27 June 2022
Flight shall perish from the swift,
and the strong shall not retain their strength,
nor shall the mighty save their lives;
those who handle the bow shall not stand,
and those who are swift of foot shall not save themselves,
nor shall those who ride horses save their lives;
and those who are stout of heart among the mighty
shall flee away naked on that day, says the Lord.
From Amos 2:6-10,13-16, NRSV
In the previous chapter of the Book of Amos, judgement was delivered against six Gentile nations for their transgressions. Without warning, the prophet then suddenly turned his attention on the northern kingdom of Israel and made it abundantly clear that their behaviour has also been found wanting. Amos reminded them of the ways in which God had brought them out of Egypt and led them through the desert to the Promised Land. Their special place in God’s plan made their transgressions all the more shameful. In particular, they were judged for their injustice and their failure to tend to the poor and needy. Their punishment was to be brought low and to the realisation that any strength and power they thought they possessed was only theirs as the gift of God.
- Why do you suppose the people had fallen so far short of the Law by which they were meant to live?
- How can we ensure that we rely on God’s strength and not our own?
Pray for redemption for individuals, groups and communities who have lost their way.