God’s call for justice is the central theme of Amos. During this period of Israel’s history, the people were wealthy and powerful (even religious!), yet they obtained all of this at the expense of others. The poor and outcasts of society were abused by the rich and corrupt upper class. During this time, God cried out for justice which meant to have fair scales, to care for the widow’s, orphans and the outcasts of society, and to be generous with the less fortunate.
This message is relevant for our time. Tunisia and Egypt are in revolt as the people are rising up against their leaders who they perceive as having no concern about the poor and less fortunate. In America, the average lifestyle is four times that of the world average, yet American’s spend 97 percent of their income on themselves. This article from a few weeks ago addresses this problem. The book of Amos is a rebuke to us just as much as it was to the Israelites over 2,500 years ago.