8:1 This is what the Lord GOD showed me–a basket of summer fruit.
8:2 He said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me, The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass them by.
8:3 The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,” says the Lord GOD; “the dead bodies shall be many, cast out in every place. Be silent!”
8:4 Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
8:5 saying, “When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances,
8:6 buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”
8:7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
8:8 Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who lives in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?
8:9 On that day, says the Lord GOD, I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight.
8:10 I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day.
8:11 The time is surely coming, says the Lord GOD, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.
8:12 They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it.
When he prophet Amos wrote God’s people were in a time of peace and wealth. They enjoyed great luxuries. However, it was a time of great corruption within the nation of Israel. They had acquired great wealth partially by preying upon the weak and the poor. In the book of Amos God is very upset and He intends to stand up and make things right.
Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying, “When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.” (Amos 8:4-6)
God is calling these people out for putting profits and business above the Sabbath and for having business dealings that were dishonest. They were bribing people in high places and making lop-sided deals with poor people who were desperate to survive. For such behavior God declares that he is going to turn their feasts into mourning, a mourning like that of loosing an only son. It will be a bitter day for anyone who does not honor justice and the Lord.
In the 1st world we see this kind of injustice all day long. It is nothing new to us. But know that God will not be mocked and His people will not go without justice. When God delivers His judgment make sure that you had been a over of justice and have treated all people with love and respect, especially the poorest among us.
[Featured image from spreadjesus.org]