Amos, chapter four. The prophet is beginning to get a little satirical here, as he addresses the women of the northern kingdom. He says…
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan (4:1),
Now Bashan is the area in the northern part of the Galilee region. The upper Galilee it’s often called, and on up into the Golan Heights. It was excellent pasture land. So the cattle, or the cows were known for their sleekness, and for their fatness. So, he is addressing the, the women who have joined in the apostasy against the Lord. “Ye kine, or cows of Bashan.”
that are in the mountains of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink (4:1).
You know, women have been created by God different from men. Now there are people that are trying to tell you there isn’t any difference, but don’t believe them. Just look around and you can see. Men are made of a coarser nature than women. Women have a much finer temperament than men. Thus the spectrum of a woman’s emotions are much greater than a man’s. Being coarse, we move in a narrow bend. You know, we, “Oh yeah. Oh I suppose. Maybe it doesn’t matter, does it?”, and we’re sort of in a narrow spectrum. My wife says, “Are you hungry?”, I said, “Well, I guess I can eat”. Ha, ha! But with her, “I’m starved to death!” Ha, ha! “Is it cold in here to you?”, “Oh a little.” “Well, I’m freezing to death!” Capable of higher highs, and on the other end of the spectrum, they’re capable of lower lows.
So, when you get corrupted womanhood, the depth of depravity to which they can go and lead others, is great. It is always a sad indictment against a nation, when women who are capable of a greater kind of relationship with the Lord in many ways, because of that finer temperament, they can be lifted to higher spiritual highs. They can be more spiritually perceptive. My wife has keen spiritual perception. She’ll say, “Honey, watch out for them!”, I’ll say, “Well, they’re fine people.” “Watch out for them.” “Well, what’s wrong?” “I don’t know, but I just feel something. Watch out.” “Ah honey come on!”, but you know she’s right. It, it’s amazing the spiritual perceptivity that a woman has.
But when they become degraded, they’re capable of lower lows. Because of that fine balance, and fine temperament that they have. So now in the northern kingdom of Israel, there is a degrading of the women, and the prophet addresses them. There has come among them just the oppression of the poor, as he said, crushing the needy, they have become heartless. Where the woman usually has a greater emotion capacity, her emotion of tenderness, and, and empathy and concern. When it goes, it can come to the place of, “Let them eat cake!”, kind of a mentality. That’s pretty much what it was here in the northern kingdom, as the women were saying, “Ah come on! Let’s drink, let’s party!”, in debauchery. So in contrast to this scene of debauchery…
The Lord God hath sworn by his holiness (4:2),
The Lord has said, “Be ye holy, for I am holy”. God commands that His people be a holy people. That they be separate from the world, and the things of the world. “Love not the world”, He said, “nor the things that are in the world. For he that hath the love of the world, hath not the love of the Father. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life is not of God, but of this world.” So God, a holy God, faces the corruption, moral, spiritual corruption. “The Lord has sworn by His holiness.”
lo the day shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks (4:2).
The Assyrians who conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, were very cruel people. War is always capable of bringing out the lowest basest depravity of man’s nature. The Assyrians were sort of tops in this area. They would often mutilate their captives, cutting off their tongues, cutting off their ears, cutting off their noses, gouging out an eye. They wanted to strike terror in the hearts of their enemies. There are many pictures from the Assyrian period, showing people being led with a fish hook through their nostrils, and being led by a leash. With a fish hook through your nostril, you’re not very apt to try to make a break for it. So this literally was fulfilled.
As the northern kingdom was conquered by the fierce Assyrians, these party ladies, used to the delicate kind of existence, were taken with hooks and with fish hooks, they were led as captives to Assyria.
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 (4:3).
