Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Poor for a Pair of Sandals

Posted by Hello
First of all, let me state very emphatically that I am NOT picking on Nike - they were just the first designer shoe that came to mind, and I use them to "generically" represent all designer type shoes. That being said....Tonight I read something scary in the book of Amos "...because they sell the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals..." While reading this passage, I felt as though I had just been awakened by a very strong blow to the head. How often do we exchange the poor for designer shoes, etc. because it is cheaper to pay for labor in impoverished countries? I believe this is another way that we are stealing from the poor, which is no small sin. In Amos 6, God goes further with his warnings to those of us who are rich (and, if you are reading this on your home computer, that's you and me) by saying, "Woe to you...who lie on the beds of ivory (a symbol of wealth), stretch out on your couches (ouch - I read this while lying on the couch!), eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall (meat reserved for special occasions)..., and annoit yourselves with the best ointments (so much for Merle Norman Cosmetics!) but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph." Here in America we lie on our couch and watch TV and are all too often completely unaware of the persecution of God's people around the world - or worse, we know and are complacent. But these passages are not only instructing us to be grieved about the persecution of the church, they are teaching us that we have a responsibility to the poor. Ezekiel 16:49 is another one of those shocking passages concerning the poor. "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." Wow! Materialism and neglect of the poor and needy was Sodom's sin that indicted her! This looks like a description of most of us today, and that scares me - scares me enough to spur me to take action. Phillip Gourevitch said, "To denounce evil is a far cry from doing good." I want to do more than denounce the evil, how about you?

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