Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Continue Minor Prophets: Amos Chapter 5

A very interesting chapter in that God has told Israel He will use the Assyrians to destroy their land. Now, God tells the people if they run to him, he will restore their land. Since God has foreknowledge, He is aware that they will not change. However, if they would, He would relent and turn from their destruction.

Seems God works similarly in the life of his people today. Turn and receive the Spiritual blessings He has promised.

In this chapter the House of Israel is told of their sins
Also, they are told to whom they can turn for help
God will be the only source of help
They can seek Him and live

Vv 1 – 4 “Seek Me that You May Live” 
V 1 “Hear this word which I take up for you as a dirge, O house of Israel:”
The words I have for you comes from a funeral march. Your wounds can’t be healed.

V 2 “She has fallen, she will not rise again— the virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; there is none to raise her up.”
Israel has fallen because of her dependence on other gods and other countries. Then there’s the problem with how she treated the poor and downcast.
Remember, Israel is the ten northern tribes. Although the Jews return in 586 B.C., the ten northern tribes aren’t part of Israel at the time. Jeremiah writes that Judah and Israel will become one (Jeremiah 3:18).
In Jesus’ day, the land wasn’t divided. Today the land isn’t divided. During Christ’s millennial reign, the land will not be divided.

V 3 “For thus says the Lord God, “The city which goes forth a thousand strong will have a hundred left, and the one which goes forth a hundred strong will have ten left to the house of Israel.” 
The larger cities will be made small. Most will be killed by the invading army. In this verse Amos says that nine-tenths of the people will be killed. 1000 will only have 100 left, and 100 will only have 10 left.

V 4 “For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel, “Seek Me that you may live.”
God has given his word that Israel will fall. Here he says, “Seek me and live.” The words here are a call to individuals and the country. Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while
He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
While Jeremiah was predicting the fall of Judah by Babylon, he told of how individuals could survive with their lives (Jeremiah 39:18; 45:5).

Vv 5 – 13 Hope in God
V 5 “But do not resort to Bethel and do not come to Gilgal, nor cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal will certainly go into captivity and Bethel will come to trouble.”
Three places that you can’t rely on is Bethel and Gilgal or Beersheba. Amos tells them that the only solution to their problem is seek the Lord, verse 4.
Bethel means the house of God. However, at this time in Bethel was one of the golden calves. That image couldn’t save them. Gilgal was a place where they had set up idols. Although Beersheba had been a famous place of visitation for their forefathers, now they resorted to it as a place to worship idols.

V 6 “Seek the Lord that you may live, or He will break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, and it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel,”
Dependency on fortified cities will not save you. Only the Lord can. So, if you want to live, seek the Lord. These cities will be consumed by fire. No one can put out the fire on them.

V 7 “For those who turn justice into wormwood and cast righteousness down to the earth.” 
You make your visitation “bitter” and “nauseous.” That’s the implication of “wormwood.” By whoring after the idols in the cities mentioned above, you pervert justice. You turn worship into bitterness and your sense of justice makes God sick.

V 8 “He who made the Pleiades and Orion and changes deep darkness into morning, who also darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the Lord is His name.”

God created all the heavens and separated day from night. He made the seas and causes the cycle of rain that pours down on the earth. He’s the one on whom you should call.
V 9 “It is He who flashes forth with destruction upon the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress.”

Only he can overtake strong fortresses maned by strong warriors. It is said that in order to take a well defended position, you had to have nine times the firepower of the defended position. God has that kind of power, doesn’t he?

V 10 “They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks with integrity.”
As they set in the gate and have court, the one who speaks with integrity and reproves those who are 
wrong is railed against. The leaders hate him. I think the idea here is that they know they are doing wrong; therefore, they don’t want anyone reminding them of their perverseness and sin.
V 11 “Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poor and exact a tribute of grain from them, though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, yet you will not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.”
They trample on the poor. They exact fines and tribute of grain from them. They take away the fruit of their labor to spend on their evil ways. Farmers work hard to produce a crop. After they have harvested their grain, they have to pay a tax on it. These fat cows take part of their hard work as taxes.

V 12 “For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, you who distress the righteous and accept bribes and turn aside the poor in the gate.”
Your sins (manifold transgressions) are many and varied and often repeated. We like they forget about our sins of failure to comply to God’s directives.

V 13 “Therefore at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.” 
If anyone has wisdom at all, he will keep quiet. It is best to let the people think you are a dilbert than to open your mouth and prove that you have some sense.

