December 16th Amos 4
1: Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink. 2: The Lord GOD hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.
Samaria is to face judgement
3: And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the LORD.
Israel is stubborn
4: Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years: 5: And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD. 6: And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 7: And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. 8: So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 9: I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 10: I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 11: I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 12: Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. 13: For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.
Amos 5 Hear the word of the Lord
1: Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel. 2: The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up. 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. 4: For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: 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. 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. 7: Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth, 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: 9: That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress. 10: They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. 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. 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. 13: Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time. 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. 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. 16: 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. 17: And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD. 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. 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. 20: Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? 21: I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 22: 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. 23: Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24: But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. 25: Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? 26: But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. 27: Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.
Amos continues his prophecy in a most poetic tone yet its theme is so serious. He calls on the beasts of Bashan that live in the mountains of Samaria who are heartless and cruel to the poor and needy. He says the Lord GOD has sworn to himself that he will take away the instruments of your prosperity - the hooks with which you fish. You will soil yourselves in the palace. The Lord calls Israel to Bethel because they are determined in their sins yet they still are deeply superstitious and the Lord will send famine yet they will still not turn to the Lord. The Lord will hold back the rain three months before the harvest causing the grain to perish. The Lord demonstrates his power by sending rain on one city and not on another. The people are thirsty and what food they have is spoiled. The vine, fig and olive are destroyed. Yet the people do not return to the Lord. (All these things were judgments a nation that turns its back on their God) the Lord has destroyed the young men as if they were in battle. Yet they didn’t turn to the Lord. Some of them have died like Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet Israel was plucked like a brand from the burning. In spite of this they did not return to the Lord. Now God says Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. This is getting serious now. God has tried everything and like Saul on the road to Damascus God will appear is sudden judgment to strike them down to the earth. Even in their judgment will they turn to God? Then Amos begins his lament for Israel. the virgin of Israel has fallen and none will lift her up there is no help for her! The Lord will cut the numbers of Israel by 90%. Yet God pleads with them. Seek me and you will live! Seek the Lord your God. Seek him who made Orion and turns the shadow of death into morning. And he who makes the day dark as night. The Lord spells out the sins of Israel. Yet the Lord pleads with them to do what is right so that they might live. The Lord is tired of their empty religion. And he hates their sacrifices. He will not accept their offerings. The Lord will send them into captivity.