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Bible Study in Amos 5 part 1

Amos: Ch 5. 1-17

Judgement diverted by repentance

Lamentation v 1-3

A funeral dirge for a nation that was dead and left unburied. The Assyrians would come and Israel would be taken into captivity. Israel thought she was a lovely virgin, but she was only a fallen corpse, left to rot. Not surprising that Amos wept.

Judgment had been promised in ch 1-4, but here in ch 5 it is seen to be imminent. They are being called to hear the word of the Lord, but not in hope at this point but it is a lamentation not for the disasters that will fall on others but the disaster that will fall on them! Israel is seen here as already dead, but not buried. The virgin here is not the pure virgin, but the one living alone, separate from God and godly people. The prophecies of 3.1 and 4.3 are coming to fruition. There will be no aid from the nations around her, but even God will not deliver. Death, even for a nation is the result of the fall, the result of sin and to die without hope is a terrible thing. But even as it were, Amos is reading the nation’s funeral service she will not repent, or humble herself. She boasts with pride at the thousands and hundreds, but will meet an army she cannot defeat and crawl home destroyed. The ‘Sovereign God’ spoke the sentence.


Invitation v 4-15

But God still gives his gracious invitation, ‘Seek me and Live’ v 4, 6, 14. The people flocked to their holy places with their sacrifices, but that would not save them. The nation would not listen to the Lord’s servants, v10, so the Lord told them to be quiet, v13. God knows our sins, and yet in mercy he calls us to come to him for cleansing. What a gracious God!


Israel always made much of their religion. They were proud the fact that they were God’s chosen people and doing their religious duties by flocking to places of worship this may have impressed the nations around but God saw through their insincerity.

Amos highlights through places of historical and religious significance, Bethel, Gilgal and Beersheba. These are popular places of worship, sadly the people were only going through the motions of faith, and they were not seeking the Lord. Consequently Amos could see that this is failure and warns of God’s incoming judgement. It shows the love and grace of God, In the middle of this threatened destruction, He encourages them to turn to him and see his grace and mercy, all he requires is that they would come to him and they will not die. Later in the history Ezekiel cries out to the people of God, but I will you not to die, I take no pleasure in the death of anyone declares the Sovereign Lord. The people refuse to do even that simple thing of seeking him and living. Compare with the simple act required of Naaman to resolve his leprosy. Amos talks of the destruction as a fire that will devour but will be unquenchable.


In verses 7 to 15, Amos goes through a whole catalogue of ways in which they have failed to obey God’s law, God tries to focus their eyes on him but they do not listen. In verses 14 to 17, which appear to be similar 24 and 5, there is a different emphasis, in the earlier verses it was seeking God in worship but in the latter verses it is demonstrating the need for right living. The people have to seek good not evil, If they change their ways I’m behaving this new way they will experience the presence of God Almighty who promised to be with them. Sadly in the last two verses 16 and 17, Amos returns to the theme of destruction because of their sin and refusal to repent. A great sadness and wailing comes over that land. There is mention of wailing, anguish and mourners. This time the Lord were not pass over them, as in the Exodus, he will replicate the punishment that was meted out on the Egyptians, he will pass through their midst and bring destruction upon them. Amos reminds them it is not his words, but the words of the Lord God Almighty.



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