- Amos has warned the deaf nation of Israel about their moral and religious hypocrisy.
- We’ve seen the first three of five visions Amos received:
- Plague of Locusts (1-3)
- Judgment of Fire (4-6)
- The Plumb Line (7-9)
- In the second half of ch.7 we saw a confrontation between the priest of Bethel, Amaziah, and the prophet of God, Amos. That ended in a harsh word of judgment upon the rebellious priest and his family.
Read Amos 8:1-7
- The vision of summer/ripe fruit. God is not going to spare Israel by passing them over any longer. He is ready to bring judgment upon them.
- There is not a lot to be hopeful about in this passage.
- Those who rejoice in corruption will mourn on the day of judgment.
- God Will Never Pass By Them Again (1-3)
- God Will Never Forget Their Deeds (4-7)
God Will Never Pass By Them Again (1-3)
- v.1 Amos sees a basket of summer fruit that is ripe for picking. Not blessing, but imminent judgment.
- v.2 Again, Passover language > judgment (7:8). The Lord judged the Egyptians, passing over Israel. Now, they will no longer be spared. Their end has come.
- v.3 Their songs will become funeral dirges. There are so many corpses they cannot provide proper burial. They will want silence.
- How come God says he will “never” pass by them again? What about those who repent?
- Jeremiah 31:31-35
Hubbard While the ripe fruit may have hinted that Israel was ripe for judgment…the overt connection between the vision and Israel’s fate was in the wordplay based on the similar sounds…of qāyiṣ and qēṣ, which means end. The point of this vision, then, is the finality of judgment. All time for repentance was past.
- God’s mercy had reached its end with Israel, in it’s present state. He owed them nothing! They broke the covenant time and again.
- Maybe you’re wondering about God’s compassion. Isn’t God’s mercy and grace unlimited? Why doesn’t he forgive them again?
- God’s mercy is never divorced from justice. Mercy requires repentance.
- When we see God’s justice on display, we can only assume the people have refused to repent.
God will never pass by them again. In addition…
God Will Never Forget Their Deeds (4-7)
- v.4 Rather than bringing relief to the needy and poor, they speed their death.
- v.5 The Sabbath is observed begrudgingly. They spend it in anticipation of pulling out their false weights.
Alec Motyer Their seat would never be empty at the festival of the new moon (cf. 1 Sa. 20:18) nor would they dream of profaning the sabbath by commerce, but at no point in the festivities did religion oust business or the church replace the office in the affections. The holy day was a duty but not a delight, a day away but not a day off: financial preoccupations won hands down.
- v.6 They enslave the people in their corruption. They are so desperate they sell them chaff (the discarded leftovers…like hot dogs).
- v.7 The Lord has seen their corruption and he won’t forget it.
- Is the church Worship Service simply another place to work? Are you mentally somewhere else?
- I realize listening for 30mins is no small challenge for our generation. We are used to screens changing scenes and cameral angles every few seconds. Sitting still requires intentional training.
- Children, you should be watching your parents. Notice them opening their bibles, reading along, thinking. You should be doing the same as soon as you can.
God will not accept superficial worship.
- The people of Israel had become presumptuous of God’s grace. They assumed he would always be on their side as long as they performed their religious duties, even if they were done in a superficially, even if their lives were morally corrupt.
Motyer The plumb-line hangs vertical in the unmoving hand of God, a mute summons to eternal wrath to flash forth, terrifyingly, disastrously, unendingly against those who are pitiless towards the poor, the central evidence of false religion (Jas. 1:27) and dead faith (Jas. 2:14–17).
- Let us not linger in sin and unrepentance.