March 3, 2010
A Mighty Stream
READ: Amos 5:21-27
Let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream. —Amos 5:24
When I was a young teenager, my dad, uncles, cousins, and I went trout fishing at the head waters of the Sacramento River in California. The source of the river is melted snow, so the water was swift, clear, cold, and refreshing. My cousins and I couldn’t resist stepping into the cool current while angling for rainbow trout.
On the way home, we stopped for a dip in a pond that was far different. The pond water was warm, and it smelled stagnant. It contrasted greatly with that swiftly flowing, invigorating stream.
The prophet Amos used the metaphor of a stream to illustrate the transforming power of righteousness. Appalled at Israel’s dead religious ritual and their exploitation of the poor (Amos 2:6-8; 5:21-27), he called for justice and righteousness to prevail. He saw that God’s people were stuck in the stagnant pond of injustice toward others when what they needed was a life marked by “righteousness like a mighty stream.”
Likewise, God desires for us to allow justice to “run down like water” from our lives. One way that can happen is to strive for just laws and to champion loving care for the poor. May we seek to be a part of God’s mighty stream of His righteousness until Christ returns. — Dennis Fisher
Justice is the clarion call for Christians—
We cannot step aside from what God said;
He has told us how to treat our neighbor,
And we must follow on the path He’s led. —Hess
Righteousness follows when truth springs into action.