Amos 8:4-6. 8-4-23
Came across this verse today in Amos.
“Hear this, you who trample on the needy
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
saying, “When will the new moon be over,
that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great
and deal deceitfully with false balances,
that we may buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals
and sell the chaff of the wheat?”
Walking around the grocery store(Kroger of course)in shock and awe about the falling food prices that are not falling,I noticed,once again,a ploy by the food powers that be. What is that Ronnie? Have you noticed the trend over the past few years of manufacturers reducing the size of the product you buy? What was once a box of 32 oz.cereal is now 28 oz. What was a pound of something or other is now 14 oz. Price is same or maybe a few cents higher,but you don’t get as much.Then,over time the price begins a slow,almost imperceptible rise. Soon, with barely a whisper,the price is now considerably higher,AND for LESS product!The blame,according to the powers that be is always assigned to this or that reason.Lately,in our day,it is called supply chain disruption or inflation,you know….whatever! Lol. Well,if you have noticed that happening you are perceptive.But,if you think this is a new scam being perpetrated on the people,think again. The same thing went on in Biblical times.
Amos was a contemporary of Isaiah in 8th century Israel. Amos was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom,Israel,along with Hosea. Isaiah was a prophet to the Southern Kingdom,Judah.A common motif that led to the downfall of both Israel and Judah was oppression. Usually economic. This was not the root cause of the downfall,just one of many results of the sin of the people. You will be astonished if you study these prophets,of the parallelism of Israel with our own country,America.It truly is fascinating if not scary at times.I’m getting off point.
Look at the verse again.
…” that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great..”
Substitute bushel for ephah. Making the ephah, or bushel “small” was a way of reducing by dishonest scales the amount of product.Hmmmm…
Back in that day money was measured by weight not quantity. The shekel if I remember was about 2/5 of an ounce. By requiring more weight for less product,you were making the bushel smaller while making the shekel greater. See any similarities? Why you ask? Read further.
By dealing deceitfully with false balances,they could “ buy the poor for silver…” Oppression pure and simple.
I wrote this with a purpose. Remember the study on rewards that I promised. Well,I am almost ready and this is a common motif in the doctrine of rewards. First,and most important,this doctrine is going to harmonize the message of the Gospel.The benefit to us is to keep us from inadvertently preaching a wrong or false Gospel,due to poor teaching that we may have received. The second is a motivation for holy living. Kingdom Now theology is the primary message being preached today in the church. It focuses on having it now. Be whole.Seek God to meet your needs.All about us in the present. The Bible I believe puts off a great many of these rewards into the future. The coming kingdom if you will. Some call it “ pie in the sky religion.” Well,I have been persuaded that that may be an apt description. We will leave that discussion for rewards. Anyway,saw this verse today and thought I would write about it.
All and I mean ALL we must do is believe.