Through the years I have seen an unbalanced focus on the gifts of a man over his or her character. This has been very evident in the ability to preach and teach God’s Word and in music. If you can preach, teach, and sing doors will open for you easily in local churches.
Amos is addressing religious exercises that Israel was still committed to perform, but how meaningless they were before God because the people’s hearts were not in it. In Amos 5:21 God said, “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.” I wonder how God feels about our Wednesday and Sunday gatherings. In Amos 5:23-24 God continues by stating,
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (ESV)
Our songs are noise before the Lord when there is no justice and no righteousness in us. It does not matter how good the musicians are and how well trained the singers are; without justice and without righteousness all God hears is noise. Ouch! I know that in my life, many times, my song was nothing but noise before the Lord. This takes a whole new meaning when the worship leader, in his attempt to be hip, encourages the people to “make some noise!”. Without justice and righteousness, that is exactly what we are doing, making noise.
The word justice is the Hebrew word mišpāṭ meaning “A judgment, a legal decision, a legal case, a claim, proper, rectitude. The word connotes several variations in meanings depending on the context. It is used to describe a legal decision or judgment rendered: it describes a legal decision given by God to be followed by the people.” This is at the heart of the condition of our souls. In our souls we have our minds or, way of thinking, but it is also in our souls that we have our will or, decision-making. When we have a distorted sense of justice, we have a distorted sense of what is right and what is wrong. Wrong decisions will affect our emotions and take us away from peace and joy. We will then be emotionally unstable constantly affected by depression, anxiety, anger, frustration, etc. If we want our song to be accepted before the Lord we must work in our sense of justice; that is, make decisions based on what is right and what is wrong according to our God.
The word Righteousness is the Hebrew word, ṣeḏāqāh: meaning “Conduct and integrity. The noun describes justice, right actions, and right attitudes, as expected from both God and people when they judge.”Righteousness is walking in what is acceptable before the Lord, not in what is acceptable according to our culture or opinions. Righteousness affects our conduct or behavior before others and our integrity when nobody is watching. Righteousness affects our attitudes and again, it also leads us into making right decisions according to God’s will. If we want our song to be accepted before the Lord we must work in our conduct, our integrity, and our attitude.
Help us Lord!
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Am 5:21.
 Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 687.
 Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 939.
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