This morning I was reading about Gods justice and his hatred of unjust ways in which humanity treat those who are deemed less fortunate, underprivileged, vulnerable, socially excluded and so on.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
4Hear this, O you who would swallow up and trample down the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail and come to an end,
5Saying, When will the New Moon festival be past that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath that we may offer wheat for sale, making the ephah [measure] small and the shekel [measure] great and falsifying the scales by deceit,
6That we may buy [into slavery] the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals; yes, and sell the refuse of the wheat [as if it were good grade]?
7The Lord has sworn by [Himself Who is] the Glory and Pride of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their [rebellious] deeds.
8Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it? Yes, it shall rise like the river [Nile], all of it, and it shall be tossed about and sink back again to normal level, as does the Nile of Egypt.
As I read Amos and then John 4, which is about Jesus and the Samarian woman at the well, I ponder further on the boundaries that Jesus broke through by having His discussion with the woman and the resulting blessing that came forth as many came to believe and received salvation in that city verses 39 to 42.
I found myself musing over the issue the Samarian woman brought up about a place of worship:
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19The woman said to Him, Sir, I see and understand that You are a prophet.
20Our forefathers worshiped on this mountain, but you [Jews] say that Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary and proper to worship.
It is amazing how such emphasis can be placed upon the church or denomination that we attend and indeed the great divisions that unfortunately occur at times, when what is surely the essential issue is found in Jesus’ response:
Amplified Bible (AMP)
21Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither [merely] in this mountain nor [merely] in Jerusalem.
22You [Samaritans] do not know what you are worshiping [you worship what you do not comprehend]. We do know what we are worshiping [we worship what we have knowledge of and understand], for [after all] salvation comes from [among] the Jews.
23A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers.
24God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality).
Isn’t that it the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality). I have been in fellowship in different types of churches as God has moved me around the country and the litmus test has and will always be, a) is the Spirit of God in attendance here b) is this the season for me to worship here – only God can tell you that. For:
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). 2 Corinthians 3:17 (Amplified Bible)
So brother Don, how does the reading from John link in with the reading from Amos? Well maybe I should have referenced Amos 6 verses 1 to 8 as it shows the conduct of Israel’s leaders of that time. They seemed to be feeling very good about themselves, they had reclaimed some of their lost territories, there was economic prosperity (how we could do with some of that right now!) and the court officials were feasting on choice delicacies. It was all good in their eyes; God was blessing them they believed, until the prophet Amos brought Gods word, Gods opinion on the issue. Underneath the peace and prosperity, Israelite society was rotting away from the effects of religious and moral corruption, somehow that sounds very familiar to our own societies.
Remember Amos 8, 6That we may buy [into slavery] the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals; yes, and sell the refuse of the wheat [as if it were good grade]? Excuse me? Buying the poor for silver and the needy, the needy, yes I said it twice, for a pair of sandals? Something is serious wrong with that picture.
Well, it seems to me that had the court officials and those in leadership been worshipping in spirit and truth, such a social condition could not, would not have existed.
I know that some may say that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit had not happened in Amos’ day, but I read the following that I felt summed it up perfectly:
“As love is for the New Testament, so justice is the central ethical idea of the Old Testament”
So finally, where does the title come into play? Well, I had to keep asking my kids to give me some time as I was a) trying to read and b) trying to write. I found myself questioning what was of more importance. Whilst I felt that the reading and writing were important for my growth, the time spent with my children was important for both of our growth. So while I broke away from the blog I found myself breaking into spontaneous prayer (as I often do) with my youngest child, my beloved Caleb (5yrs old). As I began to pray in the Holy Spirit, he said to me, daddy are your praying now and came and joined me. I stopped and listened to him as he prayed. His prayers were sure beautiful, for others, from the heart and accepted by God (as the Holy Spirit witnessed to me). In fact the Lord showed me that it is as we raise up and train up our children in the way they should go that they are then in place to fight injustice and stand up for the oppressed in years to come. But if we do not show the way to our children when they are young then later on can often be too late.
The Lord be with you – ‘Immanuel, God with us’
God bless you
Love Brother Don
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (New Living Translation)‘but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.’