Have you ever felt that no matter what you do, you can never catch a break? It seems as if the rich keep getting richer and the poor are oppressed. Social injustice has been a struggle throughout society for as long as people populated the earth. Ancient Israel faced social injustice not only from the cultures that conquered them, but they faced it from within and often from those in leadership. Unfairness takes on many forms. It is easiest to see injustices in wealth distribution, oppression, and inequities relating to religion. These injustices were seemingly magnified in the biblical times as shown through the oppression of Israel. However, in modern times, we still see these three injustices. The social wrongdoings today can be found in every society and can barely be placed in three small categories.
Amos 4:1-3 shows the economic imbalance which played a large role in the biblical economy. Jeroboam was the ruler during this relatively peaceful century and there was little conflict from without. There was an internal economic unbalance, however. During this time period, and much of biblical times, the “barest necessities of life were a luxury” (Hanadiv 1). Culturally, women were to be passive in their relationships with the men and are often seen as a non-entity in economic realms, but after re-reading the Bible, the unscrupulous behavior of some women played a major role in the oppression of the less fortunate. This begs the question of whether some people have the right to exploit other people due to their status in society. “In an economic system where the symbols of a man's success in the marketplace of the day included the manner in which he was able to 'keep' his wife, wives, or consorts, th...
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...gs and desperately wicked...”
The nobility's wives in biblical times believed that their luxury should be placed over the well-being of the middle and lower classes. Their husbands must have had the same mind set because of the oppression that we read about in Amos. Unfortunately, we still see a similar oppression by the religious “nobility” of today. The attitude of being above God's laws by the religious elite of yesterday and today seems to stem from the misconception that since if one hasn't gotten caught, God must not either care or God must somewhat approve of their actions. Those who do get caught often do not see it as God's discipline but rather a punishment inflicted man. Amos 4:2-3 reminds us otherwise “The Sovereign LORD has sworn by His holiness: 'The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last one of you with fishhooks.'”
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