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The Book of Amos
Israel will be punished in the future for iniquity.
Amos 5:1-2 Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.  The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up. (KJV)
Amos says, “You were a virgin, God espoused you to Himself.” That is the picture of every believer today. Paul said “I espoused you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2). When we come to Christ, our sins are forgiven, and we start anew with Him. But, have you played the harlot, like Israel did? Have you turned away from the One who loves you? Have you been led astray into the world and into the things of the flesh? Is the Devil leading you around like a bull with a ring in its nose?
Amos 5:3 For thus saith the Lord God; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel. (KJV)
The city from which there used to go out by a thousand shall have only a hundred left, that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten; the rest will be destroyed by sword and pestilence (Deut. 28:62). Amos is saying, “Prepare to meet your God. Look at the number that are going to be slain.”
Amos 5:4 For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: (KJV)
This is actually a last call to the nation. The invitation is still open. The Word has gone out. God is calling on them to turn to Him; if they do even now, they will live. Again, we too have a message here. Seek God, and you shall live, otherwise judgment and destruction (Hell). The invitation is still open open to us today, but we do NOT know for how long.
Amos 5:5 But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beer-sheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought. (KJV)
Bethel is where one of the golden calves was erected (2 Ki.10:29). Gilgal is the place where Israel camped when they crossed the Jordan River when they first came into the land under the leadership of Joshua (Jos.4:19). There they set up the tabernacle, and where they readied themselves for their march on Jericho. It became a very sacred place. Then these people went into idolatry, and these places that had been sacred for God became places to set up idols. Beer-sheba was down in the southern kingdom of Judah in the Negeb. It was at Beer-sheba that Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant, and then Abraham called on the name of the Lord (Gen. 21). In the days of Amos, the people in the northern kingdom were making pilgrimages south to Beer-sheba to worship idols.
Beth-el shall come to nought. Why doesn’t Amos mention Beer-sheba too? Because Beer-sheba is NOT in the northern kingdom but in the southern. It will be more than another hundred years before Beer-sheba goes into captivity with the southern kingdom. However, these two in the northern kingdom, both Beth-el and Gilgal, are about to go into captivity. Amos is so accurate in his statement. But he goes on to say that there is still hope for them, just as there is for all sinners of today.
Amos 5:6 Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel. (KJV)
There is one sure remedy for a world that is sick and dying in sin; “seek the LORD and live.” Sin will destroy you, but hope is found in seeking God. Having difficulty? Seek God! Having discomfort and struggles in life? Seek God! If you see others struggling, tell them to seek God! God says, “If you do not turn to Me, I will judge you.”
Amos 5:7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth, (KJV)
The law courts should have been places of justice where the poor and oppressed could find relief. Instead, they had become places of greed and injustice. Amos condemns this idea of making a profession and then not living up to it. The paid preachers in Beth-el and Samaria were saying only what the people wanted them to say. Paul wrote to Timothy, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3–4). People’s ears itch to hear something nice and sweet. The people of Israel were insulted that Amos would even suggest that they were not religious or pious, but that was his message to them. Be very careful as you search for a church home! MANY are preaching only what people want to hear, NOT what people NEED to hear!
Amos 5:8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name: (KJV)
Pleiades and Orion are star constellations. For thousands of years, navigators have staked lives on the reliability of the stars. The constancy and orderliness of the heavens challenge us to look beyond them to their Creator. “Seek the LORD and live!” Amos is saying to Israel, “You have turned to idols, and your life and profession of a faith in the living God, doesn’t hold up.”
Amos 5:9-10 That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.  They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. (KJV)
The one who "rebuketh in the gate" would be a judge. The courthouse of that day was the gate of the walled city (Deut.16:18; 21:19-20; Ruth 4:1; 2 Sam.15:2; Prov.22:22; Zec 8:16). You will find in Scripture that the judges sat in the gate.
Amos says that the judge who rebuked things that were wrong was the one who was hated; so, most of the judges chose to cooperate with the evil doers. Sound familiar? So much injustice in our courts today. When a judge (or anyone else) insisted upon justice and upon that which was right, he became very unpopular. Human nature has not changed very much since Amos’ day.