Vv 14 – 20 Darkness not Light

V 14 “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said!”
Here’s what God desires from them. He wants them to seek good rather than evil. If they turn from their evil, God could then be with them. They think that is what they want, i.e. God with them; however, their actions are just the opposite. Thus the charge, “seek good and not evil.”

15 “Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the Lord God of hosts may be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”
Their court system “in the gate” is corrupt. Any one, especially a poor person, can’t come to court and expect to be treated fairly. If they could correct their court system, just maybe God would be gracious to the remnant of Israel.
“Joseph” is used because Israel is sometimes referred to as Ephraim.

16 “Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, the Lord, “There is wailing in all the plazas, and in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They also call the farmer to mourning and professional mourners to lamentation.”
At this point the residents recognize that they are in trouble. They hire professional mourners to cry out in intercessory prayer. However, it is too late! Note that the calamity hasn’t happened yet. God calls things that are not as if they were.

17 “And in all the vineyards there is wailing, because I will pass through the midst of you,” says the Lord.”
Not only in the streets, but individuals in their own vineyards wail. All this is brought about because the Lord is sending calamity throughout their land. It is he who brings the bad to them because of their disobedience and rebellion.

 18” Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, for what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you? It will be darkness and not light;”
There are some who long for the “day of the Lord.” Usually this phrase refers to the end of the ages. Here it could refer to the time when the Lord brings about the calamity that Amos prophesies of. Regardless, the day will be darkness and not light. Darkness here could refer to the calamity about to overtake the land. Most likely it refers to the time when God will restore his kingdom on earth.

19 “As when a man flees from a lion and a bear meets him, or goes home, leans his hand against the wall and a snake bites him.”
The man runs from a lion but runs right into a bear. Or he goes home and leans against a wall and a snake bites him. These will be dark times with no escape.

20 “Will not the day of the Lord be darkness instead of light, even gloom with no brightness in it?” 
Although the sun may be shining, the day of the Lord will still be very dark for those not ready to meet it.

Vv 21 – 25 Your Worship Services Are Hated

21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.”
Because of the manner of evil in which his chosen people participate, God hates the playing at church which his people are doing. They hold their appointed feast days. They keep the days holy with no work; however, their hearts are far from him.

22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; and I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.”
Your burnt offerings and grain offerings are being offered in vain. I will not accept them to your credit. You come to church on the Sabbath, but live for the enemy the rest of the week.

23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.”
I don’t want to hear your worship service. Your praise band and choir are repulsive to me.

24 “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Do you remember what Jesus said to the Samaritan women at the well, John 4. He said, “From you shall flow rivers of living water.” That’s what God wants from their and our worship services. He wants to see the rivers flow.
Rivers of justice and righteousness over-flowing the land.

25 “Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?”
Some take the first sentence to mean, “Did you offer to me only. . .” Even though they offered sacrifices to the true God in the wilderness, they still carried their pagan gods with them.

26 “You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves.”
The idea is Moloch, small pocket idols they carried for personal superstition.

27 Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts
  Damascus was the capital of Syria. Assyria was located to the east of Syria. There are two other countries that come from the same area as Assyria:
·         Babylon
·         Medo-Persia
The Babylonian General who captured Assyria and its king named the land Babylon. Then the Medo-Persians captured Babylon and called the land Persia. Each country had a different city for its capital.
Of course Babylon was the capital of the Babylonian empire from the 18th century to the 6th century. Cyrus captured Babylon in 539 B.C. In 536 B.C., Cyrus allowed those persons taken captive by the Babylonians to return to their countries if they chose.
If you recall, God through Isaiah prophesied that this would happen. He even calls Cyrus his servant and savior of Israel.
Susa was the capital of the Persian empire. The capital city is located in what today is Iran.
Persia played an important role in Israel’s history. Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their country, and he also returned all the articles of the Temple. Then he allowed the temple to be built from the “royal treasury (Ezra 1).
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel all prophesied that the Jews would return and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Ester all record the completion of the prophesied events.
Therefore, the Jews did go into exile for 70 years. God used Daniel and other Jews to carry out his program of restoring his people to their land.

