- Amos’ scathing judgment has climaxed into a lament.
- Bethel (6-13) Jacob (Gen. 28:10-22; 35:1-15). Represented a place where God’s presence and calling were uniquely felt. Genuine experience of God’s transforming power.
- Beersheba (14-20) Abraham (Gen. 26:23-24), Jacob (Gen. 46:1-4). Each received assurance that God was with them.
- Gilgal (21-27) Joshua 4:19, first encampment after entering the Promised Land. Covenant renewal – circumcision and Passover (5:2-12). Saul crowned (1 Sam. 11:14-15). Represented a place of religious ceremony.
Read Amos 5:6-13
- The glimmer of hope contained in vv.5-6 of this lament is beginning to fade, swallowed up in the language of justice, judgment, and transgression.
- A person void of moral transformation lacks the experience of true faith.
- The Great Tribulation (6-7)
- The Great Transformer (8-9)
- The Great Transgressors (10-13)
The Great Tribulation (6-7)
- v.6 Genuine appeal for repentance/judgment. Joseph (Northern Israel) is not safe (v.2). Bethel will not protect them from the covenant curse of fire.
- v.7 “Righteousness” is the fruit of holiness. “Justice” is the fruit of righteousness. But Israel has corrupted both.
- A nation following the Lord will emulate his holiness, which will result in justice and righteousness. When all has become corrupted it is evident that they are no longer worshipping God
- But their actions hypocritically suggest otherwise and further harden their hearts towards Amos’ rebuke.
- See Matt. 7:21-23.
- Their religious worship was a sham. They flaunt their “righteousness”, but never experience moral renewal. Just like the Pharisees.
- Legalism makes religious piety the root rather than the fruit of faith.
- “Live” is imperatival (command not promise). But God’s command enables the response.
The Great Tribulation is carried out by…
The Great Transformer (8-9)
- v.8 God marks all changes:
- Seasonal (8a Pleiades and Orion marked seasons)
- Daily (8b)
- Occasional/unexpected (8c)
- Historical (v.9).
- v.9 Destruction will fall upon the strong and fortress. The very people and objects meant to defend will be destroyed in a “flash”!
- Central section of Amos’ lament. Appropriately emphasizes God’s power.
- Hymn to the Transforming God. Speculation that Amos quotes from one of their own hymn books.
- The irony is that they have sung this many times thinking how secure they were, but Amos turns the words of the hymn against them.
- YHWH can destroy and comfort. His chosen people are not safe from judgment. That’s just as true of the visible church around the world today!
- Amos acknowledges God’s power which elevates the fear of his ability to destroy them.
The Great Tribulation is carried out by the Great Transformer upon…
The Great Transgressors (10-13)
- 10 They hate just judges and truth testifiers.
- 11 Mistreatment of poor > won’t enjoy fruit of crimes. Become like those they oppressed.
- 12 Judges/elders afflict the righteous since can’t bribe them. Greedy refusing to help poor.
- 13 Even thoughtful people silenced on that day.
- As a lament, the eulogy is unexpected. Instead of remembering the good, Amos emphasized their sin that brought destruction.
- All of the corruption that entered their courts was, of course, in direct violation of the law God had given them.
- How can truth prevail where the courts are no longer just?
- The people remain unchanged!
- No Truth (v.10).
- No Compassion (v.11).
- No Conscience (v.12).
- No Prudence (v.13).
Motyer Amos’ exposure of a religion which leaves life untouched could not have been more brilliantly accomplished. They go, they sing, they come away, and nothing, simply nothing has changed.
- The Great Tribulation would be carried out by the Great Transformer upon the Great Transgressors. How could it be otherwise?
- They needed to experience true repentance by acknowledging their depravity rather than attempting to cover it up with hypocritical worship.
- They needed to rest in the Savior to come, the One who would bear their iniquities and remember their sins no more.
- In other words, they needed a genuine work of the Holy Spirit! They needed their hearts to be circumcised.
- They needed to trust in the only One who provided everything they lacked, the One who enables transformation.