Israel’s Judgment is Deserved
Verse 1 – Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying:
Verse 2 – “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all the iniquities.”
The Israelite’s thought because God had chosen them and showed favor to them, they were immune from judgment. God had chosen them, but they were to be the people that all other nations would come to know God through. God had loved them, protected them, provided for them, and they had forsaken Him. Now their punishment would be in proportion to the privileges they had enjoyed.
Verse 3 – Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
The idea here, is that two people cannot have a relationship unless they come to terms about the same things. They have to have the same commitments and same values or they will fight all the time. God is holy, Israel had become unholy, they had no longer followed God’s laws.
Verse 4 – Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing?
(Should I threaten such a judgment without cause?)
Verse 5 – Will a bird fall into a snare on the earth, where there is no trap for it? Will a snare spring up from the earth, if it has caught nothing at all?
Verse 6 – If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
The sound of a trumpet was a sign of alarm and invasion. Amos asked the people, “If an alarm goes off, will you just ignore it?” Whoever are the instruments God chooses to use means He approved and did it Himself. (Let that sink in for a moment.)
Verse 7 – Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
What a profound statement! God sent prophet after prophet to tell His people what would come to pass if they didn’t repent and turn back to Him. Today, He tells us in His Word the coming events of the end of this age. Are you listening?
Verse 8 – A lion has roared ! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?
Verse 9 – “Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the places in the land of Egypt, and say: ‘Assemble on the mountains of Samaria; see great tumults in her midst, and the oppressed within her.
Ashod was a Philistine city and the site of the temple of d, a pagan god. Amos summoned Philistia and Egypt to witness Israel’s great sins. Even Israel’s most wicked neighbors would see God judge Israel.
Verse 10 – For they do not know to do right,’ says the Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.’ ”
The longer Israel sinned, the harder it was to remember what was right. The same is true with us. The longer we stay in our sin, the stronger the hold it has on us.
Verse 11 – Therefore thus says the Lord God: “An adversary shall be all around the land; he shall sap your strength from you, and your palaces shall be plundered.”
Verse 12 – Thus says the Lord: “As a shepherd takes from the mouth of a lion two legs or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be taken out who dwell in Samaria – in the corner of a bed and on the edge of a couch!
In other words: If any of you escape it will be with extreme difficulty, just as a shepherd, of a whole sheep carried away by a lion, can recover no more than two of its legs or a piece of its ear.
Verse 13 – Hear and testify against the house of Jacob, says the Lord God, the God of hosts,
Verse 14 – “That in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions, I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel; and the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground.
Verse 15 – I will destroy the winter house along with the summer-house; the houses of ivory shall parish, and the great houses shall have an end,” says the Lord.
God’s judgment against Israel’s altars shows that He was rejecting Israel’s entire religious system because it was so polluted. The horns of the altar stood for protection, and the false altars would soon be gone!