Serve the Poor and Needy (Amos 4:1–2) - Radical

Serve the Poor and Needy (Amos 4:1–2)

“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, ‘Bring that we may drink!’ The Lord God has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks.”
– Amos 4:1–2

Wow, these verses are filled with potent imagery, and just to cut to the chase, the picture here is God is describing specifically the wealthy women of Israel who had far more than what they needed and, in a sense, could ever want. They had all this world could offer and they were just soaking it up. But even that wasn’t enough, they wanted more. They say to their husbands, “Bring more that we may drink.” Meanwhile, they are oppressing the poor and crushing the needy.

Amos 4:1–2 Portrays God’s People Ignoring the Poor and the Needy

You see the picture of people who had so much stuff, who were enjoying all the things this world has to offer while turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the poor and the needy around them. Actually, not even just turning a blind eye and deaf ear to them, but living in such a way that made life worse for the poor and the needy, oppressing the poor and crushing the needy. And as I read that, I just think, “God, help us. God, help every one of us.” And I put myself in front of the line here with all of the things we have in this world, to use those things to help the poor, to lift up the needy, to do justice, love, mercy as we walk humbly with God in light of Micah Chapter Six. God, help us not to oppress the poor. God, help us not to crush the needy.

Amos 4:1–2 Encourages Us to Repent and to Help the Poor and Needy

God, help us not to be a people who have so much in this world and we just want more and we just want more and we want more. God, free us from the love of money, the pursuit of possessions, and, God, use our lives and all the grace you give us, the possessions you give us, the resources you give us for the good of the poor, for the good of those in need. God, we pray that you would help us to do First Timothy Chapter Six, to be generous and ready to share and invest our lives in what matters forever in people who are in need, physical needs, spiritual needs. God, help us not to do what your people were doing in Amos Chapter Four. God help us to make our lives count for the spread of your love in a world of urgent, physical, and spiritual need.

Praying for the Kulobi People of Tajikistan

We pray for the Kulobi people of Tajikistan who have little to no access to the Gospel among almost a million people, 866,000 of them. God, we pray that you would help us to use our resources to get the Gospel to the Kulobi people. God, we pray, intercede for them for the spread of your grace and your mercy among them. Oh God, keep us from sitting back and just soaking in and getting more in this world. God, help us to be generous with your grace and to work on behalf of poor and the needy physically, spiritually around us, and around the world, and in this way to bring great glory to your name as the one who defends the poor and lifts up the needy. In Jesus’ name, we pray according to Amos Chapter Four. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro 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.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!