By Russell Jung, M.Div., MAM training and curriculum coordinator
In the book of Amos God is bringing a message of judgement on Israel and Judah for two main reasons. The first is idolatry and the second is social injustice. Read this powerful quote from Amos 4:1
“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!’ The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks.”
It is obvious that God cares about the poor and the needy. The greatest of these are children who live in poverty and deal with the injustice of misplaced government spending. According to an American Prospect article, in many urban neighborhoods where millions of dollars are spent to lock up residents, the education infrastructure is crippled. As the prison population skyrocketed over the past three decades, researchers began to notice that high concentrations of inmates were coming from a few select neighborhoods — primarily poor communities of color — in major cities. These were dubbed “million — dollar blocks” to reflect that spending on incarceration was the predominant public — sector investment in these neighborhoods. NAACP research shows that matching zip codes to high rates of incarceration also reveals where low-performing schools, as measured by math proficiency, tend to cluster. The lowest-performing schools tend to be in the areas where incarceration rates are the highest.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a renowned Christian theologian during Hitler’s reign, stated “The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” As Christians, we should ponder on the truth of these words and consider how we can do more for our children.
Amos 5:4 “For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live; …” Reminds us that we need to seek the LORD for our own good and for the good of our children.
PRAY that Memphis will lead the way in caring for children.
PRAY that the Body of Christ will infiltrate our schools and bring hope and vision for a better tomorrow.
PRAY that our government leaders will understand God’s concern for the poor and the needy right here in Memphis.