Now, speaking in real satire, he says…
Come to Bethel, and transgress (4:4);
Bethel, their place of worship. But that is the place where they were transgressing. “Come to Gilgal.” Bethel was of course, the place where Jacob first met God. He called it Bethel, the house of God. It became one of the centers of the religious worship of the northern kingdom. Gilgal was about three, four miles from Jordan, and that is where the rite of circumcision took place to those that were coming in the land, as they sort of separated themselves from the fleshly life that they once had in Egypt. Coming into a new relationship with God, into the promised land, the place where the reproach of Egypt was rolled away.
and there [he said] multiply your transgressions (4:4);
It was always considered a holy place. A place of consecration to God, but it had become a place of transgression against the Lord.
bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years. And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, [Leaven was never to be used in the offerings of, that were put upon the altar, for leaven was a type of sin.] proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this is like you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God (4:4-5).
They had come really to the bottom of the barrel. They were as a corrupt as they could be. Now during this period of their downward trend, God had not stopped reaching out to them. We see in history how patient God is, how longsuffering God is. The bible tells us that, “He is slow to anger, He is longsuffering, He is merciful, He is gracious”, as these characteristics of God have been proved by history. For we see how long God dealt with them, before they went over the line, and His judgement came.
So God was dealing with them, first in just gentle ways, trying to stir their consciousness to realize something’s wrong. Trying to make them realize, “We need to turn back to God. We’re in trouble!” So he said….
I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places (4:6):
There became certain food shortages. God was seeking to speak to them, to draw them back to Him, to make them depend upon Him. To bring them back to their knees. But the Lord said, and this is a oft repeated refrain…
yet have you not returned unto me, saith the Lord (4:6).
In the book of Leviticus, God warned them if they would turn away from Him, “He would do this, and if you would not turn back, then I’ll do this, and if you not turn back, then I’ll do this…”, and He went on down the line more severe each time, the judgements that would come, as God would seek to stir their spiritual consciousness, and cause them to return to a relationship with Him.
So I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest (4:7):
As we mentioned this morning, they have dry farming over there, in much of the land. They put out the seed, and then they depend upon the rain, for their crops, for their irrigation. They have no way of irrigating in the areas especially around Bethlehem. Dry crops. So God withheld the rain, till the crops became withered, blighted. It was spasmodic. Some cities would have floods, while others were experiencing drought.
yet they did not turn unto me, saith the Lord. And I have smitten you with a blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and olive trees increased, then the locusts came along and devoured them: and yet you have not returned unto me, saith the Lord. So I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: [Various weird viruses, various plagues of sickness.] and your young men have I slain with the sword, I have taken away your horses; I have made the smell of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: and yet have you not returned unto me, saith the Lord. So I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: and yet you have not returned unto me, saith the Lord (4:8-11).
All of these were activities of God that were designed by God, to cause them to turn to the Lord. That was, that was the bottom line. God was seeking to draw them back into a relationship with Himself. Again, we note the patience of God, the tenderness of God. Not really destroying them, but giving them signs. More severe to be true, but yet the whole intention was that they would come to that realization, “We better turn back to God. We need to seek the Lord. We need God’s help.”
Oh I’m always amazed with what tenderness God deals with us! As David said, “He has not rewarded us according to our iniquities. But as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high is His mercy over those that fear Him”. God has dealt so tenderly and so mercifully, with our failures. But He brings along into our lives, certain things designed that they should bring to us, the consciousness of our need for God. Things that would bring us to our knees.
There’s a fascinating book written by a fellow, his name is Maxwell, and the book is entitled, “Crowded to Christ”, and the basic thesis is how God often times allows things to happen in our lives, events, circumstances, often tragedies for the intent of forcing us to come to Jesus Christ. Crowding us to Christ, where I just am sort of forced to turn to Him, in this hour of dire circumstance. It’s all because God loves us, and He knows if He lets us go our own way, we’re going to bring pain, and suffering, and hurt into our lives.
I think that one of the most difficult parts of being a parent, is that of watching your children, when they get of age, when they can tell you, “No I won’t do it”. You know, when we had our little ones, there was a lady that used to say, “Now they are hand care, but one day they will be heart care”. And, that happened. It came the day when they were heart care. When you see them making mistakes, you try to warn them, you try to advise them, but they think now, that they are smarter than you, and they know better than you, and they’re gonna do their own thing.
