Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Just A Matter Of Time

Amos 8:1-14

“Thus hath the Lord GOD showed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.  And he said, Amos, what seest thou?

 And I said, A basket of summer fruit.

Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.  And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.” (Amos 8:1-3)

Fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, or cucumbers are only available during the summer because they spoil so rapidly.    God was going to treat Israel like they were a basket of summer fruit that was starting to spoil.   The songs of praise in the Temple would be turned into weeping and lamentation because so many dead.  After a while they would become so accustomed to it they didn’t even cry when someone died. 

“Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?  That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?” (Amos 8:4-6)

The first day of every month, the new moon, was a special celebration to God.  The Israelite business men resented having to take the new moon and the Sabbath off to worship God.  They just couldn’t wait to get back to business of making money.  They actively cheated, using undersized units of measure and adjusting the scales to weigh light when they were weighing the silver or gold their customers used to pay.  They extended credit to the poor and needy for daily needs, charging exorbitant interest rates, then seizing their property when they couldn’t pay and making them slaves forcing them to buy what no one else wanted.  Then, as now, the worst offenders often made the biggest show of trying to help them against their oppressors.    

“The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.  Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.” (Amos 8:7-8)

God promises he will never remember the sins of those who have repented and asked forgiveness.  He also promises he will never forget the sin of those who refuse to repent.   On the Day of Judgment, the records will be opened and the people will be judged according to what they have done.  This judgment will include every word they have said, according to Matthew 12:36.  “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”  It ought to be a concern for the entire land, and would ultimately destroy them.  Like water behind a dam, the pressures will continue to rise until the dam breaks and those downstream are drowned.    Political fixes such as Obama care or the bank bailouts only temporarily delay the collapse, ultimately making things worse because they do nothing about the root problem. 

“And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.” (Amos 8:9-10)

When the collapse comes, they will be unable to prevent it because God will be causing it.  In that day of judgment at the end of time, the days will be shortened so the sun goes down by noon, and even when it is shining, it will be dark.  The feasts and religious celebrations will become times of sorrow and crying, trying to get God to bless them.  They will be as upset as a family who just lost their only child, with no hope of recovery. 

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.  In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.  They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.” (Amos 8:11-14)

Because they have refused to hear God’s warnings, killing his prophets and teachers, God will quit sending them.   The people will have nowhere to turn for advice.  They young will be desperately seeking guidance from God, and the ones who have claimed to have all the answers and a better way will be shown as fools.  

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