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Bible Commentaries

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

Amos 6

Verse 1

HOMILETICS

CRITICAL NOTES.] Second woe denounced. Ease] Recklessly and carelessly. Mount.] not in God. Sam.] Strong, which resisted for 3 years, and was the last city of Israel taken (2 Kings 17:5-6). Chief] in influence and office, Heb. men designated (Numbers 1:17; 1 Chronicles 12:31). Came] for decision and help. Israel was the chief of nations, and these princes the distinguished of Israel. Sadly degenerate now!

AT EASE IN ZION.—Amos 6:1

In the first part of this chapter woe is uttered against the careless chiefs of the nation, for profane security, contempt of Divine judgments, and heartless oppression. Special allusion is made to the leaders, but the whole nation had sunk into godless conduct and shameful debauchery.

I. At ease in eminent responsibility. “At ease in Zion.” Israel was exalted as a nation above others. Israel’s princes were men of rank and authority; “renowned of the congregation,” and consulted by the people. All were blessed with eminent privileges and great responsibility. But the honour was not recognized. The highest motive to action did not confirm them in fidelity to God. They carelessly indulged themselves and forgot their responsibilities. Where much is given, much will be required. To be “at ease in Zion,” in the midst of religious ordinances and gospel light, is especial danger. If we neglect or despise our eminent position, we aggravate our guilt, and increase the greatness of our downfall—“Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!” &c.

II. At ease in carnal security. “And trust in the mountain of Samaria.” Zion, the centre of religion, and Samaria, the metropolis of a powerful kingdom, were the security of Israel. Our own strength and resources will prove a broken reed. Men may boast of the places in which they live, glory in their eminence, and secure themselves in ease; but vain confidence in the means of grace will awfully disappoint. We must trust to no great men, no high hills. “Our help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”

III. At ease in great pride. Connected with ease and carnal security was a haughty spirit. Israel prided themselves in their relation to God, and disdained other nations. “The chief of the nations to whom the house of Israel came” would think themselves, and expect others to call them, great men. “Haughty because of my holy mountain.” Many are puffed up with pride, and rock themselves to sleep in religious privileges. They cry “The temple of the Lord are we” (Jeremiah 7:4), and doubt not but God’s sanctuary will secure them from judgments to come. But pride never gives true rest, and those who delude themselves in superior holiness and distinguished titles shall be utterly forgotten (Psalms 109:13). The greater their glory, the more shameful their punishment. “How much she hath glorified herself and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her.”

IV. At ease in threatened judgments. “Woe to them.” When God is angry men have no reason to sleep. Reckless indifference, in business and religion, is a forerunner of certain ruin. Careless sinners, sleepers in Zion, are in danger of eternal destruction. When they rouse not at the call of the gospel, when deaf to the thunders of Divine judgments, they sleep where God will come first and be most severe; where the calls are loudest and the doom most hopeless. Wake up at the sound of “Woe,” before you feel its dreadful reality. “What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise and call upon thy God.”

SCOURGE FOR SLUMBERING SOULS

In itself considered it is no ill thing, but a great blessing, to be at ease in Zion, in a healthy sense of the word. But there is an ill sense in which it is used, “Woe to them,” &c: the ease of one grown callous, hardened, and sullen, a sleep which if not broken will bring to the bed of hell.
I. First, to rouse the many at ease in Zion, we will call out their names—which are found in the chapter before us. The name of the first sleeper in Zion is Presumptuous. His character is described in the first verse, “They trust in the mountain,” &c.—boast of their morality and self-righteousness. “I am rich and increased in good,” &c. A second is Not-now, or Procrastination. “Ye that put far away the evil day” (Amos 6:3). The third name is Evil-doer, or Sin-lover. “They cause the seat of violence to come near.” The next is Love-self. “They lie upon beds of ivory,” &c. Among those at ease was one called Careless, an individual who belongs to a large family. We may give him another name, giddy, light-hearted. “That chant to the sound of the viol.” The last name is Crossless. “They are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.” II. Now having mentioned their names we shed some light upon these sleepers’ eyes. A hopeless errand! for they sleep with the sun of heaven shining upon their eyelids. “At ease in Zion.’ Not in Ethiopia, where they have never heard the gospel; not in Sheba or the ends of the earth, where no warning prophets had been sent. In the first place you are asleep, but you know your danger. You have frequent arousings. Everything in this place cries out against you. To be at ease when the House, the Gospel, and the Sabbath are crying out against us, is to be at ease while God is making ready his sword against us. III. The last point is, to sound the trumpet in the ears of the sleepers. My trumpet has but one note, “Woe! woe! woe!” Not a living man knows the full meaning of that word. Bring out the gentler parts of the note; and first, woe to you, for now is it at all likely that you ever will be saved? In the innumerable cases in this place of conversion the majority were persons who had not long heard the word. I think Christmas Evans used the simile of the blacksmith’s dog, which was very frightened with the sparks at first, but at last got so accustomed to them that he went to sleep under the anvil. “And so,” said the good preacher, “there be many that go to sleep under the gospel, with the sparks of damnation flying about their nostrils.” Remember you are asleep in a place where Justice deals its heaviest blow. Do you tremble? You are saved the moment you believe in Christ. “There is therefore now no condemnation,” &c. [Spurgeon].

ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 3

Amos 6:1. Ease. This is carnal ease, a fleshly security; it is not the confidence of a man who is pardoned, but the ease of a hardened wretch who has learned to despise the gibbet. It is not the calm of a soul at peace with God, but the ease of a madman, who because he has hidden his sin from his own eyes, thinks he has concealed it from God [Spurgeon].

Verses 2-3

CRITICAL NOTES.]

Amos 6:2. Pass] Survey three neighbouring kingdoms. “If these kingdoms are not better and greater than yours, why do ye worship their gods and forsake the true God?” [Elzas].

Amos 6:3. Woe] Charge first from a general and then a special view. Put off] Lit. with aversion, the day of retribution, though declared near (Ezekiel 12:21-28). Bring near] Suffer oppression to be enthroned among you.

INGRATITUDE FOR THE PRESENCE AND INDIFFERENCE TO THE WARNINGS OF GOD.—Amos 6:2-3

To prove the ingratitude of the nation, Amos shows that Israel was not inferior to any heathen state in greatness and prosperity—that this honour involved serious responsibility, and that to despise the warnings of God who had thus blessed them would bring great punishment.

I. Ingratitude for God’s presence. Israel were ungrateful to God for the original gift and the continued preservation of the land. The heathens had suffered, they had been spared, yet they forgot God.

1. In national prosperity. “Pass ye,” &c., look everywhere and see if any kingdom has a “border greater than your border.” We boast of our rank and pre-eminence; talk of our colonies and dependencies, and exclaim, “Great and mighty England!” But empire is not greatness. The history of Gath and Hamath, of Greece and Rome, remind us that we stand by God’s providence alone—that we fall when we rely on our own might and prosperity. If we trust to our insular position, our popular platform, and our natural resources, we forget the real and extract the wrong causes.

2. In national morality. We pride ourselves in national worth, and point to other nations, are “they better than these kingdoms?” Education and government, society and public sentiment, are intoned and controlled by the spirit of Christianity. But morally we are far from being what we ought. Boasting is excluded by non-recognition of God and prevalent evils. We are often extravagant and haughty. Vice and intemperance abound. Bacchus and Mammon have temples in every town, and votaries in every street. There are spots in our sun and dirt upon our pedestal. Let us not be unthankful to God, not forgetful of other nations. “Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea,” &c. (Nahum 3:8-9)?

II. Indifference to God’s warning. “You put away the evil day.” As Israel despised the judgments, so men now put away the warnings of God’s providence. The evil day frightens the ungodly, and in different ways they push it from them and assign it to a distance.

1. In carelessness. Sentence against sin is not executed speedily, and men grow indifferent. Space for escape is given, the long-suffering of God is seen, and they take liberties. Sin blinds the mind and hardens the heart. Impressions wear away, proofs of judgments grow weaker, and sinners view things with inverted glance. Duty is delayed and death is put out of their minds.

“All men think all men mortal, but themselves.”

2. In unbelief. Amid culture and science scepticism abounds, infidelity spreads, and warnings are unheeded. Indulgence in sin opens up avenues to unbelief. Led to believe against all moral evidence, men speak as they feel, and make evil days small and distant. “Therefore do men take judgment to be far off from them,” says one, “because they take sin to be near them.” Truth looked at from a distance will gradually fade away, and lose its authority over life. It will be put farther and farther from us until it is denied altogether, and we sleep in false security.

