Verse 1 – Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, “Bring wine, let us drink!”
Israel’s wealthy women were called “cows of Bashan” – pampered sleek, and well fed. These women pushed their husbands to oppress the helpless in order to support their lavish life-styles. Their arrogance was apparent in how they treated even their husbands as household slaves.
Verse 2 – The Lord God has sworn by His holiness: “Behold, the day shall come upon you when He will take you away with fishhooks, and your prosperity with fishhooks.
Verse 3 – You will go out through broken walls, each one straight ahead of her, and you will be cast into Harmon,” says the Lord.
Verse 4 – “Come to Bethel and transgress, at Gilgal multiply transgressions; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days.
Amos sarcastically invited the people to sin in Bethel and Gilgal where they worshiped idols instead of God. Bethel was where God had renewed His covenant to Abraham with Jacob. At this time, Bethel was the religious center in the northern kingdom and Jeroboam had placed an idol there to discourage the people from traveling to Jerusalem in the southern kingdom to worship at the temple.
Verse 5 – Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, proclaim and announce the freewill offerings; for this you love, you children of Israel!” says the Lord.
Verse 6 – “Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities. And lack of bread in all your palaces; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.
Verse 7 – “I also withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered.
Verse 8 – So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.
Verse 9 – “I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, your vineyards, your fig trees, the locust devoured them; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.
Verse 10 – “I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt; your young men I killed with a sword, along with your captive horses; I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.
Verse 11 – “I overthrew some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning; yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord.
Verse 12 – “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
Verse 13 – For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is, and makes the morning darkness, who treads the high places of the earth – the Lord God of hosts is His name.
No matter how many times God warned the people, through famine, drought, blight, locusts, plagues, or war, they still ignored Him. Because of their stubbornness, they would now meet God face to face – judgment. One day we all will meet God face to face, to give an account of what we have done while on earth. But please keep in mind: The believer will give account for good works to a reward, or not. The unbelievers will give an account for everything because they never received the forgiveness of their sins and excepted Christ as their Savior.