A number of years ago (around the birth of Living Life Recovery) I attended a men’s Bible Study at the Ferntree Gully Salvation Army. In that group, we studied the book of Amos. Since that day the book of Amos has been one of the most encouraging books of the Bible in my life. In the ‘Life Recovery Bible’ in the introduction to the book of Amos says – “God called Amos, a shepherd from Tekoa, to awaken his people from their denial and to warn them of the painful consequences that would come. Amos confronted the people of Israel with their ill-treatment of the poor and oppressed, demanding that they act with justice and mercy. God gave this warning of punishment in the hope that his people would change.”
As we begin this last week of the ‘4o Days of Recovery’ I believe we have much we can learn from the book of Amos. As we look at what it means to ‘Serve in Recovery‘ I believe we all need to begin by taking self-assessment on our own character towards other people, and we need to start amending it beginning first with the three questions below.
DO WE NEED TO CHANGE HOW WE TREAT OTHERS?
Amos 8:4-6 Listen to this, you who walk all over the weak, you who treat poor people as less than nothing, Who says, “When’s my next paycheck coming 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 them.
DO WE NEED TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING ON HOW MUCH GOD CARES ABOUT PEOPLE?
Psalms 14:2-6 God sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He’s looking for someone not stupid– one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman. He comes up empty. A string of zeros. Useless, unshepherded Sheep, taking turns pretending to be Shepherd. The ninety and nine follow their fellow. Don’t they know anything, all these impostors? Don’t they know they can’t get away with this– Treating people like a fast-food meal over which they’re too busy to pray? The night is coming for them, and nightmares, for God takes the side of victims. Do you think you can mess with the dreams of the poor? You can’t, for God makes their dreams come true.
DO OUR ACTIONS NEED TO CHANGE TO MATCH OUR WORDS?
Deuteronomy 25:13-16 Don’t carry around with you two weights, one heavy and the other light, and don’t keep two measures at hand, one large and the other small. Use only one weight, a true and honest weight, and one measure, a true and honest measure, so that you will live a long time on the land that God, your God, is giving you. Dishonest weights and measures are an abomination to God, your God–all this corruption in business deals!