Read Amos 1
Judgments pronounced upon Judah, Israel, and surrounding nations; Jehovah's lamentation over Israel's captivity foretold.
They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. . . . Though ye offer Me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from Me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols (Amos 5:10,22-23).
The prophecy of Amos seems to have been delivered in Bethel about thirty years before the fall of Israel. Bethel had been one of the religious centers of the Northern Kingdom.
From outward appearance, it seemed that the nation of Israel was worshiping God; but, in reality, their hearts were far from Him. The Lord spoke through Amos to show them how deceived they were and appealed to them to: Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live (5:14). But, Amos' message was unwelcome.
Americans often appear to be a God-following people. This is often an illusion. We may be occasional churchgoers, but that does not mean we are believers. We may have Bibles in our house, but that doesn't mean we study the Word of God. We may speak one thing and our hearts be somewhere else. This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me (Matt. 15:8). There are so many that go through the motions of Christianity, but they have never experienced the heart-changing power of Jesus. In the end, He will not be fooled by their futile attempts at holy living. And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).
Both Amos and Isaiah foretold that vile men would lay a snare for him (the faithful messenger of God) that reproveth in the gate (Is. 29:21).
The gate was a well-known center of business where the elders sat and judged the people (compare Jer. 17:19; 19:2). The “faithful messengers” are always a target of much criticism as they make known the wickedness of sin.
It is only through the power of God's Word that we will see good and not evil. Loving the Lord means loving His Word. Those who receive Him discover His Word to be their wonderful source of strength.
He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day (John 12:48).
Thought for Today:
God's calling is more important than theological or academic diplomas.
As the fiery (Amos 1:4,7,10,12,14; 2:2,5; 5:6) judge (chap. 1 — 5). Jesus . . . was ordained of God to be the Judge (Acts 10:38-42; also II Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:18-23). His eyes were as a flame of fire (Rev. 1:14; also 2:18).
2:13 pressed, burdened; 3:5 gin, trap; 3:14 visit, with punishment; 4:1 kine of Bashan were the fat cows, raised in the best pasturelands; but here, it is used figuratively in referring to self-gratifying, sensual, influential women who encourage their husbands to do wrong; masters, husbands; 4:3 breaches, breaks in the city wall; cast them into the palace, cast them into the mire (dunghill); 4:9 blasting, blight; 5:21 smell, be pleased, take delight; 5:23 viols, harps.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Dan. E. Lungren (CA) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA) • Country: Turkey (64 million) in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe • Major languages: Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic • Official resistance to Christian witnessing • 79% Sunni Muslim; 20% Alawi Shi'ite Muslim; .2% Christian; .04% Jewish (25,000); .09% Armenian Orthodox; .02% Syrian Orthodox; .02% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for understanding of the Word of God as you read each day (Ps. 119:34).
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:5