Chapter 5

What is a dirge? ___________________________________________________________________.
Why was Israel to take up a dirge? ____________________________________________________.
In verse 4 why would the Lord say, “Seek me and live.” When he has predicted that Israel would be destroyed and people killed? __________________________________________________________.
What is significant about Bethel? _____________________________________________________.
What does Bethel mean? __________________________________. Explain “justice into wormwood.
Why do they hate the one who reproves at the gate?_________________________________________.
Why does God hate their worship services? _______________________________________________.
Why would it show wisdom to keep silent? ______________________________________________.
In this chapter, how are the poor treated? _______________________________________________,
Why is Israel seeking darkness and not light? ______________________________________________.
According to verse 15, how can Israel turn all this around? ____________________________________.
Which verse shows that God does not expect change? ___________________.
Two ideas for “the day of the Lord.” 1 _____________________________________,
2 ___________________________________. Verse 19 would show the _________________________ of Israel’s attempt to escape.
Explain, “Did you present me with grain offerings and sacrifices in the wilderness?” _______________



PS: A complete study on your freedom through rest can be had from B. C. Ministries, Inc. Email us for your free copy.

PSS: Our first novel, The Red-Haired Master Shepherd, has been published. The novel is fiction about a little known Biblical character who meets Jesus. Check it out 
here. Or you can email us for your copy.

Who You Are Isn't Based on Performance with God. Who You Are Should Have A Direct Bearing on How You Perform.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Look Around; Heed the Message: Amos Chapter 4

Amos continues his theme for the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel: Return to God and live, or continue as you are and suffer the consequences. His message is quite clear. Further, the instructions he gives Israel then can be followed by you today. The message is still apropos.

Chapter 4

Vv 1 – 13 “Yet You Have Not Returned to Me”

V 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 now, that we may drink!”

The “cows” of Bashan are the women. He is addressing them because they are living in luxury at the expense of the poor. They want their husbands to bring them all these things so they can drink wine and strong drink instead of being the keeper of her house as a virtuous woman, Proverbs 31.

V 2 “The Lord God has sworn by His holiness, “Behold, the days are coming upon you when they will take you away with meat hooks, and the last of you with fish hooks.”

The meat hooks would symbolize dragging away dead bodies. Then those who remain alive, the enemy often put fish hooks in the flesh to make sure the captured didn’t escape as they were being exported.

V 3 “You will go out through breaches in the walls, each one straight before her, and you will be cast to Harmon,” declares the Lord.”

These ladies will try to escape. Their husbands are the leaders of Israel; therefore, they will try to protect them and get them to safety.

However, their plan of escape will not work. They will be captured and taken to Harmon. Harmon is an unknown site. Its name means “high fortress.”1  Perhaps Harmon has been set up as a temporary prison camp.

V 4 “Enter Bethel and transgress; in Gilgal multiply transgression! bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days.”

Do you see how Amos describes the religious ways these people have. They worship God through habit, and then turn and worship idols and depend on other countries the rest of the time. It’s like our going to church on Sunday, and then living like hell the other six days of the week.

V 5 “Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings, make them known. for so you love to do, you sons of Israel,” declares the Lord God.”

Still in this verse, they are making a show of their piousness. Their sacrifices and offerings are for show only.

V 6-10  “But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities and lack of bread in all your places, yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord. V 7 “Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you while there were still three months until harvest. Then I would send rain on one city and on another city, I would not send rain; one part would be rained on, while the part not rained on would dry up.” V 8 “So two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water, but would not be satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord. V 9 “I smote you with scorching wind and mildew; and the caterpillar was devouring your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees; yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord. V 10 “I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, and I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.”

Regardless of all the calamities God sends on his people for warning, they still do not return to him. Five times in verses 6—10 God says, “Yet you have not returned to me.”

Look at some of the things God did to get their attention:

·         Lack of bread or famine
·         No rain—extremely important in an agrarian society
·         Rain on one city but not on the others
·         Have to get water from another city
·         Scorching wind and mildew
·         Caterpillar would devour gardens and vineyards and fig trees and olive trees
·         Plagues similar to the ones in Egypt (Deuteronomy 28, especially verses. 58-60)
·         Killed the young men, i.e. the warriors
·         Captured your horses
·         The stench of death lay about their campsites

The indications are that if they returned, he would accept them and heal their land. However, returning would require them several things:

·         Destroying the altar at Bethel
·         Returning to the temple in Jerusalem to worship
·         Getting rid of their idols
·         Sole dependency on God not on other countries
·         A complete lifestyle change

Therefore, returning to God seemed a complete impossibility. It would require major changes in their lives.
Perhaps the same requirements would be for you as well. In order for the Holy Spirit to work through your giftedness and personality, what changes would you need to make?

