Inspired by Amos 8:1-7
“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.” Amos 8:4-5 (NRSV)
It seems as though every week there’s another news item about another company that has been found engaging in deceitful, predatory, or even dangerous practices in order to cheat their customers and maximize their own profits. Sadly, none of this is new.
In the days of Amos, over seven hundred years before Christ, nearly three thousand years before our present age, injustice was the rule of the day. The trade and commerce that was necessary for a functioning society had been transformed from the exchange of goods and services for a fair price to the hoarding of profits by cheating and exploiting consumers and workers. The poor and needy were forced into slavery while the rich sat back in leisure and ceased to contribute to their community’s well-being.
That injustice caught God’s attention, and it deeply offended him. That was not what he’d created humanity for; it was not what he’d willed for his world. Yet despite how many times we’ve been punished for our greed and injustice, we still persist in turning away from God and taking advantage of others for our own personal comfort and gain.
Jesus Christ is the final word on God’s justice. It’s not too late to turn from our evil ways and seek the one who suffered the greatest injustice of all in order to secure our salvation. If you’re taking advantage of others, turn to Christ and accept his forgiveness, so that you might live a better life. If you’re being taken advantage of by others, turn to Christ and accept his comfort, for he knows your plight and will guide your ways.
Let us pray. God of justice, you desire your people to treat each other fairly and with dignity. Turn us back toward you, that we may know your will and follow your ways of righteousness. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.