Amos 5:11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them. (KJV)
Amos accuses Israel of trampling on the poor and stealing what little they had through taxes and unfair rent. This is common place in today's world.
So, Amos tells them . . . you will never live in the beautiful stone houses you are building. You will never drink wine from the lush vineyards you are planting. The beautiful palaces that were built at Samaria are in ruins today. They were destroyed shortly after this message was given and have been in ruins now for nearly three thousand years.
Amos 5:12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. (KJV)
How we treat the rich, often reflects what we hope to get from them. But because the poor can give us nothing, how we treat them reflects our true character. We should, like Christ, give without thought of gain. We should treat the poor as we would like God to treat us.
Amos 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time. (KJV)
The prudent, are those who are spiritually wise. People in that day knew they could not get justice, and many good people were keeping quiet. It really was the wise thing to do because, if they had tried to protest, it wouldn’t have done any good. They knew there would be no justice, so they just kept quiet.
Amos 5:14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. (KJV)
Do what is good and run from evil! Tremendous advice, then and now! God says to seek good that you may live! Israel had turned away from God. They were NOT seeking good, but courting evil with their idol worship. Amos warns them to turn back to the Lord, for only then would the Lord be their Helper, as they have claimed He was.
Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. (KJV)
Hate evil and love good. Instead Israel was loving evil and hating good, totally opposite of what they should do! There is a lot of that going on today. In our day, a man who is a liberal and supported by a rich organization can betray our government and escape any penalty (maybe even be made a hero), while a poor man who embraces an honest cause does not stand a chance of gaining a hearing.
If Israel would put away the corrupt system of false accusations, bribery and corruption; and were to insist that only just decisions be given, this would show their change of heart. We must NOT read this Passage lightly or write it off just as encouragement to be good. It is more than that! It is really a command to us to reform our own legal and social system., but instead, ours, like Israel, gets worse!
Amos 5:16-17 Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.  And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the Lord. (KJV)
Amos now moves into another area, the warning of an approaching judgment, the Day of the Lord (Joel 2; Zep.1:14-18; Mal.4:5; 1 Cor.5:5; 2 Cor.1:14; 1 Thes.5:2; 2 Pet.3:10). Because God knew that they would not repent, He now clearly states the judgment which is to come. Death will touch everyone; all will mourn.
Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. (KJV)
It seems that many people were very piously saying that they desired the Day of the Lord. But, Amos states clearly here, it is a “Woe.” “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord!” That day is NOT going to be as pleasant for them as they think it is going to be. Nor will it be for millions in the world today.
Amos calls it “the day of the Lord.” Joel introduced this subject in prophecy, and every one of the prophets after him has something to say about it. Many people have thought that the Day of the Lord refers to the Millennium. In my humble opinion it does NOT mean the 1000 years, but Judgment Day. Joel was very careful (and Amos will be also) to say that the Day of the Lord is NOT light, it is darkness. The Day of the Lord is judgment.
Those of us who believe that the church will not go through the Tribulation (Rev.3:10; Phil.3:20; 1 Thes.1:10; 5:9; John 5:24), should be aware that we will not escape all judgment. 2 Cor. 5:9-10 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (KJV) . . . Our aim should always be to please Him. We should work hard at this because ALL believers must stand before Christ to be judged. Each one of us shall receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in our bodies AFTER we were saved. Anything we have done for the cause of Christ shall stand, all else shall burn up (1 Cor.3:11-15). We shall receive either rewards or lose rewards we could have had.
Amos is really very blunt. He tells them to quit saying that they desire the Day of the Lord. He says it is not a day of light but of darkness.
Amos 5:19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. (KJV)
Amos is one of the most dramatic preachers that you will find in Scripture. He really uses very illustrative and picturesque language. He uses expressions of the Earth and draws his illustrations from nature. Here he describes a man who is out in the woods, and suddenly there is a lion on the trail behind him. As he runs away from the lion, he sees a bear coming toward him. In other words, if you say you want the Lord to come so that you can get out of your troubles down here, it may be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Seeing the bear coming toward him, the man takes off over the hill and reaches his home. He puts his hand upon the wall to rest and catch his breath, only to have a snake come out of the wall and bite him. It might have been better if the lion or the bear had gotten him than to have the poison of a serpent in him!
