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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Amos 5

Verses 1-27

  1. LAMENTATION! (1-3)
    1. (1) Lamentation = a song or poem mourning someone’s death.
    2. (2) Imagery - Israel thought she was still a lovely Virgin, but she was only a fallen corpse…left to rot.
      1. Yet, God’s gracious invitation still goes out vs.4!
  2. INVITATION! (4-15)
    1. Seek Me!
    2. (5) Bethel, Gilgal, & Beersheba – Had idol shrines.
    3. (8) - Pleiades, in Greek mythology, seven daughters of Atlas. Pursued by the hunter Orion(armed w/an uplifted club & a sword in the other), they were rescued by the gods and then changed into doves. After their death, they became stars, but they are still pursued across the sky by the constellation Orion.
      1. Q: Doesn’t that sound like the wonderful story of God’s love for Israel? i.e. With a rod in one hand a sword in another & Still pursuing His love!
    4. (8b) “He calls for…of the earth” – is this not the “Water/Hydrolic Cycle”?
      1. Evaporation(from the waters of the sea); Condensation(vapor changing to liquid); Precipitation(rain)!
      2. This makes the bible sound kind of “Scientific” doesn’t it? (esp. for Amos writing about 2,762 years ago!)
    5. (11) One thinks of the scandal back in the 80’s w/the TV Evangelists w/their gold-plated faucets & air-conditioned doghouses.
    6. (12) Besides Idolatry there was Injusice!
    7. Seek Me, Seek the Lord, Seek good! (4,6,14)
    8. Q: What does Amos mean by, “seek the Lord”?
      1. {Ask them 1st} - What do we mean when we say it?
        1. Depends to unsaved or saved?
      2. Go to Is.55:6,7. {I think principles apply to both saved/unsaved}
      3. Change our Thinking – Abandon “vain/empty/unproductive/& futile” thoughts. - Stop thinking wrongly about God(who He is),Sin(how bad it is), & Life(what life really is).
      4. Change our Direction – Turn around, move in the right direction, forsake sin, turn to the Lord for mercy & pardon.
      5. It doesn’t necessarily mean to run to God for help when you’re in hot water!(though we definitely can). It means to despise & detest sin in our lives, turn from it, seek the fellowship of God, & seek his cleansing!
        1. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart; These, O God, You will not despise.” Ps.51:17
      6. Paul said, "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; "for in Him we live and move and have our being,…” Acts 17:27,28.
    9. Q: Why should we “seek the Lord”?
      1. [1] To have life!(4) – Disobedience = darkness & death(“There is a sin unto death”1 Jn.5:16).
        1. Thus the opposite is “seek Him & live”!
      2. [2] There is no other way to experience spiritual blessings!
        1. They were going to “church/shrines” in droves but coming back further from God. {your every attendance at church is 1 step closer or 1 step father!}
        2. Emerson said, “a change in geography never overcomes a flaw in character.” (example: a bad family in Murrieta(long wrap sheet on the whole family) on a ride along. Mom kept saying, “this is why we moved from the inner city out here so we WOULDN’T get hassled anymore!”)
        3. God doesn’t “franchise” His blessings! (like McDonalds)
          1. We need to personally meet the Lord, deal w/our inner spiritual life, seek His face, for our heart’s need to be transformed.
      3. [3] Judgment is coming!
        1. See vs.6 – He is an “all consuming fire!”
        2. Animals & little children know reward & punishment!
        3. Dog obedience class – the “choke chain” & “praise”(good boy!) are your 2 best tools!
        4. Though animals can’t go beyond that, God’s hope for you is that you’ll eventually mature & develop higher motives for obedience than fear of punishment & rewards.
        5. Q: What motivates you to seek the Lord & be obedient unto Him? {Love?}
      4. Hear Gods word(1); Seek the Lord(6); Seek the Good(14,15).
        1. Am I listening? Am I praying? Am I hating evil & doing what is good?
    10. (15) Hate evil, love good!
      1. That about sums it up! {note, not just hating evil!}
        1. Not just saying “I hate that!”, but doing something about it.
        2. The word was written not to fatten Geese but to train athletes & equip soldiers!
      2. Example of this in scripture? (Jesus in temple - house of prayer/not den of thieves) Example in your life? {Life chain/abortion}
      3. Q: If Amos was writing today, how would he expect us to hate evil & love good?
  3. CONDEMNATION! (16-27)
    1. (18-20) The day of judgment would be for them as well as their enemy!
      1. Note progression Dark to very dark. (i.e.) It was only going to get worse! {They had false confidence!}
      2. (19) That’s a bad day!
    2. (21-24) Playing Church! [Hypocrites in their finest hour!]
      1. Religious activities + generous gifts to God = A happy God? (Nope)
      2. Don’t seek religious services…seek the Lord!
      3. I believe the scathing rebuke in vs.21-23 might help them to hear vs.24!
    3. (24) (Key Verse) “Justice” – God wants Justice to flow like a mighty river that cleanses society of evil & refreshes everything it touches! (Warren Wiersbe - With the Word; pg.586.) (Like agood rain!)
      1. African Proverb, “Corn can't expect justice from a court composed of chickens.” (see 12b)
      2. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) “People become house builders through building houses, harp players through playing the harp. We become just by doing things which are just.”
    4. (25-27) In the News: Pope canonized yesterday in Mexico Juan Diego(1st Indian Saint) –Back in 1531 he supposedly met a dark-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe 4 times. She asked him to ask the local bishop to build a shrine in her name. As proof she emblazons her image on his cloak(popular figure of Mary you see).
      1. Why bring the poor ailing pope all the way to the America’s? “…part of a trip reaching out to Indians in Americas, who have been the most receptive to Protestant Conversion in recent years.” [Press-Enterprise 8-1-02 pg.A3]
      2. Sikkuth = shrine or tabernacle. (Meyer – “they were carrying about little shrines, pocket-idols, amulets to avert disaster” – I used to wear both, Skapula, saint Christopher metal)
      3. Your king = melech, or Molech?
      4. Chuin/kee-oon = pedestal of.
        1. These little amulets & pocket idols were about as dependable & reliable, as the sand walls a child builds to surround their sand castle on the shores edge, at the beach.
      5. To the Catholic Church the lord will ask, “Did you believe in Jesus?” Yes, but you also made shrines to the Virgin of Guadalupe?
      6. To you tonight, “do you believe in Jesus?” Yes, but do you also have little shrines of Self set up? Little tabernacles of transgression you also are carrying on your spiritual life’s journey?
    5. The only thing to help us is “not religiosity nor lucky charms” but repentance toward God & faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ!
    6. END: To ponder: “the way we treat the Word of God is the way we treat God!”
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Amos 5". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.