corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Amos 3

 

 

Introduction

Failing To Walk With God

- Amos Three -

The love and concern that God had for Israel made His judgment upon them unavoidable. His actions against Israel showed that He was deeply provoked by their sins. The redemption of Israel from Egypt should have lead to continual faithfulness on their part. Likewise our redemption by the death of Jesus on the cross should keep us faithful. Israel had great privileges. With great privileges came great responsibility. They would now face punishment because of their failures to honor God.

Many seem to have the matter of privilege entirely wrong. They think that with privilege comes mercy. God"s view is that with privilege comes responsibility. God will not pass over the sins of His people. Amos said, "If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?" God wanted Israel to know that it was He that was bringing the punishment upon them. It was not just bad luck that the punishment came. It was the hand of the Lord in judgment against them. .

God revealed to Amos the nature of the coming judgment and Amos, in turn, prophesied about what would come upon the nation of Israel. God stilled desired that the people would come to repentance. The people should not blame Amos concerning the message. "The Lord God has spoken!" God"s prophet had simply spoken the message of the Lord and the people should fear. God invited foreign nations to come to o o Samaria, the capital city of Israel, to see the sins of Israel and to understand her punishment.

God said the land of Israel would be plundered by an adversary. About thirty years after this prophecy of Amos Israel was invaded and destroyed by Assyria. God destroyed idolatry at Bethel and throughout Israel. God"s judgment would also extend to palaces built through oppression.


Verses 1-3

Judgment against the Children of Israel -- Amos 3:1-3 : God had brought the family of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. Now God"s judgment would be poured out against His own people because of their transgressions. Most of the preaching of Amos was directed against the 10-tribe Northern Kingdom. However, all that he said finds application to the entire nation of Israel. God had chosen Israel out of all the nations of the earth. With privilege comes responsibility. Now God would punish Israel because of her sins. God said, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." (Amos 3:2) God chose Israel to be His special people. "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." (Deuteronomy 7:6) They were blessed by God but they did not live in a way that was pleasing to God.

"t;t;t;Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" The question is, Can two people walk together as a unit in the same direction and for the same purpose unless they have agreed to meet? God has a plan whereby man can walk with Him. Man should gladly agree to do so. Sadly, Israel did not agree to walk with the Almighty.


Verses 4-6

The Lord will punish evil -- Amos 3:4-6 God wanted it understood that there was a cause for the punishment that He would bring upon Israel. The Lord would do this to Israel because of her transgression. There is a cause! "Does a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from his den, if he has taken nothing? Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth, when there is no trap for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when it has taken nothing? Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid?" God wanted it understood that when disaster came upon Israel that it was He that had done it. The chastisement of the Lord came because of continual disobedience to His will by the children of Israel.

The very nature of the Lord said that He must t t do something to show His resentment against sin. Israel had gone so far into transgression that it was time for God to arise and defend His name and His righteousness. When God gave threats of destruction by His prophet was there not a serious cause? The people should have been afraid because God"s judgment had been promised.


Verses 7-11

The Lord has spoken -- Amos 3:7-11 : Whatever God intended to do He revealed through His prophet. It was not just talk. It would happen just as He revealed through His messenger. When God"s prophets sounded the warning the people should take heed. Everyone is terrified when a lion roars. Just so, when God spoke to the prophet fear would cause him to prophesy the exact message that God had given him by revelation. The people, then, should have trembled when God promised punishment.

Philistia and Egypt were invited to come and witness what was going to happen to Samaria. Samaria was the capital of Israel, the 10-tribe northern kingdom of the Jews. They would be able to see the injustice, the lawlessness and the wickedness of God"s people. They would also observe that even the sins of God"s own people would not go unpunished. The people of God were unwilling to do right. They did not even consider what the Lord had told them to do. They had not been honest, but had become rich from violence and robbery. God promised that the Assyrians would break through their defenses and steal their treasures. In 2 Kings 17:5 we read, "Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years."


Verses 12-15

Punishment for Israel"s transgressions -- Amos 3:12-15 : Under the Law of Moses if a person was keeping animals and one of the animals was torn he could bring some parts of the animal and not be responsible for paying for it. (Exodus 22:10-13) "Thus says the LORD: "As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed." (Amos 3:12) Only a few from Samaria would escape with their lives and with some small, broken possession. This is all a prediction of the Assyrian captivity of Israel.

The message that Amos delivered against the house of Israel was the message that the Almighty God instructed him to speak. God would punish Israel for her transgressions. He promised , (1) To d d destroy the altars at Bethel, (2) That the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground, (3) To tear down their winter homes and summer homes, and (4) That all their mansions would be gone forever. Extravagance marked the lives of the pleasure-mad leaders of Israel. Now they, their possessions, the people and the nation of Israel would fall because of continual transgressions against the will of God.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Amos 3:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/box/amos-3.html. 2014.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology