SOCIAL JUSTICE & TRUE RELIGION

SOCIAL JUSTICE (Amos 2:6-8; 4; 5:1-20; 7:10-17, 8:1-14)
Amos was a prophet of God. He made it clear that God would punish the people of Israel because their judges took bribes and perverted justice, denying the poor justice. The rich oppressed the poor in commercial transactions. They pledged property to borrow money; such property would not be returned to them. The rich exploited the poor by selling them with false weights and measures.
In addition, sexual immorality in Israel was on the increase. Amos called the Samaritan women cows of Basham because they encouraged their husbands to oppress the poor and bring home their ill-gotten wine for them to drink.
Amos pronounced punishment as follows:
– The Samaritan women will be taken into exile
– Those who built houses by exploitation will not live in them
– Their wives would be harlots and their sons will die

TRUE RELIGION (Amos 5:21-24)
After condemning the Israelites, Amos recommended corrections for them:
– The people must return to God
– They should let justice prevail
– They should keep away from false religions and foreign wives
– They should purify their hearts.

THE LOVE OF GOD (Hosea Chapters 1 to 4)
God instructed prophet Hosea, son of Beeri to marry a harlot named Gomer the daughter of Diblaim. From the marriage, 3 children were born.
– The first child a son was named Jezreel by God. Jezreel meant that God will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel and would put an end to the House of Israel
– The second child, a daughter was named ‘Not Pitied’. Meaning that God would no longer have pity on the House of Israel
– The third child, a son was named ‘Not my people’. Meaning that Israel will no longer be God’s people
Gomer in her harlotry abandoned Hosea and went after other men after having 3 children. Hosea asked his children to plead with their mother to return home but she did not. Finally, Hosea had to buy her back from those men.

INTERPRETATION
The story of Hosea and Gomer his wife was similar to the story of God and the children of Israel. God loved Israel but they left God to worship other Gods. This symbolized Israel’s harlotry just like Gomer’s harlotry to prophet Hosea. The names of the children of Hosea are similar to the punishment Israel will receive from God.

MAN’S RESPONSE TO GOD’S LOVE (Hosea 6:1-11; 14)
God loves mankind but we rarely respond to this love. We tend to remember God only when the need arises and a soon as we are okay, we go back to our sinful ways. Israel believed that God delights in sacrifices alone. God looks at the heart not actions as proof of love.

LESSONS
1) Many Christians are in church today just for material gains.
2) Offering sacrifices without love does not impress God.
3) God is a loving father and is willing to forgive us when we repent.
4) Many Christians lack genuine love for God.

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