AMOS - CHAPTERS 8 and 9 THE HARLOT CHURCH Print E-mail

AMOS – CHAPTER 8 – THE SUMMER FRUIT

CHAPTER 9 – RESTORATION

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

January 21, 2020

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

Amos like other prophets recognizes God’s judgment and mercy are linked without contradiction. 

 

In the vision of the summer fruit revealing God’s judgment, the prophet does not plea for mercy.  This time there is no promise of respite.  Judgment is now inevitable, for the message of the prophet has been manifestly rejected.

 

This agrees with the dream the LORD gave me last Friday. “I was reading Amos 7:17 to a large congregational church.  In the dream I called the people to a two-fold repentance:

 

  1. Harlotry through sexual immorality
  2. Harlotry of the church through prostitution of the gospel.
  3. Harlotry of our government through sedition.

 

In the dream, after the Holy Spirit travailed through me over the people, they were without repentance and continued in their activities talking, and playing on their cell-hones.”

 

Amos 8:1 -2: Thus the Lord GOD showed me: Behold a basket of summer fruit.

And He said, “Amos, what do you see?” So I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me:  The end has come upon My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore.

 

The basket of summer fruit is metaphorical of the period of the Autumn Festival when the harvest was presented at the Feast of Tabernacles.  The basket of ripe fruit is not a joyful harvest, but the harvest of their sins.  We reap what we sow. 

 

Amos 8:3 - And the songs of the temple
Shall be wailing in that day,”

Says the Lord G
OD
Many dead bodies everywhere,
They shall be thrown out in silence
.”

 

I considered asking the LORD to skip teaching this chapter, but then He reminded me of the dream he gave me about the harlot church, our harlot government, and the spirit of harlotry over the millenniums and the baby boomers.  The curse of the harlot is the fruit of harlotry in our government and churches.

 

The remainder of chapter 8 is a collection of oracles which have little connection with one another apart from the general theme of judgment.

 

Verse 4 opens with “Hear this.”  It is a directed against the wealthy merchant classes who by their dishonest and corrupt practices trample the needy and do away with the poor. 

 

Amos 8:4 -8:  Hear this, you who swallow up the needy,
And make the poor of the land fail
,

Saying:

“When will the New Moon be past,
that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
that we may trade wheat?
Making the ephah small and the shekel large,
falsifying the scales by deceit,

That we may buy the poor for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals—
even sell the bad wheat?”

The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
“Surely I will never forget any of their works.

Shall the land not tremble for this,
And everyone mourn who dwells in it?
All of it shall swell like the River,
Heave and subside
Like the River of Egypt
.

 

The implication here is that at this time a ban on work existed on both the New Moon day and the Sabbath.  This proved extremely tiresome to the greed of the fraudulent trades who were concerned only in making money.

 

We can also apply this to the trade agreements we have had with other nations where they have been taking advantage of the United States.  The grain dealers worked on the principle of short measures, overcharging and false weights.  The ephah was a measure of volume (approximately 40 litres -11 gallons) and the price (Heb. Shekel) a unit of weight of approximately 11 grams.

 

The LORD does not forget the treatment of the poor.  He is the champion of the weak and oppressed (Ps. 9:9).  We are certainly to provide work for the poor, but not exploit them just because they are needy.

 

Surely the nations of the earth who oppress the poor will meet the judgment of God.

 

Amos 8:9 -10: And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord GOD,
“That I will make the sun go down at noon,
and I will darken the earth in broad daylight;

I will turn your feasts into mourning,
and all your songs into lamentation;

I will bring sackcloth on every waist,
and baldness on every head;
I will make it like mourning for an only
son,
And its end like a bitter day
.

 

In that day is the day of the Lord, the day of his judgment and in this case the day when He removes His presence from the land.

 

When David sinned against the Lord, his cry was that He not remove His Presence from Him.  That would be the deepest grief we could experience in this life.

 

Psa.  51:9 - Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me
by Your generous Spirit.

 

The inevitability of judgment is underlined by an oath the LORD swore by the Pride of Jacob (vs.7)...  This is equivalent to saying by Himself, but the words are not accidental for Amos wished to remind the people of what the Lord ought to do to them.  The punishment would take the form of an earthquake (8), in which the land would be tossed about like the waves of a river in flood. 

 

The bitterness of the day of judgment would be like the mourning for an only son which marked the end of hope for the family unit.

 

 

Amos 8:11 -14:  Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the L
ORD.  They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the L
ORD,
But shall not find
it.  “In that day the fair virgins
And strong young men
Shall faint from thirst.  Those who swear by the sin of Samaria,
Who say,
‘As your god lives, O Dan!’
And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives!’
They shall fall and never rise again
.”

 

The Lord will remain silent and is itself part of the judgment.  Can you imagine not being able to feel the presence of the LORD, or hear Him speak?  The people will come to the source of their life but, though they may hunger and thirst for a word from God, there will be a famine through the land and they will not find it. 

 

The people would learn too late that the source of their spiritual life was in obedience to Yahweh, not their vain and empty religious show.

 

To swear by a god is the same as to honor and worship him.  Three separate oaths are given which allude to the worship of the Lord at three different sanctuaries. 

 

  1. Those who swear by the sin of Samaria.
  2. Those who say, “As your god lives, O Dan.”
  3. As the way Beersheba lives, they shall fall and never rise again.

 

When people swear using God’s name in vain, they are swearing to whatever god they are worshipping by the swearing of their mouth.

 

The shame of Samaria may refer to the goddess worshipped by semi-pagan Jews at Elephantine in Egypt in the fifth century B.C.

 

The bull image at Dan is alluded to in the second oath and the third means a false god of their own making. 

