MUCH NEEDED REFORM AND CONVERSION    Amos 2:6-10, 13-16

The prophecies of Amos are some of the earliest of all the prophets. His primary concern as we read it today is with the social injustices of his day. Most of his prophecies contain something of a call to a type of revolution that will redistribute the wealth of Israel in a more equitable manner through people living just and holy lives. His is a call to righteousness and holiness as a basis for a way of life, rather than the present reality, to him, where the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The root cause of this in the prophecies of Amos is the unjust and corrupt dealings of the rich!

There seems to be quite a few parallels with the situation in most countries of our world today. Even in the rich or so-called developed countries there is an ever-growing gulf between the few very rich people and the rest of the people. While there will always be differences in wealth and lifestyle, surely there has to be a point where the difference is so big that it becomes a matter of greed and sin! I am fairly sure Amos would agree with me on this!  So much for identifying the problem, what then is the solution?

The solution always begins with the response of the individual. If the individual is unwilling to reform his or her life and live righteously then there is little hope that the situation will change. Political will to address the issues of rich and poor seems to be universally weak largely because the politicians normally come form the rich few and not the poor masses. This means that we have to appeal to the consciences of the individual and work on conversion of heart if we are going to see any sort of lasting change in an individual country or the world as a whole.

The problem has been identified for years – 2800 of them if we allow Amos as a source – yet little seems to have changed. Conversion of heart and the lived witness of the Gospel are the world’s only hope and it must begin with you and me! If we do not start living just and holy lives, who will?

In what ways does my life give witness to the Gospel values of justice and righteousness? Are there aspects of my life I should change?

Holy Spirit, break through the comfort zones of my life and convict me of the things I need to change so that the witness of life I give to the Gospel will be more powerful.