podcast

#1,193 – Caring for the Afflicted (Amos 2:6–7)

Pray The Word
Amos
2
6-7
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“Thus says the Lord, for three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment because they sell the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals. Those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and turn aside the way of the afflicted.”
-Amos 2:6–7

God’s judgment upon Israel for Israel’s sins continues and the rest of this first and the verses that follow, but it is sobering to read this first initial indictment.

God, rather than seeking after our own financial gain, may our desire be to obey you and care for those who are poor and needy.

This is God speaking to his people and He says they sell the righteous for silver. What does that mean? We don’t know exact specific context here. It could mean that basically they have forsaken righteousness in order to gain money. They prized money more than righteousness and used all kinds of unrighteous means to gain money, or it could literally mean selling people, could be a picture of slavery over indebtedness for something in order to gain money.

The verse goes on to say they sell the needy for a pair of sandals. Basically, they are prizing a pair of sandals more than they are people who are needy, which continues on to verse seven. They trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and turn aside the way of the afflicted. Instead of caring for the afflicted, they turn away from the afflicted. Instead of helping the poor, they’re trampling upon the head of the poor.

See it, God’s indictment of his people starts interestingly, not with their idolatry, which was evident and is evident in other places in Amos, but with their injustice, with the way they had unjustly treated specifically the needy, the poor and the afflicted. Apparently, according to Amos 2:6-7, justice for the needy and the poor and the afflicted is and must be a priority among God’s people.

God, we pray that justice and mercy for the needy and the poor and the afflicted would be a priority among us, in my life, in the life of every single person praying right now. God, we pray that you would help us to reflect your justice and your mercy for the needy and the poor and the afflicted in this world where we are surrounded by needs, where we’re surrounded by poverty, where we’re surrounded by people who are afflicted. God, help us to glorify you, to honor you, to reflect you by showing your justice and your love for the needy, the poor and the inflicted around us.

God, even today in our lives, help us to think through specifically what that means for us to not prioritize possessions for ourselves over the needy, not to ignore or trample the head of the poor, not to turn aside from the way of the afflicted, but to turn to them and to care for them. God, please show us what this means in each one of our lives, our families, and as your people in your church. Help us not to sin in these ways we see in Amos chapter 2:6-7, not to sin by neglecting the needy and the poor and turning away from the afflicted. God, help us to care for the needy, the poor, and the afflicted. We pray In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Throughout the fall, we are following the McLean Bible Church Reading Plan. You can access the reading plan here.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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