One of the great sins of the world is oppression, when those who have power use their power to mistreat others, and when those who have resources seek to gain more from the poor and the weak.
Oppression is the sin addressed in Amos 3. Verse nine says, “…behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.” There God was inviting the Philistines (“Ashdod”) and the Egyptians to see the great oppression that was taking place in Israel.
The abuse by God’s people was worse than what was happening amongst the heathen nations. This was especially shocking when you consider how good God had been to Israel. They were the people that God chose to know of all families of the earth (v.2)!
As a result, God said that judgment is certain. Just as many actions produce an inevitable result (v.3-6), so the message of judgment from God’s prophets meant that judgment was inevitable (v.7-8). Those who stored up violence and robbery in their palaces would have their strength and their palaces brought to the ground (v.10-15).
Before we criticise Israel, I wondering if we would stop and consider:
- How blessed are we who know the Lord?
- What are we doing with our blessings?
- Are we hoarding what God has done for us and given us and refusing to share with the world and with those who don’t know?
- Do we indulge in our blessings for our benefit, unaware of those who are in need all around us?
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” – Matthew 6:19