What is Justice?


Amos seems to be all in when it comes to justice. He wrote these words over 2 and a half millennia ago. The voice behind the words comes from God, who is expressing frustration with the Israelites lack of sincerity in their worship, as their hearts are following false gods and idols. Their worship of God is perfunctory, a duty to be performed rather than a privilege. They would rather be somewhere else while in the Temple of God. Sound familiar?

So the call for justice isn’t about making sure everyone gets a $15/ hr minimum wage, or everyone paying their fair share in taxes. It isn’t about blacks getting equal treatment by cops or that black lives matter. All the recent ink spilled over “justice” has little to do with what God is saying here.

He begins this thought a few verses before in verse 18, asking them why they want the “Day of the Lord” so badly. As far as we can surmise here, they want God’s Day of Justice to occur to mete our punishment on their national enemies, not unlike what we look for today. They were hoping for the Day of the Lord to dish out Justice to all who have burdened them and hurt them so that they would prevail. However, God’s perspective is different. The Day of Justice will not be one of “light” but one of “darkness” for them. They too are in the wrong, and God’s justice will level them as well. His counsel is to work on their own house, being God’s righteousness into their homes and families, into their worship so that they will not be in danger of God’s justice.

Fill your own home and life with the righteousness of God so that when the Day comes, He will not come to judge you too. Good advice. Before you pray for God’s wrath to be visited on your enemies, make sure you aren’t in the way.

Looks like Amos still has something to say to us too. God bless you today!

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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