For the past few days, I’ve been meditating on the book of Amos. So before I started reading I read the introductory passage to the book. The statement mentioned as the theme of the book was, “Let justice roll on like a river and righteousness like a never-failing fountain.” That caught my attention. I have a heart for people who are oppressed; especially the poor, where services to them are denied because of their financial status or background. So when I began reading this book one statement that kept repeating in my mind was, “Let justice roll on like a river.”
I was reading chapter 8 this morning and I thought I should write a blog about it.
Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,
“When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?” —
skimping on the measure
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweeping with the wheat.
One consistent theme throughout this scripture portion is “Oppressing and exploiting the poor.”
I read this in the Message translation of the bible and it speaks it in modern words.
Here’s the Message translation
MSG Version (Amos 8:4-6)
Listen to this, you who walk all over the
you who treat poor people as less than
Who say, “When’s my next paycheck
So I can go out and live it up?
How long till the weekend
when I can go out and have a good time?”
Who give little and take much,
and never do an honest day’s work.
You exploit the poor, using them —
and then when they’re used up, you discard
There are three things spoken in this passage and these three things are prevalent in our world today.
- Treating people with Contempt
- Treating people as products
Treating people with Contempt (Verse 4)
It has become a common practice all over the world for employers to hire people with a low financial background and make them believe that this is the best job they can get. They are used, underpaid and eventually exploited. They are treated as products to achieve their employer’s goals.
Why is that so?
Generally, people of lower financial background tend to have an inferiority complex; act humbly before the rich and tend to help them. This weakness is exploited by the rich.
But, when we spot someone with an inferiority complex because of their poor financial status. We have to embrace them, talk to them and find out their best potential and give them a job that will pay the right wages. That is how it should be dealt.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The poor are exploited. They are seen more as products than people created in the image of God. Either they are used or they are treated as outcasts (verse 4). I have seen certain people: the moment they see someone who are from a low financial status their faces are filled with disgust as if they are not human beings at all and they don’t deserve a place in the world.
If we look at someone with a contempt we are also looking at God with contempt. God will bring down punishment for such contemptuous behavior.
This can be defined as a person that is full of themselves. All that matters to them is their own preferences, goals and everything else is secondary. Such an attitude can be venomous to their co-workers.
You may say, someone works for a company, for their vision and their goals. That’s true.! But here’s the difference, companies have vision and goals but the means they use to achieve are something that should be carefully watched. Every human being has wisdom and ideas and so they can suggest as well. But If they work in an environment where they employer feels that their own ideas are the best and everything else is bad then they are self-conceited.
1 Timothy 3:1-2 says, But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.
If we are self-conceited, then we will become the god of our own life. The place that is supposed to be taken by God will be taken over by ourselves. We will become the god of our own life.!
Treating people as products (Verse 6)
v.6. You exploit the poor, using them — and then when they’re used up, you discard them.
That verse explains itself. This happens in our world so much today that such an act feels normal. We hear stories of how people are used at their work place and thrown away after all their energy is squeezed out of them.
My heart beings to sink as I type these lines. I have heard it, seen it and experienced it at a certain level.
In conclusion, when you do this, you are not just exploiting the poor, the weak or anybody; You are exploiting the creator who made them…treating him as the product of your own success. That’s a prideful behavior. In verse 7 it says, “The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.”
The verses that follow are terrifying. God’s judgment is poured out on the land where injustice prevails, where people are exploited and used for the sake of achieving one’s success. Such acts of injustice should be stopped and if we find such acts of injustice happening anywhere, we should standup against it or else God’s judgment will fall on our land.
I started a media production company about one and half years ago. I have not hired anybody but I am planning to hire in the coming months. My prayer is this, that God, I should never act contemptuously, never be self-conceited and never treat people as products. I think that should also be your prayer; as leaders and employers let us pay the right wages, nurture and inspire our co-workers to become great leaders of tomorrow. I believe, God has bestowed such a great responsibility into our hands.
These words should become the anthem of our hearts, “Let Justice roll on like a river.”