Amos is saying that we had better be very careful about the life we are living for God. As TRUE believers, our salvation is NOT in jeopardy . . . Christ has paid the penalty for our sins, BUT . . . if our sins as believers are not dealt with and made right, Christ shall make them right at the Judgment Seat. He must do that because He is holy and righteous and just, and Heaven is a place where nothing bad or evil will enter (Rev.21:27). We will have to be 100% right when we enter Heaven. This is something that many people do not realize today, and we CANNOT do it without Jesus. (John 14:6; 1 Cor.1:30).
Amos 5:20 Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (KJV)
“The day of the Lord” is a period of judgment (the Great Tribulation) that is yet to come upon the nation of Israel. Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: (KJV) . . . God shall put down the proud man . . . he who thinks he can rule himself and the world without God. The “day of the Lord” is the day of judgment when God shall judge both evil and good.
When that day comes, the only way anyone will be able to stand is to have a proper relationship with God. God and God alone must be exalted as the first step toward developing that relationship with Him. If you are reading this, you still have the opportunity to become God’s child by accepting Christ (John 1:12-13; 3:3, 15-18, 36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:10-12). Anyone who is born again, will NOT have to go through the Great Tribulation. They will go home to be with the Lord in the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18).
Zeph. 2:3 Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger. (KJV)
Turning from our sins, humbling ourselves, and obeying God is what He wants from us. Only being right with God, pleasing Him, will count when we stand before the Almighty Judge, Jesus! Are you ready for Judgment Day?
Amos 5:21-23 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.  Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.  Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. (KJV)
Something that just struck me is: SO many people say "God is love." And YES! He certainly is! BUT, what are the first words here in this Passage? "I hate, I despise!" God HATES SIN . . . all sin, sin of every kind! And you cannot deny that Amos has been delivering a message of JUDGMENT! God shall punish SIN! Count on it. Believe it! If you want to go to Heaven, you had better listen to God!
God hates false worship (religious feasts and assemblies) by people who go through the motions of religion. If you are living in sin and using religious rites, rituals and traditions to make yourselves look good, God will despise your worship and will NOT accept your offerings. He wants sincere hearts, NOT the songs of hypocrites.
When you go to church, what means more to you? Your image or your attitude toward God? God’s TRUE children need to realize that their faith must be real. Faith is a reality. Faith must grab hold of a person. Faith must be a part of you, must have an effect upon your life. James says, “… faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Paul said that we have been saved in order that we might produce good works.
The people of Israel were living in sin. God was angry! They were engaged in idolatry; but they still were going through all the Mosaic ritual. God says here, “I despise it.” If your heart is not in worship, you may as well stay home! The people of Israel copied the crimes of their forefathers. The law of worshipping the Lord our God, is: Him only we must serve. Israel was led captive by Satan into idolatry, therefore God caused them to go into captivity among idolaters.
Amos 5:24-26 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.  Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?  But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. (KJV)
Evidently, the people of Israel offered sacrifices in the wilderness, but when they met heathen people, they wanted to worship their gods also. The worship of Moloch was where small children were put into the arms of a red-hot idol and made human sacrifices. Can you hear the screams? What about abortion today? Aren’t hard-hearted people sacrificing their children to an idol (their pleasure)? When I was writing the article on abortion for our web site, the research I did, made me sick! Oh! how many horrible, gruesome ways that these helpless, innocent little people (YES! people) are killed! BEWARE!!!
In the past, Israel had turned to worshiping stars and planets, preferring nature over nature’s Creator (2 Kings 23:4-5). Pagan religion allowed them to indulge in sexual immorality and to become wealthy through any way possible. Because they refused to worship and obey the one true God, they would cause their own destruction.
Amos 5:27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, whose name is The God of hosts. (KJV)
Israel is to be punished in the future. They will go into captivity. God is telling Israel that the Assyrians would take them into captivity. (2 Ki.15:29; 2 Ki.16:9; Isa.8:4).
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