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Bible Commentaries

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Amos 6

When the Lord makes a promise Amos Six

God compared Israel to her pagan neighbors. Here He judged Israel for her pride, indulgence and sinful luxury. These were lazy and indifferent people that had forgotten the true God. These were at ease in Zion because they had hidden their sins from their own eyes. Israel's sinful ease came because she trusted in Mount Samaria. She also put off the idea of a day of gloom thinking that judgment would not come upon them. The self-indulgent, violent nature of these people was a disappointment to the Almighty. They did not live for God; instead they lived for their own drunken ignorance.

Many today live with the same self-indulgence. They do not live for Christ nor do they care for His church. Their focus is on self alone. Israel was no better than the sinful kingdoms that surrounded her. God had already brought His judgment upon them and d Israel would be next. When we are prospered by God we should use what He puts into our hands in a way that glorifies Him. Sadly, during times of economic prosperity and success many become self-indulgent. The self-indulgent leaders of Israel would be the first to go into captivity.

God hated the pride and sinful conduct of Israel. Now He will send a strong army to bring them low. There are some things from which you can never expect a good result, like a horse running on the rocks or oxen plowing on the rocks. Neither can you expect good to result from rebellion against God. Israel's rebellion had now brought her to the point where God's judgment was coming through a conquering nation. No sinner has any right to think that he shall escape God's judgment.

Verses 1-4

At ease in Zion -- Amo_6:1-4 : The national leaders in Israel felt safe and at ease in Zion or Jerusalem and on the mountain of Samaria. However, these notable men of Israel were in trouble. Very grievous distress would come upon these people because of rebellion against God. They were secure, contented and unconcerned about their spiritual condition. These leaders had power that they used for evil instead of for good. God called upon Israel to observe what had happened to the cities of Calneh, Hamath, and Gath in Philistia. He asked them, "Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory." Israel should not have felt secure as if nothing bad would happen because of their evil.

Israel was cruel and violent. They denied that the nation was in any way in danger of judgment. They were like the people described in Ecc_8:11 . Solomon said, "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." These rich rulers were guilty of lounging around on beds with ivory posts, while dining on the meat of their lambs and calves. The sadness of using what we have just for ourselves is a horrible evil indeed. They took advantage of the common people and had no respect for God.

Verses 5-7

Evil is strongly condemned -- Amo_6:5-7 : God told the people, "You sing foolish songs to the music of harps." He also said, "Like David they invent for themselves instruments of music." This verse in no way condemns instrumental music in Old Testament times. What is condemned here is mixing true worship and idolatrous worship and thinking that God would somehow accept the whole system. These people cared about themselves but not about what is decent, good and right. "You drink all the wine you want and wear expensive perfume, but you don't care about the ruin of your nation." They surround their worship with sinful extravagance and selfishness.

God's charge against Israel was simply stated, "But they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph." They were not touched and shamed by the hardships of the poor or by idolatrous worship. They only think of gratifying their own selfish desires at the expense of their poor brethren. God promised that when the foreign armies invaded the land these people would be the first to be dragged off as captives. All of their good times and selfish living would end.

Verses 8-10

The Lord swore by Himself -- Amo_6:8-10 : The Lord God All-powerful promised by His own name that the wicked would be punished. Let us remember that God does exactly the thing He promises and He does it when He promises. Here even God's oath is added to His word. They had angered God by their pride. He hated the fact that they trusted in their fortresses instead of Him. The result was that God would give their city and possessions to their enemies. God promised complete destruction of the cities of Israel. The destruction would be so severe that if ten men survive by hiding in a house all ten of them will die.

God said through Amos, "And when one's relative, the one who anoints him for burial, shall take him up to bring the bones out of the house, and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, "Is there still anyone with you?" he shall say, "No"; and he shall say, "Silence! We must not mention the name of the LORD." God had promised the destruction for Israel. It would be no use at that late hour to make any appeal to the Lord help. It was too late.

Verses 11-14

God promised punishment against Israel -- Amo_6:11-14 : God had commanded that complete destruction come upon both the land and the people. That is why we can understand that none would be left. God's word is truth. He can neither err nor lie. He does what He promises. "At the Lord's command, houses great and small will be smashed to pieces." The promise of God to destroy the land is seen in two questions, "Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow there with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood." The nation is now facing God's wrath because they had turned justice, and judgment into that which is bitter and worthless.

"We did it on our own." What a horrible attitude and what arrogance when in life we feel that we have done it on our own. It is a terrible mistake to focus on vain and fleeting riches. This was especially true for the leaders of Israel that had their wealth through the oppression of the poor. Israel even bragged about obtaining power and wealth to conquer their neighbors. The All-powerful God promised to send a conquering nation against Israel. He said, "For behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel," declares the LORD, the God of hosts; "and they shall oppress you from Lebohamath to the Brook of the Arabah." The prediction is that a nation was to come against Israel and subdue their whole territory. Evil always has a tragic end.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Amos 6". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/amos-6.html. 2014.