While many attribute this quote to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it was originally uttered by Amos, God's spokesman, over 2600 years earlier than Dr. King quoted it. God wanted his people to know that their religious pilgrimages, sacrificial offerings, and songs meant nothing to him if a life of compassion, character, and concern did not back them up. Northern Israel did not believe Amos and did not repent. Not too many years later, they were utterly destroyed because God found their hypocrisy, injustice, and abuse of the weak reprehensible. But we live now, and these words are as powerful and clear as they were then!
Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
What will our response be?
Almighty God, many of your children are ashamed today of the unrighteousness in our world and our nations. Please use us to lead a rebirth of character. And Father, as we seek to live holy lives, please keep our eyes on your righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful love-based justice. Lord, help us demonstrate these same character qualities with those who need to know your love and receive your salvation. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.