SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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The Book of Amos
Israel punished in past for iniquity
Beginning with this chapter, we have three chapters which deal specifically with Israel, the ten tribes of the northern kingdom. Chapter 4 tells us that God in the past punished Israel for iniquity. Then in chapter 5 we will see that in the future Israel will be punished for her iniquity. Finally, in chapter 6 we will see Amos admonishing his generation in the present to depart from iniquity. This section has a very practical application to us as well as to Israel in the days of Amos.
Amos 4:1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink. (KJV)
Amos uses bitter sarcasm that really cuts. “Kine” are COWS! Bashan is east of the Jordan River. It was settled by the three tribes that stayed on the wrong side of Jordan, and was part of the northern kingdom of Israel. It was very fertile and noted for its fine cattle.
Who are the “cows of Bashan”? The word cows is feminine, and some commentators say that Amos is speaking to rich women living in luxury; well fed, well dressed, well groomed. They oppressed the poor and crushed the needy. In general, a nation reveals its moral position and its economic standard by the way women dress. When women are decked out in all their finery and jewelry, it means a time of abundance in the nation. So . . . Amos could very well be referring to the women of Bashan.
But, maybe he also could be speaking to the rulers. Why, then, does Amos use the feminine gender? Possibly because they were homosexual. Homosexuality is a thing which God judges. Yes! I know, what I am saying is going to rub some people the wrong way! But, I teach the Bible, have for many years . . . and God has NOT changed His stand on homosexuals! So, I must teach the Truth of His Word states no matter who doesn’t like it. Homosexual and lesbian acts SHALL be judged! Believe it! It is an abomination to Him (Lev.18:22; 20:13). We need an Amos to speak out against the growing acceptance and even encouragement of homosexuality today. America SHALL be judged on this SIN!
Amos 4:2 The Lord God hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks. (KJV)
God uses the picture of having a hook in the jaw to drag them off into captivity. People can be “hooked” on alcohol, drugs, lust for money, sex, etc,. etc! A person can be “hooked” by ANY sin.
God says these people are “hooked” for judgment. They are going to be dragged out of the land. History tells us that their conquerors did lead off their captives by a hook through the nose (Isaiah 37:29).
Amos 4:3 And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the Lord. (KJV)
Just because they were rich or because they were a ruler in a palace, did not make them exempt. They would NOT be spared. History records that Assyria finally came and took them into captivity, the king was taken also. This was true also of the southern kingdom when it went into Babylonian captivity.
Amos 4:4-5 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:  And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God. (KJV)
Amos is still using bitter sarcasm as he invites them to come up to Beth-el . . . the place where they went to worship the golden calf. Gilgal was the first place to which Israel came after they crossed the Jordan River under Joshua’s leadership, and it became a sacred place to them. Later it became a center of idolatry, and here again it is associated with idolatry. Amos invites them to “multiply transgression” at Gilgal. He is telling the people they are idolaters.
Amos 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. (KJV)
The reason they had clean teeth was that they had nothing to eat. God had judged them with famine, but it still had not awakened them to their spiritual condition. So, what about today in America? And the world? Is God warning people?
Amos 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. (KJV)
Then God sent a drought. God is the one who controls the rainfall. God withheld the rain three months before it was time to harvest. And God caused it to rain on one city and not on another. God did this to show them that the rainfall was not by chance but by His sovereign will.
This so represents life in America this year! Devastating floods in the east! In Texas, the drought was horrible. Ranchers had no grazing land. The stock tanks dried up. They had to sell all or nearly all of their cattle . . . their livelihood! Sale barns were over-run with perfectly good, young cows, most went for slaughter. Also in Texas, 90 days of 100 degree plus weather in the summer of 2011. That is not normal! Is God speaking through all these disasters? Yet the stupid media keep calling it "Mother Nature." My friend, it boils down to . . . GOD IS Mother Nature! People just do NOT want to know the Truth! I truly do believe that God is speaking, but "few" are listening! (Mat.7:13-14).
Amos 4:8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. (KJV)
The drought was so serious that people from one city would go to another city where there was water, and they would carry a little water home in a jug or wineskin. This should have turned them to God, but it did NOT! What about all those poor people in Africa, walking hundreds of miles, from one place to another, just to survive. If God is not speaking, then you tell me . . . what is going on?
People in southern Somalia are starting to die from thirst in the worst drought in over 40 years in some parts of the country, says aid agency Oxfam. . . . http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4719296.stm
Amos 4:9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. (KJV)
The crops were ruined by the scorching east wind from the desert, and the mildew was from excessive drought, not moisture. The palmerworm refers to a locust plague which devoured what was left.
Amos 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. (KJV)
The stink was the stench of the dead bodies from the pestilence and from the warfare. Yet with all of this, they did not return to the Lord!
Amos 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. (KJV)
No matter how God warned the people . . . famine, drought, blight, locusts, plagues, or war . . . they still ignored Him . . . then and NOW!
Amos 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. (KJV)
Just as God had threatened, He was going to do (Amos 4:2-3), and He DID!
Amos 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is his name. (KJV)
I don't think people today take time to consider that God DID create this world and everything in it! And that He is in complete control of ALL nature! But, people just do NOT fear Him. Fear = reverence, respect, honor, obey, worship. And the vast majority do NOT think His judgment shall ever come! They are WRONG!!!
When life on Earth is over, we will be in God’s Presence. What will you say to the awesome Judge? How are you going to stand before the Almighty Creator? No matter where you go, you will NOT be able to get away from Him. He shall judge us ALL one day, that is a FACT! You better believe it and live accordingly.
Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4 . Ch.5 . Ch.6 . Ch.7 . Ch.8 . Ch.9