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Amos 3-4, Psalm 102

If rap battles existed in the days of Amos, he would have easily had a “drop the mic” moment in Amos 4:1. Calling wealthy Samaritan women by the name of the local well-fed cattle communicated God’s disdain for their indulgence. We assume God also had wrath for their complicit husbands, for they grew fat and filled their pockets at the expense of their poor Hebrew brothers and sisters, whose best interests were protected by God’s law. As noted before, but worth repeating, God’s anger against Israel’s sins could be broken down into two main accusations: idolatry and injustice. Of course those two are the inverse of the commands to the love God with all of our being and to love our neighbors as ourselves. It is the insistence of scripture these sins go together, for one would never do what these Samaritans did to their neighbors (injustice) if they had love for the God of Israel (idolatry). In fact, this passage goes one step further. These “cows of bashan” are growing thick at the expense of others, that are presumably working hard yet mired in destitution. Justice isn’t simply about laws, but asking how has God called us to serve and seek the best interests of our neighbors, rather than solely satisfying ourselves. May our lives be mindful, for we would not want a prophet in the vein of Amos to stand on the word of God and “drop the mic” about our evil indulgences while so many around us suffer.
 

Jeremiah Vaught