21 “I hate all your show and pretense—the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. 22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. 23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. 25 “Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel? 26 No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. 27 So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.
Amos is speaking to the people of Israel on behalf of God. God is trying to call the people back into repentance showing them the places they have gone wrong. God says he doesn’t need their showy festivals, offerings, or hymns of praise. Instead He wants justice and righteousness overflowing. God also reminds them of the other God’s they served; images made by their own hands.
Have you ever been in a grocery store and opened a bag of crackers or something else just because you were hungry and wanted a snack. You knew you would be paying for the item when you went to check out, so it didn’t seem like a big deal. I remember when our kids were little. We would be in the grocery store; sometimes the only way to keep them happy was to grab a box of Vanilla Wafers off the shelf and give them a few and then pay for the open box at the checkout. Did you know what seems like such an innocent act is actually against the law in some states? It is called the Law of Concealment; because you are opening and eating items to conceal what you took. It does not matter if your intent is to pay for the item or not. The employees don’t know, the manager doesn’t no, neither does the police offer who shows up to make the arrest. How can they see our intent was righteous and good versus intent to steal? Fortunately we have a God who can see the intent of our heart. He does know when we try to do what is right. But God also knows when we are turning from Him and He calls us back, correctly us in ours ways hoping we will return. Pray you will always seek God’s will to follow Him in justice and righteousness. Pray the same justice you receive you will extend to others.