To watch them is painful, because you know, with your experience, that what they are going, what they are insisting on doing is going to bring ultimate hurt, heartache, and pain. You can’t stop them. You’ve got to let them go. That’s so hard to let them go, and do things that you know are going to bring suffering and pain into their lives! If it be that with us, as parents, how much more it must be with God, as He sees us saying, “Leave me alone, I’ll do my own thing. I know what I’m doing. I don’t care what you say, I’m gonna do it anyhow”.
And God sees us doing those things that He knows will bring pain, suffering. But we insist on it. And, you still love your children, you love them tremendously, and you just have to sit back and wait, until the gauntlet falls. Then when they come back weeping, broken hearted, you’ve got to have open arms, and take them in, and just love them, and seek to help them, and seek to restore them. You don’t get on their case, say, “I told you, you nut! You should’ve listened to me! What’s the matter with you?”, you don’t, they’re, they’re, they’re ripped. You gotta just heal at that point. So as God works with us, the purpose is to bring us unto Himself, that He might heal. He knows, if you take this path, it’s going to lead to disaster. “But I insist!” So He just waits until the disaster comes, and then He’s there for me to call upon. He’s so good, He’s so merciful that way.
Here, over and over again God had brought warnings, He had done these things to wake them up to the peril they were facing. But after all of these things, they still did not turn to God, and now they’re gonna meet God on a different level.
Therefore thus will I do unto thee, and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel (4:12).
They’re gonna meet God in a way that you don’t want to meet God. You see, if after all God has done to bring you to Himself, you still refuse to come, you still reject His love, His innovations to draw you to Himself, ultimately you will meet God on a different level. Not a God of love, but a God of justice. Righteousness, holiness, whose holiness demands a punishment for sin. You surely do not want to meet God without preparation. The preparation that is necessary for us to meet God is a faith and a trust in Jesus Christ, whereby our sins have been forgiven, cleansed.
For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and created the wind, and declared unto man what is his thought, and maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, Jehovah, The God of hosts, is his name (4:13).
This is the God that one day you will face, you will have to face. “For it is appointed unto man, once to die, and after that the judgement.”
Now God having pronounced this coming judgement, now weeps over it. As we get into chapter five…
Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation (5:1),
A lamentation is a weeping, a crying. Even as Jesus, when He looked at Jerusalem, began to weep over Jerusalem, because of their lost opportunities. “If you’d only known the things that belong to your peace, and this thy day, but they are hid from your eyes. Now the days of sorrow, and grief, and misery are gonna come upon you. If you’d only known.” So God is lamenting here over the judgement that is gonna come upon His people.
O virgin of Israel, the virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up (5:2).
Now there are some who take this passage to declare that modern day Israel has no right of existence, that the virgin is gonna fall, and not rise. Thus the nation of Israel today, cannot claim rights to the land, by the promises to Abraham. That the promises to Israel are being fulfilled in and by the church.
But that is not at all what is meant or implied here in the text. This is dealing with the time being. They are going to fall to the Assyrians. They are not going to immediately recover. It will be years and years, before they will be able to come back into the land, and claim it as their own. For there are other promises replete, through the Old Testament, of God’s restoration of the nation of Israel, in the last days.
Don’t seek security in these things, but seek the Lord and you shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel (5:6).
This fire of God comes and consumes, and no one will be able to quench it. It is interesting that fire is often used as a symbol of God. Interesting symbol. Fire has interesting characteristics. One thing about fire is that it is everywhere in nature. There is a fancy word called, “aeromocasis”, which is the slow burning fire of nature, by which everything is in the state of decomposition. Put a piece of steel out on the grass, and leave it for a few months. What happens? You’ll see little brown spots, and little pits developing. What’s happening? Well, we say oxidation, yes. “Aeromocasis”, the slow burning fire of nature, starting to eat it up.
What can you say about God? He’s everywhere, like fire, the fire of nature. Fire is interesting in that it consumes, as well as transmits into permanency. If you want to harden steel, you put it into the fire, to temper it, to harden it, to make it more permanent. Yet the same fire that will harden steel, will destroy wood, hay, paper, other substances. When God consumed the Assyrians as they were attacking Judah, and the angel of the Lord passed through the camp, and in one night a hundred and eighty five thousand of their front line troops were slain.