3. In contempt. Israel neither feared nor believed approaching danger. In scorn they might tell the prophet it was delayed, and would therefore not come near them. Instead of preparing for it, they grew harder and more eager in sin. “They cause violence to come near.” The farther they put away judgment the nearer they brought oppression. Under colour of justice and law the wicked fix up the throne of iniquity, disregard the voice of God, and hasten on that last destruction which they dream will never come. Death is but a step off, and “the Judge standeth before the door.” Retribution follows judgment, and if retribution were only temporal and mutable that would be alarming. But it is eternal and irreversible. Are we prepared for the change? “Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth?”

ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 3

Amos 6:2-3. He that is graceless in a day of grace will be speechless in a day of judgment [Mead].

“Heaven gives the needful, but neglected call.
What day, what hour, but knocks at human hearts,
To wake the soul to sense of future scenes.” [Young.]

Verses 4-6

CRITICAL NOTES.]

Amos 6:4.] Luxury added to oppression. Stretch] Lit. pour themselves out, “dissolved, unnerved, in luxury and sloth.” Beds] inlaid with ivory. Lambs] Choice and delicious in the East.

Amos 6:5.] like David they employ themselves with music, but for a different aim.

Amos 6:6.] Not satisfied with small cups, they took the bowls used for sprinkling of blood, to indulge in excess, and used the most costly oils, not for health and cleanliness, but wanton luxury. Grieved] not for calamities suffered in the past, or threatened in future.

A RECKLESS COMMUNITY.—Amos 6:4-6

Israel not only put away the day of Divine retribution, but multiplied the causes which produced it. Violence within will bring violence from without the land. When we put away God we invite destruction. Luxury, revelry, and debauchery describe a reckless community and reign in the present day. The special sins condemned are depicted in a peculiar manner.

I. Self-indulgence. Men betray their feelings and abuse their gifts, show they live like epicures, and pamper themselves like beasts. This selfish indulgence is seen—

1. In luxurious ease. “That lie upon beds of ivory.” Beds most expensive and scarce, splendid and far-fetched. They unnerved and relaxed themselves upon couches. They humoured themselves in idleness and wealth; indulged in personal gratification, abounded in superfluities, and robbed the poor of necessities.

2. In effeminate diet. The choicest lambs and calves fed out of the stall only satisfied their appetite. Some live to eat, and do not eat to live; feed without gratitude, and indulge in lust without restraint. “Whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame.”

II. Profane revelry. “That chant to the sound of the viol” They tried to lead a merry life and a happy one. They displayed ingenuity by inventing instruments to drive away dull care. As David improved and introduced musical instruments into the service of God, so these men devised and fitted them for luxury and sensuality. But artificial music creates no Divine harmony. It weakens the nature and ministers to the folly of men. When men sing instead of weeping, when mirth is unseasonable, unbridled, and licentious, it is void of everything that dignifies the mind and elevates the soul to God. “Admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord.”

“There’s not a string attuned to mirth
But has its chord in melancholy.”

III. Shameful debauchery. Luxury and selfishness lead to excess; sensuality and mirth, to irreverence. This is seen—

1. In profane conduct. They were not satisfied with ordinary vessels, but robbed the altars to “drink wine in bowls.” In former times princes of Israel manifested zeal in consecrating silver bowls to God, now they drink in honour of idolatry. They profaned the vessels of the sanctuary, and devoted to selfish what should have been for sacred uses.

2. In riotous excess. They drank out of large, not small cups. This they did habitually without measure or stint. They spent their wealth in pleasure and dissipation; employed their ingenuity to discover new methods of self-gratification, and drank wine to silence conscience, banish reflection, and harden the heart.

IV. Sinful apathy. They had no concern whatever for the nation sinking into decay and suffering under the judgment of God.

1. Their joy is unbridled. Their extravagance is seen in “the chief ointments with which they anoint themselves,” not for health and comfort, but wanton luxury. The custom of anointing was suspended in time of mourning (2 Samuel 14:2), but these neither grieve for themselves nor for the ruin of their country.

