They had forgotten what justice was. Forgotten that it was supposed to be about partnering with God in making things right – protecting the poor and the weak from getting trampled by power. They had forgotten they were God’s agents of blessing.
Instead they joined in the trampling and used the court systems to their own advantage.
All the while, they kept on calling themselves the people of God.
But they weren’t worshipping God. Not really. Not like He wanted them to. Instead of going to the Temple, the place where God was tangibly present, they molded sacred cows. Then, they worshipped these cows and called it worshipping God. There was one in the north of the county and one in the south. This is where the kings of Israel told their people to worship.
It was a political thing.
Thus, it was also a power thing. The kings of Israel knew that if their people traveled to Jerusalem – the City of Peace – to worship, their loyalty might shift. They had to keep them worshiping these sacred cows.
Some of them kept traveling to the City of Peace to worship, but these were not powerful people.
Amos was a shepherd who farmed figs…but God used him anyhow.
He can use us, too.
“Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed.” Amos 4:14