Steve Ellison: True Justice

Friday, January 17, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

God reveals Himself in the book of Amos as one who is completely and absolutely fed up with the hypocrisy of His people.  He delivers a devastating rebuke against all unrighteousness.  In Amos chapter five beginning in verse 21, Almighty God reveals His list against His people.  First, He hates, He despises, their religious feasts.  Keep in mind that God has commanded these feasts.  The problem is not the feasts but the attitude of their hearts.  Second, He takes no pleasure in; He cannot stand the smell of their solemn assemblies.  Again, these are celebrations commanded by God.  The problem is their attitude.  Third, God rejects their sacrifices and thus their worship.

Even though they bring all three types, blood sacrifices, grain sacrifices, freewill offerings, God will not accept them. Once again, remember these sacrifices are commanded.  However, God sees and judges the heart.   It is a dangerous and unwise thing when man (government) attempts to judge motive and intent rather than action, but not so with God.  He judges the motive, intent, and attitude of the heart perfectly.  Fourth, God tells them to stop playing music and singing.  It is only noise and He will not listen.  He has already given them more than 150 inspired songs.  They have been told to sing certain psalms at prescribed times, and yet God tells them to stop, because it only aggravates Him.  He sees the heart. 

 

After listing the ways He is rejecting them, God tells them how they can get right with Him.  Amos 5:24 says, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”NIV   Not only have God’s people ignored His commands to take care of the poor and the weak, they have been mistreating the weak.  The remedy for their sickness is to act justly toward the poor and the weak.  They must no longer take advantage of the weak.  They must use their advantaged position to care for the weak.  Leviticus 19 gives a wonderful system of caring for the poor, much better than the one in the present-day USA.   God’s people had neglected those requirements and were even using their advantaged position to drive the poor from their homes, taking their land.   God wants His people, then and now, in Judah, the USA, and everywhere they are found to do justice and practice righteousness.   He wants His people to season that justice with mercy, grace and compassion.   

 

Justice is only the beginning point for practicing righteousness.  In order to practice righteousness, we must be ready to show mercy and grace.  That does not mean that we fail to hold people accountable for their actions.  Likewise, it does not mean that there are no consequences to be paid.   God offers forgiveness to all, but that forgiveness can be received only after repentance.  It seems there is a lesson there for us.   If God only did justice to me, I would be doomed to a miserable existence on earth and eternal punishment later.  I am thankful for mercy and grace; without those I would be destined to an eternity in hell receiving the just punishment of God. 

 

We find God’s question for us in verse 25, “Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?”NASU   God has emphatically told them of His rejection of their worship.  He has told them why.  Now He reminds them that for forty years they were poor, weak, and homeless, unable to offer the sacrifice of worship, and yet He loved them, cared for them, gave them the Promised Land.   His example to them and us is justice accompanied by love, compassion, mercy, and grace.  That is the righteousness He gives and requires of us.


Union Gospel Mission To Hold Memorial Service For Dr. William Chad Roberts

Navy Veteran And Member Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Heads Up JustServe For Chattanooga

Sermon Topic At Metro Tab Church Is "Think Like A Warrior" Sunday


The Union Gospel Mission will host a memorial service for Dr. William Chad Roberts on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Dr. Roberts was a graduate of the Union Gospel Mission's G.R.A.C.E. Discipleship Program ... (click for more)

Josselyn Nielsen, a U.S. Navy veteran, has been called to head up JustServe for the Chattanooga Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. JustServe helps link organizations and ... (click for more)

Metropolitan Tabernacle Church's co-pastor Reita Ball will preach on "Think Like a Warrior" in the MTC Sanctuary Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The church has cleaning of high touch point areas, hand ... (click for more)



Church

Union Gospel Mission To Hold Memorial Service For Dr. William Chad Roberts

The Union Gospel Mission will host a memorial service for Dr. William Chad Roberts on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Dr. Roberts was a graduate of the Union Gospel Mission's G.R.A.C.E. Discipleship Program and served two times as the program director. Dr. Roberts passed away unexpectedly from complications of health issues. (click for more)

Navy Veteran And Member Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Heads Up JustServe For Chattanooga

Josselyn Nielsen, a U.S. Navy veteran, has been called to head up JustServe for the Chattanooga Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. JustServe helps link organizations and volunteers for purposes of doing good. The free app and website at JustServe.org are free for everyone – no matter religious affiliation – and perfect for Tennessee, a state of Volunteers. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Former County EMT Charged With Vehicular Homicide Is Back Out Of Jail After Pretrial Services "Error"

A former county EMT accused of vehicular homicide was taken into custody in court on Monday based on five alleged violations of his pretrial release. But Justin Whaley was back out of jail on Wednesday after it was agreed that the report of the violations was unfounded. His attorney, Lee Davis, said, " The report filed by Pretrial Services was in error. There was no alcohol ... (click for more)

Sports Wagering Committee Of State Lottery Board Conditionally Approves Licenses For 1st Group Of Sports Betting Operators

The Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Board of Directors on Wednesday conditionally approved licenses for the first group of sports betting operators in Tennessee. The committee also approved its first supplier application and 26 additional vendor applications and announced follow-up meetings Oct. 5 and 16 to take up more applications and review additional ... (click for more)

Opinion

Earl Freudenberg Remembers Bettye Parker

One of the most patriotic individuals I have ever known has passed away. Bettye Parker died Tuesday after a short illness. At Bettye's request there will be no memorial service. Bettye ran Bettye Parker Realty on Highway 58 for as long as I can remember. She handled thousands of property transactions. Her son, Paul Parker, also became involved in real estate and is the real ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Floyd - The Whole Truth

I have been in the news business as a writer my entire life and the main cornerstone of any story is the truth. Later, as an opinion writer, I was enabled to interject exactly that, my “opinion,” which sometimes will differ from that of the readers, yet the strongest point in all arguments is fact. As a vociferous reader, I am becoming more concerned over the bias in the mainstream ... (click for more)