2. Their indifference is stolid. Bent on personal gratification of the most debasing kind, they were devoid of all patriotism and concern for the injury to the kingdom. “They are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.” They indulged in the heartless conduct of the sons of Jacob towards their brother, eating bread when Joseph was in the pit (Genesis 37:24). Wrath had broken “out like a fire in the house of Joseph” (ch. Amos 5:6), but they were deaf to the warnings of God and the remonstrance of the poor. They spent their time in beds of indolence and ease; pampered their bodies with delicious viands; and delighted their souls in strains of music, excess of wine, and costly perfumes. Sensuality results in unnatural feeling for kindred and country; shuts out the sufferings of others, and leads to greater indulgence. “We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us and we would not hear.”

HOMILETIC HINTS AND OUTLINES

Amos 6:5. The use and abuse of music.

1. Its use, when devoted to the worship of God and the welfare of men. Vocal and instrumental music may be of immense service in the culture of the heart and the training of the young. Our nature is adapted to harmony, and God has bestowed means for improvement.

“There is in souls a sympathy with sounds,
And as the mind is pitched the ear is pleased.”

2. Its abuse when employed in the service of Satan and ministering to licentiousness and lust. How often found in midnight revels and scenes of intemperance! “Debased music is a mark of a nation’s decay and promotes it,” says one. The constitution of nations may be affected by changing national music. “Give me the making of the nation’s ballads,” said Lord Chatham, “and I care not who makes the laws.” David consecrated lyre and harp to the service of God, now men gain reputation by comic songs and immodest dancing. “Bid lute and harp to awake to the glory of God.”

Like David. Men abuse gifts of God by the examples of saints. They stumble in their infirmities, and copy their actions in a wrong spirit. David a great lover of music, and employed it in the praise of God. Imitators use it for carnal pleasure.

Amos 6:6. True patriotism, grieving for Joseph.

1. A country is often deeply afflicted by inward calamities and outward dangers.
2. A lover of his country will grieve for its affliction. David and Jeremiah noble examples.

3. Selfish indulgence deprives men of sympathy with others, renders them ungrateful and unpatriotic. “How many dwell in ceiled houses, and sing to the sound of the harp, and feast on the richest dainties, and care nothing for the sorrows of Christ, and his Church, nay, rather rejoice in them!” (Revelation 11:10) [Wordsworth].

“Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!” [Scott.]

ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 3

Amos 6:4-6. Pleasure. Would you judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasures, take this rule:—Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself [Southey].

“In this fool’s paradise he drank delight.” [G. Crabbe.]

Verses 7-11

CRITICAL NOTES.]

Amos 6:7. Head] Chiefs in transgression must be first in the procession to captivity. Banquet] Lit. making merry with shouts.

Amos 6:8. Sworn] “Like ch. Amos 4:2, except that it is by himself instead of by his holiness, but the sense is the same, for the nephesh of Jehovah, i.e. his inmost self or being, is his holiness” [Keil].

Amos 6:9. Ten] A rare case (ch. Amos 5:3).

Amos 6:10. Uncle] Any relative who had to bury the dead (Genesis 25:9 : Judges 16:31). Burn.] in case of necessity. Bones] i.e. the dead body (Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:19). Say] Ask one discovered if he is the only survivor. Hold] The burier bids the survivor be silent, lest by invocation God should make him a victim of death. All hope from God has utterly gone.

Amos 6:11.] Smite] by earthquake, or by pestilence and sword during siege; every house, great and small.

HOMILETICS

NATIONAL RETRIBUTION UPON SINFUL INDULGENCE.—Amos 6:7-11

The punishment is now threatened. Their “mighty sins” would bring heavy retribution. Those pre-eminent in crime would be pre-eminent in captivity. The nation must suffer by pestilence and plague. The ruin will be universal, and religious privileges would not avert it.

I. National captivity. Those who live in luxury often lose their liberty, and the most dignified are reduced to servitude.

1. Disgraceful captivity. The chief in rank were chief in sin, and first to go into captivity. Their disgrace was most conspicuous. Those who delight only in the pleasures of sense shall be removed from them. Those who think themselves secure, and put the evil day from them, will find it nearer than they imagine. The banquets of luxury and wantonness will be removed, and men who give themselves to mirth when God calls them to mourn will not go unpunished in their sin (Isaiah 22:14).

2. Mournful captivity. The shouting of wine-bibbers would cease. Feasting would end in weeping, and desolation would spread throughout the land. Carnal ease and sinful excess often end in hopeless misery.

