Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Same Thing

Someday, I am going to get a beagle and name it Amos. I think beagles are the best kind of dog (don't give me hate mail on this!). And Amos is a cute name, no? Of course, I mean absolutely no dishonor to the prophet Amos by this gesture, as I know that in Biblical times, dogs weren't too highly regarded. But I wonder if they had beagles back then.

I am now in the book of Amos. I started it a few days ago. I haven't finished Isaiah, it's just where my Chronological reading plan put me. (By the way, if you're not on a Bible reading plan, I recommend reading through the Bible chronologically. There's my plug.) I began noticing something as I started reading the background info on Amos, though. I don't know if this happens to you, but sometimes I don't realize that I've been thinking about something until it really culminates later. Well, this was one of those times, and I wrote down my thoughts. Here they are. It's interesting, as I was reading through the "Introduction to Amos" pages of Mom's study Bible, something struck me. It said:
"The dominant theme is clearly stated in 5:24 ('But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream!'), which calls for social justice as the indispensable expression of true piety. Amos was a vigorous spokesman for God's justice and righteousness, whereas Hosea emphasized God's love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. Amos declared that God was going to judge His unfaithful, diobedient, covenant-breaking people."
And it hit me. Hosea and Amos didn't teach different things, but different parts of the same thing. This justice is an amazing attribute of God. What Pastor Zimmer has been saying about justice in Matthew 5:38-42 has been so beautiful. Somewhat surprisingly beautiful. I guess what I mean is that I never really thought of what true justice looks like. I'd thought plenty about the complex, confusing world of American "justice," but not that much on what God's will was for the courts in light of Who He is. I'd thought on Who He is, even in terms of justice, but not in terms of how it related to how our justice system works. I'd thought about how weirdly (if that's a word) the current justice system tends to appear, and I had always been bemused by "justice" and all the really unjust, even unlawful, things that happen in the court of law. I'd never connected the fact that God had already set up perfect guidelines for judgment--here on earth, let alone in His throneroom! And I'd even read through His law. I don't know why it didn't click. But anyway, to get to the point, I am seeing how justice is not the opposite of love, but rather, the product of love! I hadn't thought of it like that. I'd thought it was just connected to right-and-wrong, not so intensely intertwined with love. We need justice--it's a product of His grace--a tool used to keep us from sin. God set up those standards out of love for us. And though we broke the law, Christ satisfied that law, taking our death penalty. God loves us so much. We should obey Him out of love and thankfulness.


  • At 3/17/2006 7:46 PM, Blogger Gods girl said…

    About the quote on my blog I am not sure. I got it from my Bible teacher and she doesn't know.


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