But let justice roll like water
and righteousness like an ever-flowing torrent. Amos 5:24, TLV
Justice and Righteous Ever-Flowing. Have you ever read the book of Amos? It’s contents are pretty tough. A lot of God’s judgments on Israel’s neighbors and then Israel herself at a time when Israel (Southern and Northern Kingdoms) were affluent during the time of King Uzziah (Judah) and Jeroboam (Israel).
The Jewish people — especially the wealthy — for the most part were lulled into a state of apathy due to this affluence. Like the congregations in Revelation:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. Oh, that you were either cold or hot! So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spew you out of My mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, I have made myself wealthy, and I need nothing.’ But you do not know that you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:15-17, TLV)
Amos wasn’t the typical prophet. He was a shepherd and grower of figs — not an formally-trained religious professional as the other prophets. But, God called Amos out from his middle-class commoner status to address this common problem among a society dulled by “it’s not my problem” mentality.
“I hate, I despise your festivals!
I take no delight in your sacred assemblies.
Even if you offer me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them,
nor will I look
at peace offerings of your fattened animals.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.” (vss. 21-23, TLV)
God hates His commanded festivals, assemblies, offerings, and even His worship? No. He commanded them (Leviticus 23). And worship and praise, of course He wants them. What ADONAI hates is that there is no investment of the people’s heart. Just an investment of a little time and a few resources is not why God commanded the festivals, assemblies, offerings, and worship. He wanted a method to capture the Children of Israel’s heart and then to participate in a relationship.
Ever notice how we seem closer to the LORD when we’re experiencing trials and challenges?
We’ve discussed this topic a lot. The whole point of the New Covenant that Jesus would one day ratify with His own blood was that our Heavenly Father’s redeemed children would have His Torah written on their hearts — not just on stone or parchment (Jeremiah 31:31-33).
The imagery of justice and righteousness being like an ever-flowing torrent is beautiful. That image represents what our Father longs for — a perpetually moving forward, refreshing understanding of His righteousness and justice. The opposite is waters that are stagnant. Smelly, filled with disease, undrinkable.
Seek good and not evil,
so you may live,
and so ADONAI Elohei-Tzva’ot [the LORD GOD of Hosts] may be with you
—just as you said! (vs. 14, TLV)
Seeking is an active, action word. And that’s our lesson for today. To continue to seek good and not evil with the energy of an ever-flowing torrent of righteousness and justice.
What that looks like for each of us will be different, but the seeking is the same. The pressing in to learn by reading His word. As many of you know, I believe the book of Proverbs holds incredible insights into how to pursue righteousness and justice. A chapter each day will keep that torrent flowing. Keep our heart centered in learning what is important to our Creator.
Loving our Father and His Son. Listening to His Holy Spirit. Learning each and every day keeps the Living Waters flowing.