Read: Amos 4:1-6:14, Revelation 2:18-3:6, Psalm 130:1-8, Proverbs 29:21-22
Listen to me, you fat cows living in Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and who are always calling to your husbands, “Bring us another drink!” (Amos 4:1)
Relate: Every now and then I come across something in scripture and wonder, “How on earth did that make it in here?” I will find myself thinking, “That cannot possibly mean what it looks like it means.” Sometimes, like when Jesus calls his mom, “woman”, it doesn’t. He is being far more respectful than the way we tend to use the word in conversational English. There is no “Woman, bring me another beer!” mentality in his words. The opening verse in Amos 4 is, however, meant to be just as offensive as it sounds. He isn’t talking to the cattle that graze on the hills of Bashan. He is talking to the rich, lazy women married to the elite in Israel. He is just as mad at them as Samson was at the Philistines when he accused them of “plowing with his heifer.” (And yes, that accusation is exactly what you think it is)
This might come as a shocker but God isn’t concerned with being politically correct. He doesn’t always tiptoe around those verbal and cultural sensitivities we have set up as sacred cows. Jesus is the physical revelation of God to man and, when looking at His life, it is clear that it is possible to get God mad… real mad. More than once the Pharisees saw the rough side of his tongue and at least once he started kicking over tables and chasing people out with a whip.
React: So my question is, what makes Jesus mad? Every instance I can think of falls into one of three categories: 1) hypocrisy (the fig tree) 2) interfering with true worship (clearing the Temple) 3) oppressing the poor/weak/needy (most parables of heaven and hell) It is this third category That God is dealing with here in Amos 4. He is serious enough with what he has to say, that he comes right out with a very offensive address. He wants to make sure he has their attention. Do I have a message that needs to be heard? Am I willing to offend to get it across? Has my desire to be culturally sensitive or politically correct kept my voice from ringing out?
God, help me to be more like You. I recognize that if I am always being offensive I will never be heard. Help me to also understand that if I am always over sensitive, my voice might not carry the weight it needs to have. Help me to become offended by the things that offend You. Help me to have the moral courage to speak out offensively if that is what it takes to be heard. Help those that listen become offended enough to change.