V 12 “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”

You see Israel, you need to prepare to meet your God. This warning isn’t for salvation! No, the warning is for calamity because of their failure to worship God and keep his commandments.

V 13 “For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind and declares to man what are His thoughts, he who makes dawn into darkness and treads on the high places of the earth, the Lord God of hosts is His name.”

Amos finishes this chapter with a glorious God. One who created great mountains. God through Amos says, “Look at the grandeur of the high mountains. I made them. How awesome am I?”
God also causes dawn to overtake darkness. He walks on the high places of the earth. Man can’t do these two things. Only the “God of the angle armies” the lord of hosts can accomplish the above feats.

 1. Strong’s Online Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon. Blue Letter Bible US. URL: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H2038&t=NASB


Study Questions
Chapter 4

Vv 1 – 8
Who are the “cows” of verse 1? _________________________________________________________
Why is God addressing them? ___________________________________________________________
Why the reference to “meat hooks”? ___________________________________________________
What are the “fish hooks” used for? __________________________________________
To whom are the people making sacrifices? ______________________________. Why does God find
their sacrifices absurd? ____________________________________________________. In order to
return to God, what are some things they would need to change?  ___________________________

List some of the punishments they received but ignored verses 6 – 10. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________________


How do all these things fit with Deuteronomy 28 – 29? _________________________________




PS: A complete study on your freedom through rest can be had from B. C. Ministries, Inc. Email us for your free copy.

PSS: Our first novel, The Red-Haired Master Shepherd, has been published. The novel is fiction about a little known Biblical character who meets Jesus. Check it out 
here. Or you can email us for your copy.

Who You Are Isn't Based on Performance with God. Who You Are Should Have A Direct Bearing on How You Perform.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Amos Chapter 3 Minor Prophet: Complete Chapter Review

The word from the Lord that comes to Amos includes not only Israel--the ten Northern Tribes--but Judah as well. God is tired of their rebellion, their greed and their disobedience. Not only the whole of Israel, but God speaks to you as well. "Hear the word of the Lord. . ."

Your country or ministry isn't in keeping with the word of the Lord. Or is it? You may not be a preacher, pastor or teacher, but your gift is your ministry. How of ten do you use your gift in service to your Lord? Much of Amos' message concerns itself with the above message.

God's total purpose for Israel was to plant them in the midst of "the world." From there they would spread north, south, east and west to give all the peoples the message from God. Their only God would be the Triune God.

By listening to the voice of the Lord, His chosen people would bring Him to all the people surrounding them and to the rest of the world. However, the very ones who said, "We Will" at Mount Sinai, changed into a people just like those with whom they came into contact. They demanded a king of their own so that they could be just like the world around them.

Amos tells them, "God has had enough! You need to repent, change and go in the opposite direction!

Chapter 3

Vv 1 – 15 All the Tribes Are Guilty

V 1 “Hear this word which the Lord has spoken against you, sons of Israel, against the entire family which He brought up from the land of Egypt

God never goes against his word! His word cannot be broken once he gives it. He isn’t human so that he might lie.

Therefore, God speaks his word against Israel. Remember that “Israel” represents the 10 northern tribes that split from Judah and Benjamin at the beginning of Rehoboam’s, Solomon’s son, reign. Therefore, the entire family of Israel that God brought out of “the land of Egypt” will be affected by God’s word.

V 2 “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

God tells his chosen through Amos that Israel was chosen from all the families of the earth. Yet even though chosen, he will punish them for their planned sins, “iniquities.”

V 3 “Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?”

God asks his people through the prophet Amos, “Two men don’t just become great partners unless they have agreed, do they?”

In other words, Israel, the whole tribe, has sinned. Not only have they sinned against the poor, they have planned it (Chapter 2). The country worships idols and seeks help from foreign nations. They have agreed to walk against the code of the law and prophets.

V 4 “Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has captured something?”

The idea of the first sentence, when the lion is hunting, he keeps quiet. He doesn’t want his prey knowing his location. The roaring and growling of the young lions comes after the prey is taken.

However, God doesn’t do as the lion. He predicts beforehand how he will take his prey, i.e. punish his people.

V 5 “Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground when there is no bait in it? Does a trap spring up from the earth when it captures nothing at all?”

