Archive for September 13th, 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Bible_Warrior_Angel_37877871-P-1024x531[1]Amos 1 & 2

The Swift-of-Foot and the Stout-hearted

When we scan the list of crimes committed by the many nations who shared the Mediterranean Levant in ancient days, we see that they are indeed serious. And perhaps most appalling is that God’s chosen people number in the list of offenders. For this reason Amos speaks out clearly.

God says: Aram, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah, Israel . . . for three crimes and four I will not revoke my word. Because they threshed Gilead with sledges if iron; because they took captive whole groups; because they did not remember the pact of brotherhood; because he pursued his brother with a sword; because they ripped open expectant mothers; because he burned to ashes the bones of the king; because they spurned the law of the Lord; because they sell the just man for silver . . . they shall be exiled; they shall perish; I will send fire; their king shall go into captivity; I will root out the judge from her midst and her princes I will slay. The swift of foot shall not escape, nor the horseman save his life. And the most stout-hearted warriors shall flee naked on that day.

When we scan the headlines on our smartphones and cable channels we see these ancient crimes repeated. Amos sees direct cause and effect in the disaster that befalls humans as a result of their own action. With a good commentary we can understand the gravity of the atrocities committed here and we pause to reflect we see this list of crimes as a stark contrast to the list of gifts God bestows on us. We are an ungrateful people and so Amos warns us that there are consequences for our refusal to see clearly. Amos asks us to re-think and repent all that we do individually and collectively. Amos opens a window onto a final world that we will not want to visit. To the swift-of-foot and the stout-hearted who believe themselves safe or immune . . . there is no escape.

These are heavy words.  hese are dark images. This is a world to which God continues to call out in hope.

Tomorrow, words and woes.

Image from: http://www.stephanielandsem.com/2013/03/5-ways-the-bible-wins-and-5-not-so-much/

Locate the nations named in this reading with an online Atlas at: http://bibleatlas.org/

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