Did God Just Call Me a Cow???

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I've been called lots of things in my life.  Trust me... being a middle school teacher... lots. of. things.  But I experienced a first yesterday.  It happened in our little Sunday School room.  I was intensely enjoying my coffee and my blueberry doughnut,  listening to various volunteers read scripture from Amos... feeling very proud of myself that we managed not only to get our little family of five to church, but that we arrived on time with one extra friend!  So here we were, sitting around, talking about Amos and how he served as a propet to Israel, how God used him to pronounce judgement upon Israel.

Someone read scripture from Amos 5....

1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks!"

2 The Sovereign LORD has sworn by his holiness: "The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks.

When I first glanced at this scripture, I didn't give it much thought.  Bt something cauht my attention.  "Bring us some drinks!"  Why would asking my husband to bring me a drink be bad??  I tried to concentrate on the lesson, but as God would have it, he kept nudging.... dig deeper.  So as the rest of the class went on, reading the story of Amos and discussing... I was stuck on "bring us some drinks!"  

Bashan was known for cattle that were fattened up from the fertile fields they grazed.  (Bashan was just to the east of the Sea of Galilee.)  As it turns out, Amos was refering to the wives of court officials, land owners, or merchant wives... the wealthy women of Bashan.  He was calling these women fat cows because of the lavish and extravagent lifestyle they were leading.  Now, I realize that Bashan was known for these cows, and that it was a good thing that they were fat....   But I think I can speak with certainty when I say I don't think any woman in history has ever appreciated being called a fat cow! 

But here's why Amos did it.  The women of Bashan would pressure their husbands to make more and more money to support their lavish and luxurious lifestyles.  The husbands would then, in an attempt to please thier wives, turn around and exploit the poor because they had the power to do so.  

My head was swirling.  Am I a fat cow to God??  

Here is the challenge... what ways have I oppressed the poor.  In what ways do I pressure my husband to maintain a lifestyle that God has not called me to live?  Here are some questions  I would like to ask myself, to ask of God.  I would hope he will open up any area of my life that is not pleasing to him for radical change. 

1.  In what ways do I support my husband?  How am I showing him that I love and cherish him?  Do I tell him that I am proud of who he is?
2.  In what ways am I praying for my husband?
3.  What conversations are we, as a married couple, having about our finances?
4.  In what ways am I honoring my husband with my money?  In what ways am I honoring God with my money?  In what ways are WE honoring God with our money?
5.  In what ways is my family helping others?  

The last thing I want is to be a fat cow in God's eyes, or my husband's eyes for that matter.  Please join me in prayer that God will open the eyes of our hearts to the ways we are causing oppresion of any kind.  


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