About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Basket Of Ripe Fruit (ch.
8:1 - 14)
1 and 2 begin this chapter with a vision of a basket of ripe fruit.
God tells Amos exactly what this basket of ripe fruit symbolizes.
It symbolizes Israel, and that they are ripe for judgment.
God says that He will no longer spare His people.
Amos had already convinced God to withhold some acts of judgment
on Israel, but now, the tipping point had come.
No one would convince God to withhold judgment.
Judgment would come.
is a tipping point of sin for any and all nations.
When that day comes, no amount of prayer will change the mind of
God He will judge.
He will have already given that nation ample time to repent.
As the book of Revelation states, "he that is righteous let
him be righteous still, and he that is unrighteous, let him be
unrighteous still". (Revelation
22:11) There's no more time
to change or even repent.
verse 3 we note that when the day of judgment comes, the songs in the
temple will turn to wailing. We
should note that earlier in the book of Amos God told Israel
that He hated their gatherings, their songs and their music.
Thos songs had been defiled because Israel
mixed their religion with paganism, which God detests.
So their sinful songs, which I'm sure they enjoyed, would become
wailing, sobbing, and crying in the day of God's judgment.
3 also says, "many, many bodies will be flung everywhere. Silence"!
A deadly silence would come to the
4 speaks to the sins of economic and social injustice in Israel
as we've seen before. Israel
trampled down the needy and did away with the poor.
They did not help the needy and poor as they should have
according to the Law of Moses. Every
nation must have a means to helping the poor.
Helping the poor is not a matter of the right or the left as
seems to be the case today with liberal or conservative politics, but a
matter of human justice. God
does not like it when a nation neglects the poor, but here in
see how Israel
viewed the feast of the New Moon. Every
month, every new moon, would be a holiday from work and commerce.
They viewed these holidays as unproductive, a loss of income and
money. They just wanted that
day to get over so they could get back to making more money.
They had the same attitude towards the Sabbath day.
It was a day when no money could be made and therefore was a
useless day. Their thinking
towards the Sabbath was the opposite to God's thinking.
don't believe Christians are subject to obeying the Law of Moses, which
includes the Sabbath laws, but it is interesting that the reason why the
western world has forsaken the idea of a Sabbath is purely based on
economics, the making and spending of money.
the New Moon festival; it was a day that began each new month.
Jewish months back then were determined by the following process.
watch the night skies and when they saw the first hint of the moon (new
moon) appear in the sky, they would go to the ruling leaders of Israel
and tell them about it. After
much questioning and independent confirmation, the rulers would thus
announce the beginning of a new month.
This day was to be a holiday, with no fasting or morning.
It was to be a time of celebration and no work. Thus
in Amos' day, because the New Moon was to be a day of no work, it was
also a day of no income, no financial profit, for which they did not
New Moon festival was incorporated into the Law of Moses as seen in
Numbers 10:10 and 28:11.
There were to be certain things done on the day of the New Moon
that over time were adulterated with paganism.
the other economic sins Israel
had committed as seen in verses 5 and 6.
They boosted prices, meaning, sold things beyond their normal
value. They skimped on the
measure and cheated with dishonest scales.
Weights and measures were out of wack in order to make lots of
money. This makes me think
of the gas prices in today's world.
bought the needy with silver. This
is slave trading. You might
compare this to child labour today.
This got so bad that they would
buy and sell the needy just for a pair of sandals.
That's what the life of a human being was worth in the northern
kingdom of Israel.
price of an individual life is thus important when it comes to God's
judgment. The western world
today, and really, all the world, places a low price on the life of a
human being. Abortions prove
that. Terrorism also proves
that. This all figures into
the reasons why God judges nations.
Bible commentators suggest different things for the term "Pride of
Jacob" in verse 7. God
says that He has sworn by the "Pride of Jacob".
There should have been a certain pride, not arrogance, concerning
Jacob, or Israel
because God chose them . God
Himself is the Pride of Israel. He
swears by no one else other than Himself.
There is no one higher than He to swear by.
God says is clear. He will
never forget what Israel
has done. Christians often
say that God has not only forgiven their sins, but has forgotten their
sin. The cross of Christ
wipes the slate clean for the Christian.
Even though the Christian still sins, those sins are forgiven,
or, under the blood of Jesus. That
does not mean there aren't consequences for our sins as Christians
because there is. God
disciplines His children as the writer of the book of Hebrews says.
8 speaks of judgment. As the
river rises and falls, so will Israel. They will sink into a deep
hole, so to speak.
10 speaks of the sun going down at noon and the earth darkening when
judgment hits the northern kingdom of Israel. Did this happen when
Assyria overthrew Israel? I don't know.
It did happen in a symbolic way, I am sure.
This verse gives hint of the sun darkening at the end of the age
when Jesus returns to earth. Maybe
there is some hint of that in the verse.
10 continues to suggest what the day of the Lord's judgment will be
like. The happy feast days
will be turned into mourning. People
will mourn as if they have lost their only son.
That makes me think of how God would have felt when He saw His
only son die on the cross for our sinfulness.
All the darkness and gloom that came on the northern kingdom came
on Jesus, and even more.
verses 11 and 12 God says that He will send a famine in the land.
This famine is not a famine of food and water, but a famine of
the Word of God. The Lord
says that men will search from the north to the east looking for the
Word of the Lord but will not find it.
Why the north and east are mentioned and not the west and south,
I'm not sure. I know that
you can't go too far west because of the
north seems to imply humanism and sin.
Gog of Magog comes from the north.
The sin of idol worship came into the northern kingdom from the
north. Even the fact that
the northern kingdom is north of the southern kingdom implies that.
The northern kingdom fell into idol worship before the southern
kingdom. The east seems to
imply the direction of God
and holiness. The Garden of Eden is in the east.
The entrance to the tabernacle was towards the east.
is interesting that after the prophet Isaiah there was only the prophet
Malachi in Israel's history, that is, until John the Baptist and Jesus
Himself. Then after 70 A.D.
there was no
do believe that as this age comes to an end, the Word of the Lord will
return to the state of Israel. I think you can see that
happening today, even though there is still wide spread ignorance and
even rejection of the Word of God in Israel.
13 tells us that even the "lovely young women and the strong young
men" will faint in the day of God's judgment. Note that God views
young women as "lovely". This
makes me think of the young men and women today who we have raised up as
14 ends this chapter. There
are certain groups that God specifically points out that will fall.
The first group are those "who swear by the shame of
next group that falls is Dan, that is, the tribe of Dan.
It was that tribe of Dan, who lived in the northern part of the
kingdom, who first introduced the worship of other gods to the northern
kingdom. That's why we see
the "gods of Dan" mentioned here.
You will note in the list of the 144,000 Israeli preachers in
Revelation 7 that there are 12,000 Jews mentioned from each of the
twelve tribes of Israel. Dan is not mentioned in
this list and some suggest that because Dan first adopted paganism that
spread throughout the northern kingdom is the reason why they aren't
mentioned in Revelation 7.
last group that God specifically points out are those who are of Beersheba.