Amos 8:4-7 - Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, "When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?" The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: "Surely I will never forget any of their deeds."
We live in a world that is very much like the one the prophet Amos describes—a world full of injustice. We also know people who "trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end." Our news media are full of stories about rich people and companies who cheat the poor and harm the people who already don't have enough to live on. It looks like nothing's changed.
And when we see this, we cry out inside. We groan as we pray: "How long, O Lord? How long until these evils come to an end? Do something, Lord!"
God tells us in this passage that He is doing something. He says, "The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: 'Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.'" God is watching, and He is not ignoring the evil He sees. He is taking action.
But what is He doing, then? The answer may lie in those words: "the pride of Jacob." As their ancestor, Jacob stands for the whole people of Israel. And what is their greatest pride, the thing they are most highly honored in?
That would be Jesus. That would be Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, the gift of Israel who has become a blessing to the whole human race.
Jesus is God's answer to exploitation and oppression, just as He is to every other. He is the One who saw us groaning under the power of evil, helpless and exploited. He did not leave us that way—He came to us. He shared our life, being born into a world full of hardship and injustice and downright wickedness. He took all of that into His own life, into His own body, being tortured and killed on a cross for us—the innocent for the not-so-innocent, the harmless One for those who harm and those who are harmed alike.
And then Jesus rose from the dead, breaking the power of sin, death, and the devil over the whole human race. He has put the powers of evil on notice—things will not stay that way forever. They will not win. He has already struck the decisive blow against all evil powers, and He will bring them all to a complete end when He returns on the Last Day. That goes for human evil and for supernatural evil. God does notice—and He is taking action.
WE PRAY: Dear Father, help us against the injustice and oppression of this world. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When have you suffered from injustice? Did you find any good resolution to it?
2. How does the Lord help you when you suffer?
3. Have you ever harmed others, knowingly or unknowingly? How has the Lord worked to fix this in your life?
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