We read that, “A fear gripped the hearts of the sinners in Zion. For they said, ‘Who among us can dwell in the midst of this devouring fire?’”. They realized that they are in the presence of God. You are in the presence of God, you can’t escape it. But, what’s it doing to you? It all depends on what you are. The fire of God is transmitting you into permanency, or it is destroying. All depends on what you are. So here again, God uses the symbol of fire, “Which will break out in the house of Joseph, and none will be able to quench it”.
Ye who turn judgement to wormwood, and you leave off righteousness in the earth. [A perversion of their judgement, corruption of judgement.] Seek him that makes the seven stars [Or the Pleiades] and Orion, [Two constellations of our winter sky.] and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: and calleth for the waters of the sea, and he poureth them out upon the face of the earth: Jehovah is his name: [“Seek Him.”] That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress. They hate him that rebuketh in the gate,[The prophet of God or the judges, there’s a, there’s a resentment towards them.] they abhor him that speaks uprightly (5:7-10).
Oh my, if you dare to speak out against sin and against evil, how you are made the laughing stock by the comics of TV. They abhor that one who will speak uprightly, that one that will speak out against evil. “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and abhor him that speaks uprightly”.
Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and you take from him burdens of wheat: you have built houses with hewn stones (5:11),
It was really a complete oppression of the poor. It was a terrible thing as the rich were taking advantage, and squeezing out from the poor, even that which they had. “To build their own houses with hewn stones.”
you will not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you will not drink the wine from them (5:11).
They were using the money that they got from the poor to live luxurious, luxuriously, but God says, “You’re not gonna be able to enjoy it”.
For I know your manifold transgressions, and your mighty sins: you afflict the just, you take bribes, you turn aside the poor in the gate. Therefore the prudent shall keep silent in that time; for it is an evil time. Seek good, [In spite of all of this, God is saying, “Seek the right thing, seek the Lord, seek good”,] and not evil, that you may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as you have spoken (5:12-14).
God will still forgive, God will still draw them, and call them His people. Oh how patient God is!
Hate the evil, [God said] love the good, establish judgement: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph (5:15).
“God may still deliver you, and save you. It isn’t too late yet!”
Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing is going to be in all of your streets; and they shall say in all of the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, [the farmers] and such as are skillful of lamentation to wailing (5:16).
There is still today, professional wailers. If someone dies, and you want really to show the neighborhood how much you loved them, you can hire professional wailers to come in. They’ll sit there and wail. I mean they really know how to wail! You can hear them all over the neighborhood! People say, “Oh my isn’t that, you know they loved them so much. Listen to the wailing that’s coming out of the house”.
Now, my wife could’ve been a professional screamer. She has a scream that won’t quit. It used to be when they had the fun zone in Long Beach, my wife was one of these daring kind. She loved to go to the fun zone, and I’d take her there, and her favorite ride was the old roller coaster that was there. Rickety old thing. I’d always take her on that first, because after that, everything else was tame. I mean, we could go, and I didn’t have to spend much if I took her there first.
So, we’d go on the roller coaster, and as that thing would, you know, go on up, as it comes, came to the top, and then started out, she’d start screaming. She’d scream all the way around, as that thing was bouncing and turning and all, she would scream all the way around. So loud that you could hear her all over the park! Ha, ha! And, when the thing would come in, the fellow who operated it said, “You guys go again”. Ha, ha! Always gave us free rides! We could ride that thing over and over, because her screaming would draw so much attention. All over the park! You know, people would be drawn, because of the screaming. Ha, ha! So they gave us free rides over and over, on that roller coaster there!
But they had professional wailers, people that could really wail. So they would hire them, and bring them in. So this is a reference to the professional wailers that they had in those days. “Such as are skillful at lamentation, to wailing.” Skillful wailers.
And in all the vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the Lord (5:17).