God through Amos asks a rhetorical question. Would a bird get caught in a trap if there was no bait? Yet without anyone using bait, Israel has been ensnared.

The same is true of the trap. If it snaps, it usually catches something. Israel is about to be snared because of their unfaithfulness.
V 6 “If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it?”

If a trumpet is blown that signifies war, will not the people tremble? Does God bring about calamity? In this case, he is going to do so. However, when you look at the overall picture, the Israelite's bring the calamity on themselves.

V 7 “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.”

In the Old Testament, God spoke through his servants, the prophets. Today and under the New Testament, he speaks through his Son (Hebrews 1). In this verse Amos is telling the people of the eight countries involved, “I’m bring you the word from God as your prophet.”

V 8 “A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?”

If a lion roars, there should be fear of the danger it can bring. How much more should the people fear that God has spoken through his prophet, Amos. It could be that Amos is in trouble for bringing the doom prophesies against Israel. He is from Judah, and therefore, an outsider to those he is bringing the message of destruction to.

V 9 “Proclaim on the citadels in Ashdod and on the citadels in the land of Egypt and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria and see the great tumults within her and the oppressions in her midst.”

Although the events of war of which Amos speaks hasn’t happened yet, God sees everything. He knows the outcome. He can speak of future events as though they have already occurred.
Foreigners are called to watch from a safe distance, i.e. the mountain tops, and from safety as the war unfolds.

V 10 “But they do not know how to do what is right,” declares the Lord, “these who hoard up violence and devastation in their citadels.”

The special people who belong to God have lost their moral compass. They have forgot how to do right. They store away violence and devastation in their secret places.

V 11 “Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “An enemy, even one surrounding the land, will pull down your strength from you and your citadels will be looted.”

Since there is no living for the Lord, they will be attacked. The enemy will take the land and their strength. Even their strong places of refuge will be looted.

V 12 “Thus says the Lord, “Just as the shepherd snatches from the lion’s mouth a couple of legs or a piece of an ear, so will the sons of Israel dwelling in Samaria be snatched away—with the corner of a bed and the cover of a couch!”

Not too much will be left that the enemy doesn’t take. The simile, “a couple of legs or a piece of an ear” indicates that the sheep is dead. Why take the pieces from the lion’s mouth?

The reason for taking the bits and pieces from the mouth of the lion is that those pieces can be reserved for a family meal. The indication being that a remnant of people will be able to carry off bits and pieces of their valuables.

V 13 “Hear and testify against the house of Jacob, ”Declares the Lord God, the God of hosts.

Amos is advised to listen to the words and then testify against Israel. The Lord God gives the information to him.

V 14 “For on the day that I punish Israel’s transgressions, I will also punish the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off and they will fall to the ground.”

Bethel means house of God. David tented here when he returned from Laban’s house. However, when the kingdom divided, Jeroboam set up an altar with a golden calf to be worshiped here. God says through Amos that the altar will be destroyed.

V 15 “I will also smite the winter house together with the summer house; the houses of ivory will also perish and the great houses will come to an end,” declares the Lord.”

Looks like the rich of Israel owned houses in Florida to go to for winter, doesn’t it? Remember we said that during the reign of Jeroboam II and Uzziah, the land was extremely prosperous. So much so that the people turned to Baal worship almost entirely.

Chapter 3

Why mention “brought up from the land of Egypt? ___________________________________________.
What is important about “word” in verse 1? _________________________________________________.
Why punish if chosen? _____________________________________________________________.
Explain: do two men walk together without an agreement. ____________________________________.
Lion roars only when he has ____________________. Why might this be? ________________________
Birds lured without bait. Why? __________________________________________________________.
Explain: If calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it. ___________________________________.
In the Old Testament God spoke through his __________________________. In the New Testament he speaks through his _________________________________________.
Explain, the lion has roared. ___________________________________________________________.
God speaks of future events as though they are _______________________ and sees from
________________ to _______________________.
According to verse 19, what was their sin? ___________________________________________.
What is the promise of verse 12? ____________________________________________________.
Who is God speaking to in verse 13? ______________________________________.
“Winter and summer houses” indicate what? ________________________________________.



PS: A complete study on your freedom through rest can be had from B. C. Ministries, Inc. Email us for your free copy.

PSS: Our first novel, The Red-Haired Master Shepherd, has been published. The novel is fiction about a little known Biblical character who meets Jesus. Check it out 
here. Or you can email us for your copy.