II. National rejection. The cities and kingdom with all their wealth would be delivered into the hands of the enemy.

1. National glory abhorred. “I abhor the excellency of Jacob.” The house of God, rightly valued and properly used, was their glory and defence. Their priesthood, temple, and religious privileges raised them above other nations. But these were polluted and despised. God was dishonoured by idolatry and provoked to anger. The strength of “the city” and splendour of the “palaces” availed not. The glory departed. When God abhors he will soon abandon. External services are mere mockery. When national glory rivals God, and men blessed with distinguished excellency take pleasure in things base and inferior, God will reject them. “Therefore will I deliver up the city, with all that is therein.”

2. Dreadful mortality abounded. The inmates of some houses would be entirely swept away. “Ten men in one house shall die.” Few if any domestics were left to bury the dead. The uncle or distant relatives must bury or burn them. God’s arrows were so piercing, and his anger so fierce, that relatives and survivors were agreed to keep solemn silence under the rod. Pestilence overtook those who escaped the sword. Hopeless despair seized men. Cut off from God, there was no help in man. They had to submit to appointed doom.

3. Universal destruction prevailed.

(1) Destruction of the population. “In the multitude of the people is the strength of the prince,” and God Almighty cut off that strength.

(2) Destruction of the capital. The city or chief cities of the kingdom would be destroyed. They would therefore be robbed of defence, open to danger, and become an object of pity and contempt. “Like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

(3) Destruction most terrible. “He will smite the great house with breaches,” &c. The mighty and the mean have sinned and must be punished. God will smite not some, but all families and societies. “Princes’ palaces are not above, the poor man’s cottage is not beneath the judgment of God.”

(4) Destruction most certain. “God hath sworn by himself” (Amos 6:7). Sensuality produces stupidity. God seeks to rouse men by an oath to end the controversy. “The Lord commandeth.” We should see God’s hand and purpose in great distress. He makes it effectual and irresistible. When nations are ripe for judgment foreign armies are only Divine instruments. How hopeless the condition of those who harden themselves under Divine chastisements, and whose ruin God has sworn to accomplish!

HOMILETIC HINTS AND OUTLINES

Mark the gradation of consequences in the whole paragraph. First the chiefs are punished. Then the people, influenced by their example, are drawn into captivity. The present generation are carried off by death, appointed ordinances are taken away, and the rod of God smites families great and small. “The Lord hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown” (Nahum 1:14; Jeremiah 47:6).

Amos 6:10. What a sad condition when men tremble at the name of God! What an exhibition of power upon an evil conscience, when men flee from instead of turning to God. Ten righteous men would have saved Sodom, but here all were destroyed.

He who has obstinately abused the intellectual powers given him by God to cavil against God’s truth, will be forsaken by him at the last, and will not be able to utter his name [Wordsworth].

ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 3

Amos 6:7. Banquet.

“So comes a reckoning when the banquet’s o’er,
The dreadful reckoning, and men smile no more.” [Guy.]

Amos 6:9. Die. How terrible the features of this plague! The entire sweeping away of all the inmates of some houses. A solemn spectacle for others to witness, displaying the fierceness and power of God’s anger. In the great plague of Marseilles, 1720, and in that of the village of Eyam, 1666, we have similar scenes. “In 1813,” says one, “such was the violence with which the plague raged at Malta, such the certain destruction which attended the slightest contact with the infected, that at last every better feeling of the heart was extinguished in a desire of self-preservation, and nobody could be procured to perform the melancholy offices which make up the funeral train of sickness and death.”

Amos 6:11. Great and small.

“With equal pace impartial fate
Knocks at the palace as the cottage gate.” [Horace.]

Verses 12-14

CRITICAL NOTES.]

Amos 6:12.] As horses and oxen are useless on a rock, so ye are incapable of fulfilling justice [Grotius]. The comparison indicates the folly of expecting prosperity while committing acts of injustice. The interrogative form gives strength to the representation.

Amos 6:13. Nought] Their growing empire, or imaginary strength. Horns] A symbol of power; dominion rescued by Jeroboam from the Syrians (2 Kings 14:25).

Amos 6:14.] God’s answer to this presumption. A people] Not named, perhaps to awaken attention; probably Assyria. Afflict] Oppress, crush down; the whole extent of territory said to have been recovered by Jeroboam II., the region of triumphs a scene of woe.

