Rev. Christopher Jackson, pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Algoma, WI and St. Peter Lutheran Church in Forestville, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 8:4-6.
Amos proclaims the reason for the LORD’s condemnation against His people. They have not recognized the brotherhood that exists among the people of Israel. Instead, they have mistreated the poor, abusing them even to the point of selling them into slavery for the most paltry of debts. The merchants have fleeced the poor in every possible way to maximize their profits, engaging in corrupt business practices even while trying to make everything appear right. The merchants have not acted alone, however. They have been aided by corrupt priests like Amaziah in an effort to cover up their sins with outward religiosity. The LORD knows their hearts. Even as they outwardly observe the festivals correctly, they are only concerned with getting back to their oppression of the poor. Amos’ preaching will not let us off the hook for either our mistreatment of the poor or our idolatrous worship. In Jesus Christ, we see the matter of right faith and right living come together for our great good. He cares for the poor, not only economically, but spiritually as well. He calls out those who would use religion to cover up their sins. He trusts perfectly in God as He sacrifices Himself on the cross in full generosity to us poor sinners. Redeemed in Him, our worship is made true and faithful so that our lives show forth the fruits that He produces toward our neighbor.
“The Day Is Surely Drawing Near” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the book of Amos. This Old Testament prophet speaks the LORD’s roaring Word in order to call us first to repentance over our idolatry and injustice and second to faith in the Messiah in the line of David, Jesus Christ. Only through faith in Him will we stand forgiven and redeemed on the coming Day of the LORD.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
4 Hear this, you who trample on the needy
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
5 saying, “When will the new moon be over,
that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel[a] great
and deal deceitfully with false balances,
6 that we may buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals
and sell the chaff of the wheat?”
- Amos 8:5 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters; a shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.