Read Amos 8
A Basket of Ripe Fruit
8 This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2 “What do you see, Amos?” he asked.
“A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered.
Then the Lord said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
3 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!”
4 Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,
“When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?”—
skimping on the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
6 buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
7 The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.
8 “Will not the land tremble for this,
and all who live in it mourn?
The whole land will rise like the Nile;
it will be stirred up and then sink
like the river of Egypt.
9 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your religious festivals into mourning
and all your singing into weeping.
I will make all of you wear sackcloth
and shave your heads.
I will make that time like mourning for an only son
and the end of it like a bitter day.
11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.
13 “In that day
“the lovely young women and strong young men
will faint because of thirst.
14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria—
who say, ‘As surely as your god lives, Dan,’
or, ‘As surely as the god of Beersheba lives’—
they will fall, never to rise again.”
God continues to reveal to Amos His judgment of the Northern kingdom, Israel. This vision pictures ripe fruit which represents the end of Israel’s time as a flourishing kingdom. Amos reminds Israel of their prideful injustice and flagrant oppression of the poor. The end to rotten Israel is near. Amos describes God’s judgment with vivid descriptions that reveal the depth of wickedness permeating Israel and the intensity of God’s judgment on His people who have rejected Him by oppressing the vulnerable and cheating the poor.
In reading Amos’ prophetic words, one might respond with fear, dread, conviction, or relief that this is not for our day. Amos underscores that the judgment of our Sovereign Lord is certain. There will be an end to the evil perpetrated by those who reject God. In Amos’ description, he points to a day when the land will tremble and God will make the sun go down at noon, darkening the earth in broad daylight. God will make it like mourning for an only son. These days of judgment will bring silence from God who has repeatedly spoken to Israel through His prophets and His word. This famine of deadly significance will be an inability to hear God.
As sobering as these words are, there is hope revealed in the next chapter. There also is hope in Amos’ description of the dark day when mourning for an only son occurs. Jesus’ day on the cross was that day. As His death on the cross brought the earth to tremble, the day to darken, people to mourn, and shaken followers to fear, God’s judgment on evil and injustice was born by our Lord Jesus. He paid the penalty for our sin and wickedness with His life. As Romans 8:1 reminds us, “There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Jesus paid it all!
- What is your reaction to the judgment prophesied for Israel? (fear, conviction, relief?)
- How have you heard from God as you read His word throughout the book of Amos?
- How does your understanding of God’s response to evil and His provision in Jesus spur you to gratitude and hope?
Listen to the modern hymn “In Christ Alone” and be reminded of the hope we have in Christ. Reflect on this line: “Till on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied. For every sin on Him was laid, here in the death of Christ I live.”
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4 thoughts on “Amos 8”
Amos is relentless in calling out the blatant sins of Israel. Complacency, idolatry, and oppression of the poor will incur God’s judgement. We tend to forget that ALL are made in God’s image and have worth. To ignore the poor is to ignore those God loves and whom Christ came to save. As I’ve read Amos this theme has grabbed my heart over and over. We must act compassionately to stop injustice and care for those in need. The timing of funding for the Isaiah 117 House was not lost on me. This transition home for children awaiting placement in foster care will become a reality! This is what true religion looks like. James 1:27 says “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself untainted by the world.”
Our God is an awesome God that wants us!!! Even though Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; BUT GOD (24-25) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; He made the way for us back to Him again!!! It is all by the grace of God. We as fellow believers in Christ should also show this grace outward to those in need. We are God’s hands and feet if we are truly believeing and endeavoring to do His word.
God thank you for making a way back to you!!! Thank you for loving us soooooooo much!! Thank you for your grace. God help me to show your grace to others as I go through this day. God let me see people through your eyes and not through my worldly judgmental eyes. Thank you for Grace in Jesus name amen
Amos has taught me that you must get out of your comfort zones to serve God. Amos tells Amaziah in Ch 7 what position he had in life, and it wasn’t on his list to prophecy for Israel. Im sure there were many times Amos wanted to retreat into the hills and be alone with his sheep. He carried a staff, not a sword. But he armored up, and was faithful to the Lord.
Most mornings I don’t want to comment and write down my thoughts. But I do out of obedience from the Holy Spirit.
God is so clever in directing people out of their comforts.
I’m reluctant to even share this… As Ella mentioned, the Isaiah house hits close to home for me and I was super excited to hear Sunday that this is a mission for HC! For I am a Respite Care Provider. It started out as a vision because of teaching teenage girls who desperately needed somewhere safe to go. After years I finally was at a stage in life to really research how to navigate to help. Pre-Covid I turned my rental house into a Respite House—but not one call. Covid happened, my health took a turn, but in June of last year I got a call for my first, and only girls. It was a remarkable time that God allowed me to be a part of. Respite care is just a temporary care for foster parents relief, or children waiting for a home. So if you’re not looking to foster fully-time, this is another faith-based way to help.
It’s hard to shorten the ways God was with me along the journey. And I know even if the door hasn’t opened yet for more ministry, I can say I was obedient and my heart is still committed.
Long, story short—be obedient. Let God lead you out of your comfort zone.
On reading this, I’m in awe of God’s omnipotence. He has the power to level mountains, calm the seas, and make time speed up, slow down or stand still if he chooses. He can turn the world completely upside-down; all of creation is his to command.
These days I’m able to go far too long isolated and insulated in my tiny little corner of the world. It’s become much too rare that I connect with God’s creation—to dip a toe in the ocean, explore a mountain path (or any natural path, for that matter) … or even just look up at the stars. The more I overlook the vast and awe-inspiring presence of all God has made, the more I lose my reverent fear for the Maker.
I’m reminded of the words of Psalm 95 (something we prayed often in the church I attended as a little girl):
“The LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: The strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: And his hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down: Let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; And we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”
-Psalm 95:3-7 KJV
O Lord, that you would restore to me that childlike awe and wonder!