AMOS - CHAPTER 4 - "PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD" Print E-mail

AMOS – CHAPTER 4

PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

November 5, 2019, the year of our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

OH DEAR!  Amos is now sarcastically comparing the women of Samaria to a herd of fat cows living on the fat of the land:

 

Amos 4:1: - Listen to me, you fat cows
living in Samaria,
you women who oppress the poor
and crush the needy,
and who are always calling to your husbands,
“Bring us another drink
!” (N.LT)

 

I searched several translations to find a kinder, gentler word.  I am comforted that Jesus was holding my hand as I walked through the words of Amos.

 

Amos 4:1 - 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
wine, let us drink!”(N.K.J.V.)

 

Righteousness is on womanhood, when she falls, a nation falls.  Godly women are to be an example to younger women of how to dress, handle themselves with men, handle themselves in ministry, and be mothers and wives.

 

Basham was recognized throughout the region for the richness of its pastures and the excellence of its cattle.  The luxury and its associated evils were an offense to God.  But the offense lay not just in its stark contrast to the condition of the poor, but in the fact that the affluence was built on the suffering of the needy. 

 

To help grease this word, so we can swallow it a little better, it is worth noting for Amos to call the wives of the rich, cows of Basham, was not such a dreadful insult as it would be in modern society.  In the idiom of the ancient east, women would not necessarily be offended at being called cows.  The expression “heifer” was used as a compliment in the eastern love poetry of Song of Songs, and the personal name Eglah, wife of David (2. Sam. 3:5).

 

However, Amos’ reference is sarcastic in comparing the sensibility of these women to a herd of cattle crushing the grass or flowers beneath its feet.  In the same way they oppress the poor and crush the needy. 

 

They urged on their husbands to procure for them the luxuries that they required to support their lives of ease and indolence.  The expression, bring us some drinks, means essentially, so that we can have our parties. 

 

 

Amos 4:2: -3: The Sovereign LORD has sworn this by his holiness:
The time will come when you will be led away
with hooks in your noses.
Every last one of you will be dragged away
like a fish on a hook!

You will go out through broken walls,
Each one straight ahead of her,
And you will be cast into Harmon,”
Says the LORD.

 

Amos now pulls out His big weapons, The Sovereign Lord who has sworn this by his holiness.

 

In 50 scriptures it is stated that God swore or made oaths.

 

Heb 6:13 - For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

 

For the Sovereign Lord to swear by His Holiness, it would be time to listen up.  Amos says the time will surely come.   This is not just a threat!  This is a standard prophetic-fixed-form-of-words of what is defined as prophetic eschatology.  It indicates the time when God will break into human affairs to set things right whether to bring judgment or to bring salvation.  In Amos, the coming days are to be equated the Day of the Lord.

 

 

Women today who put rings in their noses are coming into agreement with this judgment and demeaning themselves.

 

Hooks in their noses and fishhooks in general are believed to mean some form of hook used to drag away corpses or to fasten the captives to one another in the line to be marched away.  The word Harmon is unknown.  It could mean Hermon which is part of the Bashan range and the cows of Bashan would end up where they belong.  Our interpreter prefers the less kinder interpretation: that as in the days of idleness, they had behaved as cattle, so in the day of judgment they would be treated in the same way, dragged out of the ruins of the city with rings through noses like cows to the slaughter house, one behind the other (each one straight ahead of her).

 

Amos 4:4 -5: Come to Bethel and transgress,
At Gilgal multiply transgression;
Bring your sacrifices every morning,
Your tithes every three days.  Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,
Proclaim
and announce the freewill offerings;

For this you love,
You children of Israel!”
Says the Lord GOD. (N. L.T.)

 

King James: after three years:

 

 

 

 

Amos 4:4 -5:  Go ahead and offer sacrifices to the idols at Bethel.
Keep on disobeying at Gilgal.
Offer sacrifices each morning,
and bring your tithes every three days.  Present your bread made with yeast
as an offering of thanksgiving.

