Amos 3 — Israel’s Guilt and Punishment
Amos 4 — Israel Has Not Returned to the Lord
Amos 5 — Seek the Lord and Live
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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.
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Amos provides a graphic depiction of Israel’s destruction in 3:12, “only the head of a bed and a piece of fabric from a couch” will be left. The Lord will punish Israel for its sin for they are the chosen, “you only have I chosen of all the families of the earth” (3:2).
To the high and mighty in society, to those who “brag about your freewill offerings” (4:5), God will respond. Five times in the 13 verses of chapter 4, Amos records, “yet you have not returned to me, declares the Lord.” Israel should have seen the obvious evidence of the Lord’s work, but each time they failed to return to the one true God, the Lord of the covenant. The result, “prepare to meet your God…the Lord God Almighty is his name” (4:12-13).
The lament in chapter 5 is like that of a father who’s lost his child, tears form as I read the sorrow-filled words, “deserted in her own land” (5:2). The Lord begs us to “Seek me and live” (5:4), “Seek the Lord and live” (5:6), “Seek good, not evil, that you may live” (5:14), “Hate evil, love good” (5:15). God himself is calling out to his children, begging them to return home, yet he is ignored. Verses 19-20 are a modern day horror film, “a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear…entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.”
All of the above is hard to read, but hardest yet are verses 21-24, “I hate, I despise your religious festivals…away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music…” This is so convicting. Father forgive me for any words that I have ever uttered that fail to honor you, for a single note of music that does not lift up praises to you. You are great and wonderful and far above the stuff that surrounds us. I will seek good, I will seek you daily. May my songs be acceptable. Teach me your words, your tune, help me to sing praises only to you.