“Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, you only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefor, I will punish you for all your iniquities.” (Amos 3:1,2)
When we read the book of the prophet Amos, we notice that in the first chapter and the first three verses of chapter two, the Lord, through Amos, pronounces judgement on the surrounding enemy nations of Israel. Amos starts off in each instance with the words, “For three transgressions and four”, meaning to say that their cup of transgression was full, indicating that there was no reprieve available in regard to their impending judgement. It is safe to assume that those predictions of doom to those six outlying regions were not prophesied in one instance and all at once, but were made over a period of time. it is also very possible that the Israelites of Judah and Israel were rather glad and full of glee that the Lord had decided to finally punish those wicked people. I mean, after all, had those people not been a thorn in the side of the people Israel many, many years? But Amos, after having gained a sympathetic ear from among His Israelite brethren, then brings down the hammer, and proclaims to Judah and Israel, the southern and northern kingdoms, that they are just as wicked, that their cup of iniquity was full also and that judgement was awaiting them as well. It is believed that this prophecy of Amos was delivered circa 760-750 BC, approximately thirty to thirty-five years prior to Israel’s captivity to Assyria. But, look, given the apostate condition of the Israel nations today, should it not be very much applicable today also?
Using the Book of Amos as a guide, let us look at the sad similarities of the conditions then and now. Amos 4:1 states, “Hear this word, ye cows of Bashan, that are in the mountains of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their masters, bring and let us drink.” This is in reference to the rich, pampered women of that time and region who demanded that all their indulgences be seen to, without any regard or compassion for any of the poor or needy that were downtrodden in order for them to live a life steeped in opulence. The same can be seen today, where the rich, in total disregard of anything or anyone, are forever striving to accumulate more for themselves. In chapter 5, Amos goes on, “Ye who turn justice to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,(v7) they hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly, (v10), …They afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.” (v12), Therefor, the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.” (v13) Can you not see today’s system in these verses? Justice is perverted more often than not, and they will not allow anyone to make a correcting comment, bribes are often made in order to obtain objectives that are often questionable, thereby depriving honest people their just due. Also, in today’s politically correct society we cannot speak our mind on subjects that disturb the powers that be.
In verses 14 and 15 of this chapter Amos gives us some very good advice that we do well to heed in these times when he says, “Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as you have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish justice in the gates; it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph”. In chapter 5:21 we read, “I hate I despise your feast days, and I will not take delight in your solemn assemblies”. This was an indication that the Lord was very displeased with their religiosity, for they worshipped Him in deed only. The same can also be said of most of the church world today. Most assemblies are little more that social clubs, with very little spiritual input. On Sundays they might go to church, maybe say a little prayer, sing some songs, but the rest of the week they live for and to themselves, without any connection to the God that they sang their songs to on Sunday, empty vines that bear no fruit. In v26 we read, “But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun, your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.” We know that the Canaanites sacrificed their children in fire to their god Moloch, and in due time the Israelites in their idol worship did the same, much to the chagrin of the Lord God. In today’s world we can see the same thing happening in the Israel nations when we consider the infanticide being committed in the abortion mills, all in the name of free choice, men’s choice, not Gods. In closing there is one more verse I would like us to look at and it is the last part of Amos 6:10, where we read, “…then shall he say, hold thy tongue; for we may not make mention of the name of the Lord.”
The context of this verse might differ from today’s situation, but the fact remains the same. We have removed Bible reading and prayer from the classroom and all other public meetings and assemblies, we have banned the Ten Commandments from our courtrooms, and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be uttered in public in most, if not all places. O yes, my dear friends, we have come a long way, our cup is definitely full! For three transgressions and for four, the Lord will surely not withhold the punishment due to our sinful nations. Our nations stand indicted for gross negligence in all things pertaining to the Word, the Law, and the statutes of our God. There are troubled times ahead, but Amos closes his narrative on a positive note that we also may take comfort in our day.
“Behold the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth, except that I will not utterly destroy the House of Jacob, saith the Lord. For, lo, I will command and I will sift the House of Israel among all the nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve; yet shall not the least kernel fall upon the earth….And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards, and drink their wine; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. An I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord, thy God.” (Amos 9:8,9,14,15)