Who You Are Isn't Based on Performance with God. Who You Are Should Have A Direct Bearing on How You Perform.

Monday, March 9, 2020

The Second Chapter of Amos: Minor Prophets Reviewed

In this post we will look at the second chapter of Amos. He was a Minor Prophet who came from Judah to prophesy in Israel. At this time the country is split with ten tribes to the north called Israel, and two tribes in the south called Judah.

Chapter 2

Judgment on Judah and Israel

V 1 “ Thus says the Lord, “For three transgressions of Moab and for four I will not revoke its punishment,
Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime
Amos continues his “for three transgressions” for Moab. Moabites were peoples who spring from the conduct of incest by Lots oldest daughter.
There was a Hebrew tradition that the bones which were burned here belonged to a Moabite king, Mesha. They burned the bones in contempt for the individual(s), and it was believed that the burning deprived them of peace in the afterlife.
Remember, good king Josiah burned the bones of the false priests on the altar at Bethel (2 Kings 23:15-16). If he knew the Law, he was only showing contempt not make it bad for their afterlife.
V 2 “So I will send fire upon Moab And it will consume the citadels of Kerioth; And Moab will die amid tumult, With war cries and the sound of a trumpet.”
Punishment again is by fire. Kerioth most likely was a chief Moabite city. It is mentioned in Jeremiah 41:48.
V 3 “I will also cut off the judge from her midst and slay all her princes with him,” says the Lord.”
The elite leaders won’t escape in the day of battle.
V 4 “Thus says the Lord, “For three transgressions of Judah and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept His statutes; Their lies also have led them astray, Those after which their fathers walked.”
In the first chapter and up till now, God’s message through Amos was to Gentile nations around them. Suddenly, the prophetic message is turned on Judah. Remember, too, that the prophesy of Amos draws closer and closer to Israel where he makes his prophesies.
Again, the sure punishment is coming because he uses “for three transgressions. . .and for four.” Also, there’s no turning back from this prophesy. They can’t repent and cry out to God for mercy. The prophesy will take place. It may be delayed, but it will happen.
The reason for their fate: they didn’t keep the law; they were led astray by lies. Judah, like those before her, walked after false gods. Therefore, they followed after lies.
V 5 “So I will send fire upon Judah And it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem.”
                You know that this happened. Jerusalem and the temple was burned in 586 B.C. (2 Kings 25:8-10). Jerusalem means peace. Peace, the absence of war and the glorious welfare of its people, Jerusalem didn’t retain its peace. Nor does it know peace today. There is always the threat of war was against them.
The temple was rebuilt in 16 B.C., refurbished by Herod the Great from 23 B.C. until his death in 4 B.C. Then the refurbishing of the temple was completed by Herod Phillip in 66 A.D. Then the Romans burned the city and the temple in 70 A.D.
Yes, Amos’ prophesies did indeed come true.
V 6 “Thus says the Lord, “For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they sell the righteous for money and the needy for a pair of sandals
The same holds true for the ten northern tribes called Israel whose capital is Samaria. Her fate is met in 722 B.C. One reason for their punishment was because they sold their brothers as slaves. This was not to be done (Leviticus 25:46 rule with severity).
The main thrust of Amos’ message to Israel concerned itself with how Israel treated the poor. “Pair of sandals” would indicate the value placed on the poor and helpless of Israel during this time. If as we suspect that Amos prophesies during the reigns of Uzziah in Judah and Jeroboam II of Israel, the Promised Land had never been more prosperous since David and Solomon. During times of prosperity, men tend to take everything for granted. They don’t need God or anyone. They become self-reliant, satisfied and believe that as long as they satisfy their personal agenda, no one else matters.

V 7 “These who pant after the very dust of the earth on the head of the helpless Also turn aside the way of the humble; And a man and his father resort to the same girl In order to profane My holy name.”
The leaders profaned the legal system that was held at the gates. They longed for the large estates, and they amassed these at the expense of the poor and by selling their brothers and sisters as slaves. 
A man and his son had the same woman. This was an abomination to the Lord. It profaned his name. 

V 8 “On garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.” 
If one took another’s garment as a pledge, he was to return it to him before nightfall (Deuteronomy 24:12-13). However, the rich stretched out beside every altar on garments they took as pledge. They also drank the wine of those whom they had fined. 
The idea here being they entered the house of God by the altar with items that broke the Law. They had no regard for the Lord’s Law. 

Vv 9 -- 16 
V 9 “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, though his height was like the height of cedars
And he was strong as the oaks; I even destroyed his fruit above and his root below
Although I destroyed the nations before them, they aren’t giving me credit. They are relying only on themselves. They are acquiring riches at the expense of my poor people whom I fought for. 
I destroyed his land, “fruit above,” and his posterity, “root below.” 
V 10 “It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, And I led you in the wilderness forty years
That you might take possession of the land of the Amorite
. V 11 Then I raised up some of your sons to be prophets and some of your young men to be Nazirites. Is this not so, O sons of Israel?” declares the Lord.”
You seem as though you have amassed your wealth by yourself. Did you forget that it was I who brought you out of Egypt. You would still be slaves there were it not for Me!
V 12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine,
And you commanded the prophets saying, ‘You shall not prophesy
Rather than giving God the praise and thanks that he deserves, they even made those Nazirites, who were supposed to abstain from drinking intoxicants, drink wine. They, the leaders, also demanded that the prophets not to prophesy.
These thankless peoples will be punished by Yahweh. They will be defeated in battle so badly that their mighty warriors will not escape.
V 13 “Behold, I am weighted down beneath you as a wagon is weighted down when filled with sheaves.”
You have grown too heavy for me to carry. Your sins and iniquities have grown too heavy for me to continue to count you as my chosen people. God through Hosea uses another simile, “as a wagon weighted down when filled with sheaves” to describe how heavy Israel’s sins and iniquities have become. They could hear the wheels of the wagon screeching as the wagon and its load rolled toward the threshing floor.
V 14 “Flight will perish from the swift, and the stalwart will not strengthen his power, nor the mighty man save his life.”
The residents will not be able to flee the onslaught. Notice that the really brave and powerfully skilled warriors won’t be able to save his own life.
V 15 “He who grasps the bow will not stand his ground, the swift of foot will not escape, nor will he who rides the horse save his life. V 16 Even the bravest among the warriors will flee naked in that day,” declares the Lord.”
If the skilled warriors, “He who grasps the bow,” will run away, and even the ones who can run really fast can’t escape, then what chance does the common man have against the coming enemy.
Some of the skilled and mighty warriors will be captured and taken away as captives, “flee naked.” It doesn’t look good at all for Israel, does it?
V 16 “Even the [o]bravest among the warriors will flee naked in that day,” declares the Lord.”
The champion warrior will run naked from the battle field or be stripped naked.
Does naked mean undressed or inability to do battle, weakness exposed? Did he get lazy and fail to train properly? The word “naked” is used four times in Revelation:
3:17 “Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,”
3:18 “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.”
16:15 “(“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”)
17:16 “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.
The above ideas of nakedness would indicate their sin is exposed before the Lord. They haven’t prepared themselves properly, They haven’t taken the time to learn Jesus; therefore, their sin of rebellion and disbelief will be exposed when the true light of Jesus overcomes the darkness in which they have chosen to live.
Maybe the same applies to the armies of Israel from the above verses in Amos.

I like to include questions with my studies. Notice the questions aren't specific; rather, they give you an opportunity to reflect and answer them as you think.

Chapter 2 Questions

  1. Moab came from? _______________________________________________________________.
  2. Why were the bones of their enemy burned? _________________________________________.
  3. “For three transgressions of Judah and for four” would indicate destruction for Judah. How does this saying give surety of their destruction? Because on the witness of two capital punishment would take place. Here you have even more than two witnesses—you have four!
  4. How will Judah be destroyed? _____________________________________________________.
  5. “Pant after the dust would indicate? ________________________________________________.
                Their desire to own land.
  6. “Garments taken as pledge and before the altar indicates what kind of sin? ____________________
                Direct disobedience of God’s law to return the pledge before sundown. They feel no remorse even sleeping before the altar on the pledge.
  7. “Fruit above” v 9 indicates that God destroyed the? _______________________________.
  8. “Posterity” would indicate that God destroyed the? _______________________________.
                Offspring of the enemy
  9. What is implied by “You made the Nazirite drink wine?” ____________________________
                A Nazirite was to abstain from wine and strong drink all their life. They were to be teetotalers.
10. Describe, “weighed down beneath you as a wagon loaded with sheaves.” __________________
                Their sins and iniquities have become too much for the Lord to carry. They had nearly broken down the wagon that had given them all their prosperity and protection.



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