HOMILETICS

A HOPELESS PEOPLE.—Amos 6:12-14

These verses are rather abrupt, and generally taken to show how useless and impossible it is to reform the people. Their perversion of right and their indifference to threatening rendered punishment inevitable, and foolish confidence in their own power could not avert it.

I. Punishment was most inevitable. Two illustrations prove this. Their conduct was perilous and preposterous. Horses cannot run with safety, nor can oxen plough, upon rocks: so in their self-chosen way they will wound themselves and be disappointed.

1. Former attempts to reform had failed. God had sent judgment after judgment, prophet after prophet, but in vain. They had not broken up their fallow ground, but were hard and uncultivated as a rock. They hindered the work of God and acted most perversely. “Those who will not be tilled as fields shall be abandoned as rocks,” says Calvin.

2. Special sins were not forsaken. “Ye have turned judgment into gall,” &c. Power was still abused, oppression and injustice practised, and righteousness turned into hemlock. Men who pervert justice, and despise ordinances in hope of advantage, will neither preserve the nation nor escape punishment. They turn the hearts of men and the providence of God against themselves. It is as impossible for them to prosper as to reap a harvest from the rock.

3. The judgments of God were disregarded. They continued to rejoice in their idols and wealth; boasted of their own valour, and thought to defend themselves with their own strength. “Have we not taken to us horns?” i.e. acquired power and dominion. Premeditated injustice, wilful opposition to the word of God, will lead to judicial blindness and destruction. Those who exalt themselves in pride shall be abased.

II. Punishment was most destructive. What they took for their greatest gain would be their greatest loss.

1. Their own strength could not defend them. It was “a thing of nought.” There was no substance, no reality in it. Victory and dominion, courage and prosperity, are nonentities. Empire decays and riches flee away. God only is real and satisfying good.

2. The whole country would be desolated. Under Jeroboam II. they had recovered their lands, “from the entering in of Hamath,” &c. (2 Kings 14:25). They were boasting of their success and securing themselves in their dominions. But the scene of their triumph would be the scene of their fall. When men give not God the glory of their possessions, in justice will he take them away.

3. The whole people would be oppressed. “They shall afflict you.” Conquerors would take the riches in which they gloried, treat them with indignity and afflict them with shame. Neither Judah nor Israel would be spared. It is easier to turn the course of nature than to change God’s law from rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked. When God commands it must be done, and the scourge will be prevalent as the evil.

HOMILETIC HINTS AND OUTLINES

12. Horses upon a rock, &c. The course of the sinner—

1. Most foolish.
2. Most dangerous.
3. Most useless. Horses stumble and wound themselves. No harvest is reaped from such ploughing. The course of sin, turning equity into poison, will grievously disappoint.
13. Taken to us horns. The language of arrogance and self-confidence.

1. Men apt to ascribe possessions to their own efforts. They have done everything and God nothing.
2. To overvalue them in the enjoyment. How many things in which we trust are things of nought.
3. Hence, when we think more of the gifts than the Giver, we are taught our folly. To glory in anything, whatever it may promise, will delude. God will strip men of every false, that he may become their true glory.
14. I will raise up. No foe could ever invade us if the Lord did not raise him up. War therefore is not an accident, but a providential dispensation. Pharaoh, Hadad, Rezon, the Chaldees, are all expressly said to have been raised up by the Lord (Exodus 9:16; 1 Kings 11:14; 1 Kings 11:23; Habakkuk 1:6) [Lange].

ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 3

Amos 6:12. The blessings of just administration are emphatically set forth by terms used to describe the opposite. Injustice is gall and poison, bitterness and death. How should it commend to us the kingdom of Christ, that he is to reign in righteousness, to judge in equity [Ryan].

Amos 6:13. Nought. The more I exaggerate these ideal joys, the more do I treasure up subjects of woe. Oh what vanity has God written upon all things under the sun! Adored be the never failing mercy of God! He has made my happiness to depend, not on the uncertain connections of this life, but upon his own most blessed self—a portion that never faileth [Martyn].

Amos 6:14. Captivity. Sell not your liberty to gratify your luxury [Matt Henry].

“There is a paradise that fears

No forfeiture, and of its fruit He sends
Large prelibations oft to saints below.” [Cowper.]

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Amos 6". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/phc/amos-6.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.