Dr. Paul Metzger, professor of theology at Multnomah University, says biblical justice involves making individuals, communities, and our world whole better by upholding both goodness and impartiality. He makes the point that God wants us to be concerned not only with our personal morality, but also with the way we treat others. That was the issue God spoke to through the prophet Amos. God was especially irked when people gathered to worship only to leave those settings to mistreat their neighbors. In Amos 5:21-24, we find God’s words, “I hate all your show and pretense—the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.” So, the essential element of worship is not what we say with our lips but what we do with our life. If our worship never results in changed behavior, our worship is worthless.

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