He had seen or heard of
Solomon’s rape of the united kingdom
to support his own splendor,
which was so thorough
that when the kingdoms finally split
neither were left with enough resources
to actually do battle.
He now watched as the kings
to the North started dismantling
the family farming system,
placing them into the private hands
of the small estates of a wealthy ruling class.
He had witnessed this,
either first hand or
through stories, in Judah.
He was a lay prophet and not a priest.
He was angry and scared,
and he was right.
What he said would happen, did.
Assyria literally crushed Israel
and it was lights out.
how do we know
when the random crazy person
on the street corner
is not so random and
is actually speaking truth?
When someone claiming to
have a word from God,
actually has a word from God?
I suppose
it depends on whether
your heart is hardened or not.
Whether you are open to change.
Whether you can recognize
Truth when you hear it.
Sometimes truth challenges
our assumptions,
our comfortable
self-awareness and knowledge,
and our elevated ideas
about ourselves.
From whom
are we willing to hear
the word of God
when it says we
are just wrong-headed
and need to change?
And from where will
we find the courage to truly hear?


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