Two chapters in two days. That’s all I’ve managed. Not that this daily Bible reading and blogging challenge is about being a speed reader, but I usually can knock out more than a chapter a day.
In any event, the first two chapters of Amos seem eerily reminiscent of Hosea. Punishment, death, destruction all because people are forgetting the commandments of God. Of course, that was the point of prophets in many cases — warn and remind the people of God’s laws and wishes or there would be consequences.
One thing I notice about Amos is the almost poetic style he uses. It’s hard to see that in Biblical texts, I think, because it’s been translated. Things get lost in translation often times. But the fact that Amos contains similar syntax throughout these two chapters make it easier to read and understand. God states he will not take away the punishment, then he states the punishment, and then he tells what the people have done wrong.
The one verse that stands out to me was Amos 2:6, “….they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals….” While there may be lots and lots and lots of rules that God gives in the Bible (especially in the Old Testament), one common theme we see over and over from prophet to prophet, old and new testaments, is how much God detests greed.
So many Christians get so caught up in the idea of yelling what is and is not a sin or arguing about this and that….but all of it is so pointless. Whether we take communion weekly or yearly, whether we use the KJV of the Bible, or another translation, whether we have drums in church or not, whether we have a gymnasium or not, whether we have stained glass windows or blinds….it just doesn’t matter. We spend so much time fighting about such trivial things in churches which keep us from facing the real issues we are called to combat.
Hearts are broken, friendships shattered, feelings hurt….and all for what? When was the last time a church had a longer discussion about giving money to the poor than they did about a new kitchen? If we are passionate and fight about something….at least let it be about things that matter….following God’s commandments to feed the poor, take care of orphans and widows, eliminating greed from our lives. Otherwise, we risk facing death and destruction in our own churches, too.