“God judges sin because he loathes what it does to us and to others. There is no other motive in God, nothing deeper than His love for us. He wants us to loathe sin, too—and be its executioner. If we won’t, he will!” —David Roper (Elijah: A Man Like Us)

God hates sin. He hates injustice. So when His people were living unjust lives—enjoying prosperity but showing no compassion for the poor—He called them on it.

He sent Amos to deliver His verdict.

The prophet didn’t hold back when God gave him His message of condemnation. He let the people of Israel have it. Called by God from the Southern Kingdom of Judah, Amos trekked north to the shrine at Bethel. And there he boldly proclaimed God’s message in that place God abhorred—a shrine that used a calf idol in worship. This sinful, ugly place reflected the idolatrous nature of the heart of the people of the Northern Kingdom.

“You trample the poor . . . . You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts,” Amos bellowed (Amos 5:11-12). God had seen the injustice of His people, and the prophet had been sent to expose their “sins and the depth of [their] rebellions” (Amos 5:12). God saw through the nation’s false worship. He said through Amos, “Away with your noisy hymns of praise!” (Amos 5:23).

What would He say of you and me? Are we worshiping Him while coddling injustice and ignoring the pleas of the poor?

“I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living” (Amos 5:24). These words, spoken by Amos, reveal the just, loving heart of God. May we embrace His call to seek justice for the poor and needy in this age. Let the waters of life and righteousness rise and flood our land.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 12:1-11