God speaks to northern Israel through Amos, the farmer from Tekoa in Judah, in 760-750 BC
to tell them he is offended by their religious activities that they perform in of worship him. The Lord instead demands justice and righteousness in the lives and society of his people. The Lord hates Israel’s practice of the festivals prescribed by the Law of Moses. He says their assemblies (community religious gatherings) stink! The varieties of offerings, including the offering of the
choice selections, are neither accepted, not even considered, by the Lord. And, he commands
them to put away their worship bands while calling their songs “noise.” All of these religious
activities are counterproductive until the people performing them will practice justice in their lives towards other members of their community and demonstrate righteous in their conduct before the Lord. When both “justice” and “righteousness” are applied to the social order then their feasts, assemblies, offerings and music will be acceptable to God. But, until then worship is simply a pretense and insulting to the character and revelation of the Lord.
The demonstration of justice and righteousness must be more than a one-time, token gesture
that attempts to win God’s favor. Instead, the flow of justice and righteousness must be a
continuous flow like that of a river. This performance will require an entire change in attitude,
lifestyle and personal character. And, just like a river flows every day if it rains or not, and it
flows all year no matter how hot and dry the seasons are, so to the flowing stream of justice and righteousness must continue even when there are difficult days or challenging seasons in life.
This is the life that honors and worships God, not religious rituals with no reality.