Let Justice run down

Amos was an Israeli prophet, who in the 8th century BC spoke out against the injustice in the land of the rich towards the poor. The context was that the Northern part of Israel broke away from the Southern part to form their own country. They certainly prospered, or rather the rich prospered at the expense of the poor.

I guess some things never change. Looking at the world now, there is no real difference. We live a in time of economic difficulties. Those who are rich get ever richer and it’s always the poor who suffer. Amos’s words still speak to us 28 centuries later in the 21st-century.

But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Amos 5, 24 NKJV

Social Justice

Rather a long time ago, at school in a subject called Religious Instruction, we had an excellent teacher called Mr Jackman. I still remember the passion with which this teacher spoke about Amos and the subject of injustice. I thank my R.I. teacher for instilling in me a deep desire to see injustice eliminated. Now 60+ years old later, I am still passionate social justice in the world.


The people who Amos spoke against followed religious rules, but forgot the most important commandment of all, and that was to ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. Amos declared that God hated their gatherings, offerings and religious songs because their lives did not match up.

It is much the same today. We can sit in church on a Sunday and sing about the greatness of God but on Monday we can forget about that, and treat other people as less important than ourselves.


There has always been injustice in the world. From the Roman empire, founded upon slavery to the British Empire, equally dependent on slavery. Slavery has been legally abolished in every country of the world, but it still exists in reality. Poor parents still sell their daughters and sons to rich tradespeople who exploit and abuse them. Even in the United Kingdom, gangs often exploit the vulnerabilities of immigrants, and effectively hold them in poverty and slavery.

In a democracy like ours, we clapped the nurses and National Health workers during the pandemic, but still fail to adequately reward them. Wage earners are often paid insufficient, and cannot avoid having to use food banks, “Oh! that is the governments responsibility,” we say, but we live in a democracy where politicians rely on public opinion.

Exploiting Workers

Exploiting workers can be a byproduct of capitalism. It is in the interests of the shareholders to maximise profits by paying the minimum amount possible to their workers. But it doesn’t have to be like that. I once worked for a small company where the managing director declared, “This company is run for the benefit of it’s employees”. By treating the staff well, and paying good salaries, the company prospered.


We don’t have to live in a community ruled by exploitation and injustice. If we all were motivated by a desire that everyone should prosper, we could live in a society where there is no injustice, where every member looks after the interest of everyone else.

Let justice rule and cover our communities like water and may our lives be lived in a right manner so that righteousness in our society makes it run like a mighty stream.


Author: George Dowdell

I was the founder of Karuna Action (formerly Kingscare) and was the director for 24 years. I have now handed control over to younger people but continue as an advisor and trustee. My passion is to see extreme poverty eliminated and to see justice for the powerless.

Please Add your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: