1 “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria,
the notable men of the first of the nations,
to whom the house of Israel comes!
2 Pass over to Calneh, and see,
and from there go to Hamath the great;
then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than these kingdoms?
Or is their territory greater than your territory,
3 O you who put far away the day of disaster
and bring near the seat of violence?
4 “Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory
and stretch themselves out on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock
and calves from the midst of the stall,
5 who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
6 who drink wine in bowls
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
7 Therefore they shall now be the first of those who go into exile,
and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall pass away.”
8 The Lord GOD has sworn by himself, declares the LORD, the God of hosts:
“I abhor the pride of Jacob
and hate his strongholds,
and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”
9 And if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And when one’s relative, the one who anoints him for burial, shall take him up to bring the bones out of the house, and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, “Is there still anyone with you?” he shall say, “No”; and he shall say, “Silence! We must not mention the name of the LORD.”
11 For behold, the LORD commands,
and the great house shall be struck down into fragments,
and the little house into bits.
12 Do horses run on rocks?
Does one plow there with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood—
13 you who rejoice in Lo-debar,
who say, “Have we not by our own strength
captured Karnaim for ourselves?”
14 “For behold, I will raise up against you a nation,
O house of Israel,” declares the LORD, the God of hosts;
“and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath
to the Brook of the Arabah.”
This section is the completion of Amos’ third prophetic proclamation. Here Amos strongly warns them against thinking that they can continue as they are and avoid calamity.
I. Religion cannot prevent calamity. 5:18-27
A. The extent of their religious activities
1. Religious assemblies (5:21)
2. Sacrifices (5:22)
3. Songs of praise (5:23)
4. They even longed for the day of the Lord (5:18-20). They had some wrong ideas about the day of the Lord, so Amos quickly corrects their doctrine.
a. They thought that they were okay because they were Jews (cf. Mt 3:7-10; Rm 2:17ff).
b. They forgot what God demanded (Ps 24:3-4; 1 Sm 15:20-23). The terms of the old covenant were not to be involved in religious ritual but to obey the Lord.
B. Their problem
1. Unrighteousness (5:24)
2. God wasn’t really important to them (5:25-26). Underneath their outward devotion to the Lord, they were involved in the worship of the stars (cf. Dt 4:19; 17:2-3).
Apply: We must reject and avoid the remnants of paganism (Eph 4:17-24).
C. Their judgment (5:27)
II. Complacency cannot prevent calamity. 6:1-7
A. Their indifference portrayed. Notice that both Judah and Israel were addressed (6:1).
1. Exposure of their indifference
a. Luxuriant idleness (6:4a)
b. Luxuriant feasting (6:4b)
c. Entertainment (6:5)
Comment: We’re in danger when we have to be continually entertained. This is a trap that is too easy to fall into. We should enjoy the Lord and our walk with the Lord. Joy is very important (Ph 3:1; 4:4; etc.). But we have to maintain a constant evaluation of activities like our worship services. Is our goal to entertain or to worship and build up one another?
d. Drunkenness (6:6a)
e. Lack of concern (6:3, 6b)
2. It is at this point that we must ask ourselves a hard question. Are we grieved over the weaknesses and sins of the church?
B. Amos responds to their complacency.
1. By directness in his preaching – note the repetition of “you” in 6:1-7!
2. By continuing to warn them of approaching judgment.
a. Some surrounding nations had already fallen—close nations that Israel would be aware of. 6:2
b. Their supposed position would not protect them. 6:7
III. Human power cannot prevent calamity. 6:8-14
A. A root sin exposed—pride (6:8, 13b).
B. The folly of trusting in human might (6:13a) – “How easily man takes credit to himself and makes some small achievement the basis of a similar foolish trust!” [Beeley] C. The nature of the judgment
1. God would use another nation to punish them (6:14a). Note that God is plainly in control of the nations: “command” (6:11); “I will stir…” (6:14).
2. The judgment would affect all classes (6:11).
3. The judgment would bring complete destruction (6:8b, 9, 11).
4. The judgment would surely come to pass (6:8a; cf. Heb 6:13-17).
Pastor Dave Frampton
When push comes to shove there is usually nothing more satisfying than for a saint of God to have at his or her disposal a source of biblically sound instruction in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The faithful and spiritually profitable labors of Dave Frampton are here at CMC to be a blessing. Bible teacher and student alike will profit much from his labor in the God’s Word. Visit Newtown Square Baptist Church.