Saturday, August 19, 2017

Justice: The Foundation of Peace

April 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Amos was a simple man when God called him as a prophet to Israel. He was a shepherd and farmer born in Judah in the South but called to speak to his northern counter parts. His humility and understanding of his call is seen when Amaziah the priest questioned his credibility and motive of prophesying to Israel. He did not retreat in fear and abandon his call.

He said, “I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’
(Amos 7:14-15).

His message is to a people who are complacent in their relationship with God and who oppress their brethren and look at their rich religious heritage and practices as an end in themselves and thus defies the principle of godliness, Gods call to a personal relationship with His people.

When they attended church sin was present and when they visited their holy sites like Bethel and Gilgal sin was still present. God detested their solemn assemblies. His charge against them comes out very clearly and in no uncertain terms:

“For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts (Amos 5:12).”

His requirement was equally plain:

“Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts…(Amos 5:15)” …….” But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24)

As I considered this message from Amos, I realized that the foundation for peace and true prosperity in any country is justice and righteousness. Without justice we set ourselves up against God and against one another. We dream and plan for peace, but it eludes us. Amos gives a very dramatic imagery. He says,

“It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.” (Amos 5:19)

In other words, we carry within us a false hope, a sense of safety and prosperity. We think we have slain the dragon of tribalism and corruption only to meet a bigger and more daring and hostile one ahead. Our lives are lived in the rut of frustration, a vicious cycle of unfulfilled dreams and underutilized potential. We stagger not because we are drunk with alcohol but because our hearts are emptied by frustration.

We point fingers at our politicians, our shrinking job market, our education system and blame God for not sending the rains. We do not stop and evaluate our own actions. We do not take individual responsibility for what is happening to us and we do not want anybody to remind us of such responsibility. We become a society that lives by the motto, “everyone for himself and the sun for us all.”

Anything is permissible so long as it benefits me. The welfare of others is relegated to our sub-conscious and we beat it back there every time it pops up convicting us of an irregular deal. I paraphrase the cry Paul the apostle:

“O wretched men that we are! Who will deliver us from this rut?” (Rom7:24)

My Greatest desire is to see people grow in their relationship with God. I serve as a Evangelism and Discipleship Pastor in our Church. I have a Bsc. degree in Mechanical Engineering and currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at the International Leadership University (NIST). I am married with two children. My blog can be found at promisepeace-kenyainitiative.blogspot.com

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