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Amos 6:9-14, Complacent Self-Indulgent Punished

Thursday, November 16

Space, Not Spikes

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Here's what going on here. God is angry with those who have oppressed and harmed others. The implication in the text is that ten oppressors may have escaped the sword of the enemy and survived by fleeing into the house. But there are other things that can kill them, like famine or disease. So if all ten die, a relative will be charged with burning and burying them. The relative might expect that at least half would live, but when they ask the accompanying sexton (who burns the bodies) if anyone is alive, they will answer, "No, they have all perished." The relative will then proclaim, "We must not mention the name of the Lord!" because they know the Lord is angry with all of them. Best not to call upon the Lord and anger the Lord further. And there will be no reward for their labors. They might try to work their horses and plow with their oxen, but the land will yield nothing. All of this because they oppressed and harmed people with their poisoned ideas of justice and righteousness. God will no longer tolerate injustice and oppression. God will make it right.

Recently, a group called, "Space, Not Spikes," got creative about speaking out against some major cities' "anti-homeless spikes." These are spikes designed to keep the homeless population from resting too long, or resting at all, in public spaces. The group redesigned the space with bedding, pillows, and a bookshelves stocked with books as a statement that the homeless are people, too. 

Every time we do something to stand against injustice, prejudice, and hatred, we stand against the kind of self-indulgent privilege God was, and is, so angry with. What could you do today?

Narrative Lectionary Text: Amos 6:9-14

If ten people remain in one house, they shall die. And if a relative, one who burns the dead, shall take up the body to bring it out of the house, and shall say to someone in the innermost parts of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” the answer will come, “No.” Then the relative shall say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.” See, the Lord commands, and the great house shall be shattered to bits, and the little house to pieces. Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow the sea with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood— you who rejoice in Lo-debar, who say, “Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?” Indeed, I am raising up against you a nation, O house of Israel, says the Lord, the God of hosts, and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi Arabah.