(Part 12 of 21)
Amos 5:9-13… God laments (sorrows) over Israel’s injustices to others… V. 9… They left off righteousness and God laments because He has to send a “spoiled nation” (Assyria) against the strong (Israel). This truth is also seen in the book of Habbakuk. There they prayed for revival. To see if they were serious about revival, God sent a strong enemy to ravage their land. When they cried out to God, revival came.
Amos 5:10… God laments (sorrows) because Israel hated those who spoke uprightly… Amos was not the first to confront the nation about its sins. The nation’s conscience was hardened. Paul tells Timothy that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV). Amos is correct. You are hated if you come down on sin; you are not wanted.
Amos 5:11… God laments (sorrows) because the nation tread upon the poor… They stole the wheat, and used the money from the sale of the wheat to build expensive houses for themselves. God said that even though they built pleasant vineyards, they would not live to enjoy them and that the vineyards would be empty.
Amos 5:12… God laments (sorrows) when the just are afflicted… and when for a bribe the wicked turn the poor from what is rightfully theirs. The court systems were rotten to the core. The same is in our nation today. People who love justice and righteousness have an appetite for God. God laments because the nation has lost its appetite for righteousness and with it they lost their appetite for God. God will not turn away when He sees this injustice towards others. National sins will bring national accountability.
Amos 5:13… God laments (sorrows) because the prudent are not listened to… It is an evil time. Believers keep silent and are not speaking for fear of retaliation. There is a time when there is nothing more to say. The word of truth has been spoken. The nation was rebuked, but they decided not to listen to the truth, and turned on those who wanted to see repentance and restoration. Any further speaking was futile. Amos knows when to hold his tongue. Because of the incorrigibility of the people, the prophets kept silent. Since the people would not hear, they increased their condemnation. Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs” (Matthew 7:6, NASB).
Amos 5:14-15… Seek God and live. Seek good and not evil that you may live… God is extending compassion, mercy, grace and long-suffering. He invites the nation to change its lifestyle: make righteousness your goal and the nation will be preserved. Turn your faith around to the living God and away from idols. But the nation pursued more and more evil. Verse 15… “Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate” (KJV). If you do, God may show His graciousness to you. There is always hope when the Spirit of God hovers over a nation.
Amos 5:16-17… God laments (sorrows) because He sees the nation’s wailing… The people will wail in the cities and in the counties. Amos prophesies that there will be crying and grief. The people who said that Amos is a “pain” will soon be experiencing God’s pain. “I will pass through thee [the nation], saith the Lord” (v. 17, KJV).
Amos 5:18-20… God laments (sorrows) over the nation’s false hopes… They were looking for the day of the Lord. They had an escapist mentality. “God loves us; He will get us out.” But they were doctrinally wrong in interpreting what the day of the Lord was all about. The day of the Lord is what God says it is and not what we think it is. It’s a day of darkness. The majority of Christians in our nation today have an escapist mentality. “God loves us; He will deliver us.” God lamented when He found the nation feeling secure in an erroneous doctrine. It’s not what we believe that delivers us, but in Whom we believe, that delivers us. Verse 19 explains the darkness. When you run from the lion and you think you are safe, you may find that you have run right into a bear. You then run from the bear into a house, and get bit by a serpent. That’s what the day of the Lord is like. It’s darkness and not light. The day of the Lord can refer to any period of time when He enters into human affairs and judges it for its unrepentant sins. The day of the Lord also refers to end times tribulations and the coming of Christ. Here in Amos 5:18-20 it refers to a historical period in Israel’s history. The evils that came from the lion, bear, and serpent did come to Israel in the form Assyria, Babylon, Romans, Turks, and present day Islamic Arabs. Today, many in our own nation run from church to church, from one religion to another, and end up being bitten by the serpent (Satan).
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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