Now you remember the Lord passed through the land of Egypt, and slew all of the first born of the land, so this is the same idea. God’s gonna pass through in judgement, and there’s gonna be wailing throughout the land, as God passes through now, in judgement against the people.
Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light (5:18).
For those that are evil. Now we desire, you know, we sing, “Jesus may come today. Glad day! Glad day! And we will freely tell why we should love Him so well, if Jesus should come today. Glad day! Glad day! Is this the crowning day? I’ll live for my Lord, uh, I’ll live my Lord shall be, Jesus my Lord, I soon shall see. Glad day! Glad day! Is this the crowning day?” Yes. For the child of God it’s going to be a glad day.
But I’ll tell you what, if you’re not a child of God, it’s gonna be the saddest day of your life. To realize that the Lord has come, and taken away His church, and you’re gonna be here to face the great tribulation. It’s gonna be a day of sorrow and wailing, weeping, it’s gonna be a horrible day, for those that are left!
So, here they’re saying, “Oh the day of the Lord, oh my the day the Lord comes!”. The Lord says, “Hey wait a minute! The day of the Lord isn’t going to be joyous for some of you! It’s not gonna be a day of light for some of you. It’ll be a day of gloominess, of darkness! You desire the day of the Lord, but for you it’s gonna be a severe time!” You see, they were looking for the day of the Lord, when God would conquer all of their enemies. When God would reign. But they had become an enemy of God.
As if a man did flee from the lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him (5:19).
In other words, you can’t escape it! Of course, here now, you’ve got a shepherd, I mean he’s, he’s you know, out there and he’s used to protecting his sheep from lions, and from bears, and he’s used to the encounters with lions and bears. So you have a lion chasing you, and you escape the lion, and just as you escape the lion, here comes a bear after you! So you keep running until you get home, and you say, “Ooh!”. You close the door, “I’m safe!”, and you’re just leaning up against the wall, say, “Alright! I’m safe!”, you know. Then a snake bites you, comes out of the crevice of the wall, and zaps you. You know, can’t escape it.
Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it. [Now God declares,] I hate, and I despise your feast days (5:20-21),
The days when supposedly they were coming to worship God. But God said, “I hate them, I despise them!”
and I will not smell your solemn assemblies (5:21).
Now the idea was, in the offering of the sacrifices, they put the fat on the altar, and the smoke would arise. Oh man, that smells good, barbecue, you know, it just, putting the meat on. I don’t know at Love’s, they have the fans that blow outside, and uh, you, you, you, I’ve always tried to find out just what they’re cooking. Because the, the smell of it is so good! It’s just a great aroma. The idea was in these sacrifices to God, that the smoke of the sacrifice would rise to God as a sweet smelling savor, it was called, unto the Lord. The same with their, their meal offerings, as they would put the bread on. What’s better than the, the smell of home baked bread? So the idea was, it’s offering to God this pleasant aroma. God said, “I won’t smell it”.
Though you offer me the burnt offerings [These sweet smelling offerings] and the meal offerings, [That is, the bread offerings.] I will not accept them: and neither will I regard your peace offerings (5:22).
The peace offerings was saying, “Lord I want to commune with you. I want to spend time…”. God says, “Not interested”.
Take thou away from me [He said] the noise of your songs; [“I don’t want to even hear your singing!”] for I will not hear the melody of the viols. But let judgement run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream (5:23-24).
God said, “I’m not interested in your songs, I’m not interested in your offerings, I’m interested in your heart, that you live righteously! That you do what’s right! If you just go out and oppress, and sin, and into evil, then I’m not even interested in your, your coming and singing praises and worship songs to me. I won’t hear them. I want judgement, righteousness.”
Have you offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? But you have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves (5:25-26).
In other words, “You came into the wilderness, you erected the tabernacle, you worshiped me, but the whole while, you still had some of the little gods that you brought out of Egypt. You were still carrying these little gods”. So there wasn’t a real, true break with the old life.
Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, [They did, clear on into Syria.] saith the Lord, [Of Syria] whose name is Jehovah [or] God of hosts (5:27).