 

This underlines the reason for the judgment in which the true God would remain silent in Israel’s hour of judgment.

 

CHAPTER 9 – Israel Will Be Restored

 

All of Israel’s sins sprang out of their failure to worship God and to walk in obedience with Him.  They had a false concept of worship and a total lack of knowledge of God’s nature.  If their heart and life had been right with God, then the blessing of God would be upon their nation and family.

 

In this final vision, the LORD declares the destruction of the whole people beginning at the center of religious life, by the altar, better read upon the altar.

 

Amos 9:1 -6:  I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and He said:

“Strike the doorposts, that the thresholds may shake,
And break them on the heads of them all.
I will slay the last of them with the sword.
He who flees from them shall not get away,
And he who escapes from them shall not be delivered.

 “Though they dig into hell,
From there My hand shall take them;
Though they climb up to heaven,
From there I will bring them down;

And though they hide themselves on top of Carmel,
From there I will search and take them;
Though they hide from My sight at the bottom of the sea,
From there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them;

Though they go into captivity before their enemies,
From there I will command the sword,
And it shall slay them.
I will set My eyes on them for harm and not for good.”

The Lord GOD of hosts,
He who touches the earth and it melts,
And all who dwell there mourn;
All of it shall swell like the River,
And subside like the River of Egypt.

He who builds His layers in the sky,
And has founded His strata in the earth;

Who calls for the waters of the sea,
And pours them out on the face of the earth—
The L
ORD is His name.

 

This is one of the many times God has been seen by man.  Dake lists 44 appearances of God as revealed in the Holy Bible.  That would be a wonderful study unto itself.

 

God is everywhere and no man can escape His presence or power when He wishes to find him and punish him or bless him.  His power extends to heaven and hell, the highest mountain and the deepest sea. 

The judgment of the nation was to be pursued relentlessly by the Lord God of hosts, the Captain of the angel armies.  Though they dig into hell (Sheol the unseen world of departed spirits; the place of the soul, not the place of the body).

 

Psa. 139:8: - If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You
are there
.

 

The serpent refers to the chaos monster defeated by the Lord of Hosts in the creation stories referred to as Leviathan or Rahab (Ps. 74:13-14; Isa. 51:9; Psa. 89:10).

 

Nowhere in the universe would there be a hiding place for God will fix his eyes upon them not to protect for good, but to destroy for evil.

 

Verses 7-10 declare the glory of the sovereignty of the Lord God over all the earth.  Israel’s election was no different in principle from the way in which God guided and does direct all nations.  Therefore, Israel must not treat her election as something unique which would confer special privilege. 

 

Amos 9:7 -10:  Are you not like the people of Ethiopia to Me,
O children of Israel?”
says the LORD.
“Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
The Philistines from Caphtor,
And the Syrians from Kir?

“Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom,
And I will destroy it from the face of the earth;
Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
Says the L
ORD.

“For surely I will command,
And will sift the house of Israel among all nations,
As grain is sifted in a sieve;
Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.

All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword,
Who say, ‘The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us
.’

 

Israel was miraculously brought up from Egypt, but that would not give them an advantage or mean that they could escape judgment.  God’s purpose for Israel is not the only purpose which he has in the earth, and Israel is not of herself indispensable to God, any more than is Syria or Ethiopia of Philistia.

 

The Ethiopians (Cushites) refer to the dark-skinned people of what is now the Sudan.   They were despised by Israel which lends point to the statement that in God’s eyes there was no difference between them.  Caphtor is the Egyptian name for Crete, but in this context is probably an inclusive name for the Aegean area from which the Philistines are believed to have come as one of the “Sea Peoples” who threatened the eastern Mediterranean about 1200 B.C.

 

The sinful kingdom was to be destroyed, but Amos recognized that grace and mercy were part of God’s character and these could not be put to one side.  As in the other prophets, judgment and mercy are linked without contradiction. 

 

Israel will be passed through a sieve in their time of exile among all the nations.  The word refers to the coarse sieve and to separate the corn from earth and stones.  The corn passes through, but not the stones, so pebble or seed will fall to the earth.  The wicked are held back and will not survive the exile.

 

Israel Will Be Restored

 

Amos 9:11 -15L  On that day I will raise up
The tabernacle  of David, which has fallen down,
And repair its damages;
I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old;

That they may possess the remnant of Edom,
And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,”
Says the L
ORD who does this thing.

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,
“When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
And all the hills shall flow
with it.

I will bring back the captives of My people Israel;
They shall build the waste cities and inhabit
them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.

I will plant them in their land,
And no longer shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,”
Says the LORD your God.

 

This is the glory of the gospel church to all nations:

 

Act 15:13 -17: And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me:

 “Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.

 “And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:

 After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,

And I will set it up;

So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,

Says the LORD who does all these things.

 

Unchecked Copy BoxPsa.16:5 - In mercy the throne will be established;
And One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David,
Judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness
.”

 

Messiah Jesus Christ has established his throne in heaven and earth.  All power in heaven and earth and under the earth have been given to Him.  He is the Son of David. 

 

The first words of the New Testament declares that Jesus Christ is the Son of David.

 

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 1:1 - The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

 

In our generation, we have watched the fulfillment of Amos’ prophesies in verses 14-15.  They returned to their land after the 70-year exile, but were scattered again after the destruction of Jerusalem which was 70 years after the death of Jesus Christ.  Today in the year 2020, we salute Prophet Amos.  Your words are fulfilled mighty man of God.

 

I will bring back the captives of My people Israel;
They shall build the waste cities and inhabit
them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.

I will plant them in their land,
And no longer shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,”

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary and Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors. 

 
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