Bible Study in Amos 4

AMOS 4

Judgment on the social structure

Offending God’s holiness and Ignoring God’s voice.

Living in luxury v 1-3

Carrying out religious duties v 4-5 while ignoring the call of God.

V1 Cows of Bashan, the utterly materialistic women, chewing the cud of luxury, they had total disregard for anyone else. The poor were ignored so they could concentrate on their own pleasures. Not being rude but comparing them to cattle raised in the fertile plain east of Jordan, where the best cattle were bred and were well fed and fat. They had focussed on palatial houses for summer and winter as mentioned in ch 3. They were domineering women who had no regard for anyone but themselves. They treated their husbands like servants. Their future would be deportation, dragged away with hooks; captives often had hooks put in rings in their noses or lips, and ropes attached to pull them along. The city would be breached and they could easily be led out through the gaps. These women who were living in luxury will find themselves in an opposite situation of rejection and slavery.

 

V4-5, religious activities would divert the judgment. Amos teases them over sacrifices, and suggests they go to their high places and make offerings. Jeroboam had set up altars at Bethel and Dan and created golden calves. Spices or over the top it seems that they were making bigger and better sacrifices to impress God rather than to show gratitude and that for the Lord. The offering of burning leavened bread in verse five was contrary to all the regulations. In Leviticus chapter 7 it is clear the only unleavened bread should be offered in sacrifice, it was to be offered with humility. They should not brag boast about their sacrifices when they came to worship the Lord.

 

RECURRING PHRASE v 6, 8, 9, 10, 11  ‘Yet you have not returned to me’

In v 6-11 God is looking for restoration and true repentance. Look at the various disciplines that he uses:

  • Drought
  • Famine
  • Crop diseases
  • Locusts
  • Plagues
  • War
  • Local disasters

In v 11, but they did not get the message. All these judgements did not come by chance; they were clearly under the judgement from God, he was in control and that they could not see this and so did not repent and send him.    So the next step is in v 12, they will meet God and he will personally judge them.

V 12-13 God warns on here to prepare for judgement, any promises it will be a severe judgement, but it is not described in detail which of course left the people in a fear of unknown judgement. The final verse of this chapter describes the power and majesty of the Lord. He is the creator informs mountains, has the power of the wind, terms Dawn into darkness, he reveals his thoughts to man and treads the high places of the earth. The Lord Almighty is his name, Israel had sinned grievously and despite many entreaties to repent, they have not done so.


Page last updated: 29th December 2015 5:17 PM