Then give your extra voluntary offerings
so you can brag about it everywhere!
This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,”

says the Sovereign LORD (N.K.J.V.)

 

Amos continues with his biting sarcasm.  It is now directed to the people of Israel and in 2019 to the Church who boast about what they give.  The words of Amos follow the style of a priestly exhortation to join in the worship at the sanctuary EXCEPT Amos words would have sounded like irreverent blasphemy to his audience.  It is divine irony, the Lord speaking as if he meant for them to continue in wickedness, filling up the cup of their iniquity before the judgment fell.  They are being told that their piety and offerings were an offence against the God whom they had come to worship.

 

Every three days or after three years is difficult to interpret and I don’t know why the other translations have rendered it three days.  The pilgrim’s tithe was presented on the third day of his visit to the shrine. 

 

The picture which emerges is of a religious life of great activism, full of the pomp and ceremony of show, but having no place for the concepts of righteousness, holiness and justice which the Lord demands from His worshipers. 

 

The Sovereign Lord now lists five judgments that did not break Israel---judgments that only hardened their stubborn hearts to continue in their willful plunge into judgment.  The prophet looks at five natural disasters which had overtaken the nation and each ends with the refrain, yet you have not returned to me.  Famine, pestilence and sword are basic parts of covenant curses (Lev. 26; Dt. 28).  The catastrophe of verse 11, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, does not occur in the lists of curses that would come upon the nation through the breaking of the covenant, but the image occurs frequently throughout the OT indicating that such a judgment was considered a likely outcome of perversion, sexual sins and disloyalty to God.

 

Amos 4:6 11:- Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities.
And lack of bread in all your places;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”

Says the LORD.

 I also withheld rain from you,
When
there were still three months to the harvest.
I made it rain on one city,
I withheld rain from another city.
One part was rained upon,
And where it did not rain the part withered.

So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water,
But they were not satisfied;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”

Says the LORD.

I blasted you with blight and mildew.
When your gardens increased,

Your vineyards,
Your fig trees,
And your olive trees,
The locust devoured
them;
Yet you have not returned to Me
,”
Says the LORD.

I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt;
Your young men I killed with a sword,
Along with your captive horses;
I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”

Says the LORD.

I overthrew some of you,
As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
And you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning;

Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the L
ORD.

 

  1. Famine and Drought.
  2. Blight and mildew.
  3. Pestilence.
  4. Plague and sword.
  5. Overthrown – yet saved some as a firebrand plucked from the fire.

The catastrophe which compared to the disaster that overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah could be a reference to a major earthquake or perhaps, a serious fire that destroyed one of the cities. 

 

From the fact that all these judgments did not cause Israel to turn back to Him, God concluded that there was only one thing to do immediately---destroy them as a nation and scatter them among the Gentiles.   Amos points the moral, underlining cause of the judgments was their refusal to humble themselves before Yahweh and return to Him in repentance.  Israel’s misfortunes were not mere punishment but a chastisement designed to bring about their return.

In view of their unrepentance,  He commanded them to prepare to meet their God.  

 

Amos 4:12 - Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel;
because I will do this to you,
Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” (N.L.T.)

 

Amos 4:12 - Therefore, I will bring upon you all the disasters I have announced.
Prepare to meet your God in judgment, you people of Israel!”(N.K.J.V.)

 

Prepare to meet your God is a war cry from the Captain of the Angel Armies, the Lord God of hosts is his name. 

 

We are accountable for all the Word we know.  This Church has been blessed over and over with the Words of God from the Holy Bible.  Lord Jesus we come before your repenting from all the sins presented in these oracles.

 

Amos 4:13: - For behold,
He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind,
Who declares to man what his thought
is,
And makes the morning darkness,
Who treads the high places of the earth—
The L
ORD God of hosts is His name (N. L.T.)

 

 

Amos 4:13 - For the LORD is the one who shaped the mountains,
stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind.
He turns the light of dawn into darkness
and treads on the heights of the earth.
The L
ORD God of Heaven’s Armies is his name! (N.K.J.V.)

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from N.K.J.V. and N.L.T.

 
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