Sunday Scriptures — Fat Cows

In the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Amos, the prophet calls the women of Israel fat cows. Not flattering, and definitely not something to say if Amos’ intent was to win the women to his way of thinking.  However, at the time being fat was a sign of luxury. It was a sign of prosperity.

But Amos gave the women, and men, God’s words. Not his own. He was willing to offend with the truth of God if necessary. Amos was willing to face the fall-out from being the burden bearer of God’s truth.

If we picture fat cows in our minds, perhaps we see them mindlessly chewing their cud. Content with the way things are. Unconcerned with the events going on around them. Swishing their tails to keep the flies away.

It seems this may be the picture Amos painted of the women of Bashan. They were content with the way things were. Unconcerned with the events going on around them. As long as their husbands continued to bring them what they wanted, they were fine. Who cared about the oppressed, poor, or needy? Certainly not them.

This kind of thinking reminds me of a phrase I often heard in high school…oblivious.

Amos went further to pronounce God’s judgment upon such callous me-first thinkers. These women would be taken into captivity by fishhooks in their noses.

Harsh. But true.

The Assyrians captured the rich and royal upper class of Israel. They put hooks through their captives’ noses and lips and paraded them through town.

God’s commands call his people to be concerned for the poor. Jesus commands his followers to take care of those less fortunate than themselves.

It seems if we want to keep from being called a fat cow and led away by fishhooks, we need to open our eyes to those around us, and be sensitive to the opportunities God presents us with to be his hands and feet in our corner of the world and beyond.

I sure don’t want God to call me a fat cow. Do you?

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Listen to me, you fat cows living in Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and who are always calling to your husbands, “Bring us another drink!”

The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by his holiness: “The time will come when you will be led away with hooks in your noses. Every last one of you will be dragged away like a fish on a hook! You will be led out through the ruins of the wall; you will be thrown from your fortresses, says the Lord. Amos 4:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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