Amos 2: The Danger of Oppression
Israel and Judah had problems as well in Amos 2. Even though these people have been brought into the land by God to have as their own, they still were resistant to following what God wanted them to do. Here are the problems that plagued Israel.
Amo 2:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
Amo 2:7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:
Amo 2:8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
Obviously, there are four problems there, but I want to focus on the point of oppressing the poor. This is particularly relevant in the world today. Poverty is still a major problem here in America and especially in many Third World countries.
How do we respond to that as Christians? That is certainly a topic for a longer post, but the people of Israel were actively oppressing the poor. They were taking advantage of them to pad their own pockets. That is clearly not what needs to be done. In fact, as you read Deuteronomy 15, you recognize that there were directions about caring for those who are poor. Rather than doing what God had commanded them to do, the people began actually taking advantage of those who they were mandated to take care of. No wonder God was upset.
I know there are varying political views on this issue and how we ought to address poverty, and I am not going into those whatsoever. However, I assume that we all can agree that oppression is something that we need to fight against. It was one of the reasons that the people of Israel were judged, and I don’t think that we want that on our record either.