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Chapter 6

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ch. 6:1-7     ch. 6:8-14

Woe To The Complacent (ch. 6:1 - 7)                                                 


Verse 1 says, "woe to you who are complacent".  Complacency is an ever-present sin, in all areas of life and society.  The church today, at least in my opinion, is pretty complacent, at least when you compare our churches and Christians today to the zeal that men like the apostle Paul had.  One reason for this complacency is because we feel "secure", as is also stated in verse 1.  The security here is really a false sense of security because this security is not in the Lord but in ourselves.


The western nations today have forsaken any security they've had in the Lord in the past.  We are now secure in ourselves, that's in our military, our economy, and in all aspects of our nations.  Like in the northern kingdom of Israel, we have a false sense of security.  


When it comes to the modern day church, many parts of it are simply humanistic.  That is, it's all about self and our own plans and our own way of doing things.  We exclude the Lord from our churches in many ways as seen in the Laodicea   church of the book of Revelation. The Laodicean church was secure in its wealth, much like the individual western Christian is today.  There is a lesson for the Christian in all of this, and that is, don't let personal wealth and prosperity draw you away from the Lord.    


There are 3 cities mentioned in verse 2.  The first two, Calneh and Hamath were Assyrian cities.  The third one, Gath , was one of five important Philistine cities.  All three of these cities fell.  The point that Amos is making here is that if these three great cities fell, how and why should the northern kingdom think she could not fall like them.


Verse 3 says that "you (Israel) put off the evil day and bring near a reign of terror".  I believe this means that Israel, even though they knew of God's judgment, they put it out of their minds and ruled their nation with evil, something the world is now doing as well.  They just didn't think God would actually judge them.  That's why the apostle Peter says that in the last days people will scoff at the idea of the return of Jesus.


Verse 4 really sounds like the life of luxury the western world has experienced in days past.  Israeli's lie in beds of ivory, lounge around, and dine at the best restaurants, so to speak. It was a life of luxury, but a life without the blessing of God.  In part, luxury and materialism replaced their worship of God. 


Verse 5 and 6 continue with examples of the lifestyle the Jews were living in the northern kingdom.  They played on their harps.  They were a nation of entertainers.  They lounged around listening to the latest pop songs of their day.  They might well have made these entertainers into superstars as we do today.  They also drank the finest wine, and not just a little wine, but "bowlfuls" of wine.  It appears that Israel was living a pretty hedonistic way of life.


Verse 6 also says, "but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph".   These Jews were living such a hedonistic way of life that they failed to see where their nation had gotten.  They failed to grieve over the fact that they had lost their way before their God.  I suggest that the western world has done the same.  We have lost our way and we don't even grieve over the fact that we have.


We also don't grieve over the fact that church in many respects has lost its way as well.  We certainly need the Lord to pour out on us a spirit of supplication  


Verse 7 is devastating.  It reads, " therefore you will be the first to go into exile, your feasting and your lounging will end".  Judgment came to the northern kingdom of Israel, and that which God foretold through Amos in this verse came true within forty years.


Note the word "first" in verse 7.  "First" implies a second, and the second one to go into exile was the southern kingdom of Judah that took place a little more than one hundred years later.  


The Lord Abhors The Pride Of Israel (ch. 6:8 - 14)


This section opens in verse 8 by saying "the Lord has sworn by Himself", and "He has decreed".   This speaks of a covenant, an agreement, that God makes with Himself to do something, and, when He agrees with Himself to do something, you know He will do it.  This is the same terminology used when God made an agreement, or a covenant, with Himself and spoke to Abraham in what we call the Abrahamic Covenant.  What God covenants to do, He will do.  There is no doubt about that.        


There are two things in verse 8 that God abhors.  They are the pride of Israel and their fortresses.  I suggest that the western world today is full of pride.  The proverb states that pride goes before a fall, and how true that is. 


God also detests the fortresses of Israel.  This is their military.  The idea here is that Israel at this point in their history has become self-sufficient in a military sense.  They no longer look to the Lord alone to win their battles, or, at least to fight with them.  They simply look to their own military strength, and God detests that.  I suggest that He detests the same today. 


Because Israel depends on their military strength alone, God says in verse 8 that He will deliver up their cities.  Their military will not protect them.  Assyria attacked the northern kingdom of Israel and their military was not able to help them out.  They failed miserably. 


Verses 9 and 10 probably sound a bit confusing, and that is because of the Hebrew form of writing the Amos is using.  Verse 9 simply states that if 10 men are left in a house after the judgment, then they too will eventually die.  Verse 10 speaks of the relatives of these men burning the bodies of the dead.  This tells you the degree to which the Jews sunk. Their tradition was not to burn the body, but to bury the body.  Jews did not cremate the dead.  Pagans cremated their dead.


The relative of the dead then asks someone left in the house if there is any one else hiding.  The one asked answers, "no".  Then the relative tells that one not to mention the name of the Lord.  I am not one hundred percent sure what this means.  Obviously not mentioning the name of the Lord is not a good thing, but at this point in time, people might be afraid to mention His name.  Some suggest that if they mention the name of the Lord God would bring even more judgment on them than what He already did. 


Verse 11 says that the Lord has given the command.  The command is for Assyria to attack the northern kingdom of Israel, and as this verse says, not one house will stand.  When the Lord gives the command to judge, there is no turning back.  It's too late to repent of the national sins.  Judgment is on its way.


It's important to note that God gave the command to a pagan nation to attack His own people.  God uses pagans, and even the devil, to implement His plans and will.  That is clearly seen when the devil entered Judas, causing him to hand Jesus over to the Roman soldiers.  The same will be seen during the Tribulation period that ends this age when the devil enters the anti-Christ. 


Verse 12 lists more of Israel's sins.  Israel had turned justice into something that was poisonous.  They had also forsaken righteousness. 


Verse 13 says, "you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar".  "Lo Debar" means nothing.  Israel rejoiced and got all excited about conquering nothing.  They were too busy lounging around.   The verse  goes on to say, "did we not take Karmain by our own strength"?   "Karmain" means "horn", and the word "horn" is always symbolic of national strength.  The point here is that Israel trusted in their own strength, and not in the Lord.


This chapter ends with verse 14 when God says that He will cause a nation to rise up against the northern kingdom of Israel.  That nation was Assyria . 



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