In ancient times, a shepherd looked out for the best interest of sheep. The wolf was the enemy of the sheep because it caught and ate sheep for dinner. In the book of Amos (chapter 5), the prophet declares that God would punish the rich shepherds because they were like wolves. They took advantage of the sheep—the poor and powerless. In Amos 5, God said, “You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed. You treat the righteous like dirt. How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them. For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time.” Here, God not only declares His disdain for those rip off the poor and powerless, He declares that one day, His judgment will fall on them suddenly, and they will not know what happened. May we be wise and treat the poor and powerless with justice. Otherwise we may, like ancient Israel, experience the judgment of God.
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