7.1-3 grasshoppers. God allowed them to plant the crop, water the crop, even cut the mowing so their hopes were strong for a good harvest, then sent the locusts to devour their labor and profit. The question arises; was God deliberately letting them hope before destroying their hopes? Was God delaying the judgment in hopes they would come to their senses? Acts 15.18 lets us know, known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. It would seem God foreknew they would not change and repent so He allowed them to go through all the planning, all the labor, and all the expectation before dashing their hopes. God wants to imprint the lesson firmly into their minds that He alone controls all of nature and by extension all their lives. Locusts seem to be a particular choice of judgment from God. This may date all the way back to the creation of Adam and his creation from the soil. Locusts lie dormant in the soil until such a time God summons them to His purpose. From the soil God can summon life, man or judgment.

7.4-6 fire. Fire is a major symbol of judgment. In 1.4 God had said He would send fire as judgment on the house of Hazael. We know in the final chapters of life on earth, fire is a major factor. Hell and the lake of fire are reserved for the Devil and the beast and the false prophet. Fire is reserved for all who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. The fire summoned here is not a small blaze for it devours the great deep. A fire powerful enough to destroy the oceans of the world seems inconceivable to our mind. Yet this is what Amos announces will happen.

7.7 plumbline. The wall was the nation and people of Israel. When the righteous line of God was held against this wall, the wall showed how far the nation was off course. Their vision of them self could not see the drift. By holding the plumbline against the wall, the drift was stark and the nation was without excuse. The drift was undeniable. The nation was far from where they once were. Spiritual drift is difficult to measure. The gradual nature of drift is so subtle it is hard to perceive. God wanted the nation to see how far they had moved from their beginnings. The house of Jeroboam was to be removed forever. This happened when Assyria invaded in 721 BC and carried away 200,000 captives. The northern country, here called the house of Jeroboam, exits the stage forever. 

7.10-13 Amaziah’s treachery. Now comes a shift in the line of Amos’ visions of judgment to describe a parenthetical moment. Amaziah, the high priest of this self sufficient religious people, resented the ministry of Amos. Amos was dismantling the High Priest’s playhouse of insincere religion. The high priest strikes back by accusing Amos of treason and demands the prophet go home and leave them alone. This is a false accusation and draws an immediate reaction from Amos, and an immediate judgment form God.

7.14-17 Amaziah’s judgment. This judgment is a minuscule view of the larger picture of Israel rejecting the voice of the prophets all the way back to Samuel. Amos declares he did not ask for this job. He was a lowly shepherd doing the most menial job in the country (gathering sycamore fruit). He was not the son of a prophet, and therefore an unlikely candidate to pronounce judgment upon an entire nation. God called this uneducated, rough hewn prophet to show His power and glory and veracity are not always found in the esteemed of men. God chose the basest of men to pronounce judgment on the nation, when the nation was at the zenith of power and wealth and influence. Like a lash, the words of Amos flick out and sting the high priest. The high priest is informed his wife will be a harlot and his children will die by the sword. Amaziah will perish, as all will, who resist the word of a God called man. This moment, frozen in time, illustrates God’s principal of vengeance. God declares in Rom 12.19, vengeance is mine, I will repay. The message was loud and clear. Raise your voice against this prophecy, resist this prophecy, and there will be swift and harsh judgment.

Thanks for reading today….