Woe unto them that are at ease in Zion, [Kicking back, taking it easy. “Oh well, things will work out”.] and they trust in the mountains of Samaria for their defense, [They felt that, “Hey we have a great position of defense here, the mountains of Samaria”.] which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came! Pass unto Calneh, and see; and from there go to Hamath the great: and then go down to Gath of the Philistines: are they any better than these kingdoms? are their borders greater than your borders (6:1-2)?
Now, Calneh was the capital in the plains of Shinar. Hamath was the capital of Syria, at that time, and Gath the capital of the Philistines. God said, “Go to these pagan nations, these pagan people, and observe them. Because really, you are no better than they. You’re just as evil, you’re just as vile, you’re just as corrupt as they are”.
Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; [“You’re living in luxury.”] You lie upon beds of ivory, you stretch yourself out on your couches, and you are feasting on the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; [“You party”,] You chant to the sound of the viol, and you invent instruments of music, like David did; You drink wine in the bowls, and then you anoint yourselves with the chief perfumes and oils: but you are not really grieved for the affliction of Joseph (6:3-6).
“You’re so interested in partying, you’re so interested in the pursuit of pleasure, that you’re not aware that the nation is going down the tubes. That judgement is facing the nation!” What a tragedy.
Therefore now shall they go down captive with the first that go down captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed. [“You’ve been partying, but I’m going to take away your party!”] The Lord God hath sworn by himself (6:7-8),
Now the Bible says, when you want to take an oath, you always take an oath by something greater than you. “I swear on my scouts honor. I swear by my mother’s honor.” So they would take an oath, “I swear by heaven. I swear by the altar”. It’s to affirm that what you’re saying is true. “I swear by the bible.” So the purpose of an oath was to affirm that what you were saying is true. It’s, it’s to just sort of give a double confirmation. Swear by something higher than yourself. Alright, God wants to take an oath to you. He wants to confirm that oath, He’s made a promise, He wants to confirm the promise with an oath. What can He swear by? There’s nothing higher than God, so when God takes an oath, He’s gotta take it by Himself. “I swear by Myself”. Ha, ha! You can’t get any higher than that! So He wants though to confirm the promise that He is making, so He confirms it with an oath. So here God is making a promise.
Now, some of the promises of God are glorious. We used to sing a chorus years ago, “Every promise in the book is mine. Every chapter, every verse, every line. And I’m living in His love divine, because every promise in the book is mine”. But you know, there are a lot of wonderful promises in the Bible, and I rejoice in them, but there are some other promises that I really don’t care too much about. “In this world, ye shall have tribulation!” Oh Lord, why did you promise that? So here God is swearing by Himself.
saith the Lord God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, I hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein (6:8).
God is promising, “I’m gonna deliver up the city to the enemy.” He declares it, swears by Himself, “I’m gonna do it”. Of course you know, He did it.
It shall come to pass that there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die. And a man’s uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and they shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there any other with you? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold your tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of Jehovah (6:9-10).
They realize that the judgement of God is upon them. There are so many dead bodies, that they don’t even bury them. They now are cremating them to get rid of them. There’s gonna be such a slaughter that there will not be the burial which is traditional for them, the burial of the dead, but the cremation of the dead. It, it, it’s a horrible scene.
For, behold, the Lord commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts. Shall horses run upon the rocks? will one plow with the oxen? on the rocks? [or on the rock] for you have turned judgement into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into [poison] hemlock (6:11-12):
So, so God is saying, “Look you can’t run on a rock with a horse! He’s gonna slip, he’s gonna fall under you. You don’t plow on a rock with your oxen! You, you, you’ve taken an impossible position with God! You don’t leave God any out!”
Ye which rejoice in a thing of nothing, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength? But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the Lord the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness (6:13-14).
“I’m gonna bring this nation against you, and you’re gonna get wiped out.” And, so He did. The Assyrians came, and the nation of Israel was wiped out.
Next lesson, we’ll finish the book of Amos. Moving along, soon be at the end of the Old Testament, before you know it! Shall we stand?
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7356