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encouragement theology

Have We Lost the Standard?

Amos 7

The news reports are full of political battles in our country. Politicians and reporters expound on what they think we should do for their neighbors, for businesses, and for our country, and for themselves. 

There are major battles across the country, yielding speeches and protests based on needs and injustices that weren’t properly addressed. The battles become heated when the speakers are confronted by another view, claiming that someone else is “right”.

But where do we get our measure for right or wrong? Is it some holdover from an ancient patriarchal society that is no longer relevant today? Are we copying what we learned from our parents, or trying to emulate some great influence from our past? Have we been challenged by our peers to rethink what is right and wrong, good and bad?

It’s easy to forget that there is an absolute standard of right and wrong. When we look at the history in the Bible we see that people were at their worst when they forgot that standard. The book of Judges in the Bible recounts one of the most difficult times in Israel’s history. There are shocking accounts of murder, rape, betrayal, genocide, and human sacrifice — all when people chose to ignore God’s standard! The final statement of Judges gives a summary of that time:

Judges 21:25
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

As we study through Amos 7, we see that God is again holding out His standard. He has sent the prophet Amos to His religious people of Israel to warn them of the coming judgment, using a builder’s plumb line to illustrate His standard. His way is the straight way, all others are crooked.