1. What did the Lord want Israel to do with the lamentation He was setting forth?
Hear it: “Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel” (Amos 5:1).
- Throughout this prophet’s writings, the instruction to hear is mentioned in various applications (Amos 3:1, Amos 3:13, Amos 4:1, Amos 7:16, and Amos 8:4).
- When we talked about Amos 3:1, the following notes were made: Hearing was a problem with the children of Israel both past, present, and in the future of these things (Isaiah 6:9, Isaiah 29:13, Jeremiah 5:21, Ezekiel 12:1-2, and Matthew 13:13).
- This message is “against” the house of Israel (Isaiah 31:1-2, Jeremiah 19:15, Jeremiah 25:13, Jeremiah 26:12, and Ezekiel 21:2-3).
- Even a lamentation (Micah 2:1-4).
2. Was the fallen Israel given hope about their ability to rise again?
No: “The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up” (Amos 5:2).
- God has referred to Israel as a virgin several times (Isaiah 37:22, Jeremiah 14:17, Jeremiah 18:13, and Lamentations 2:13).
- This is not to be taken in a sexual manner. Israel, in a spiritual state with sexually figurative language, was no virgin (Jeremiah 3:8 and Ezekiel 23:19).
- The definition of the term is: “feminine passive participle of an unused root meaning to separate; a virgin (from her privacy); sometimes (by continuation) a bride; also (figuratively) a city or state: — maid, virgin” (Strong’s # 1330).
- The fall of which the ten tribes did not arise (II Kings 17:5-18:12).
- Who could deliver them from the deliberate hand of judgment of our Lord (Isaiah 43:13 and Hosea 2:10)?
3. Was there hope for a remnant?
Yes: “For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel” (Amos 5:3).
- Deuteronomy 4:27, Deuteronomy 28:58-62, Isaiah 1:9, Isaiah 10:20-23, and Romans 9:27
4. What did the Lord teach them about seeking Him?
Seek Him and they could live: “(4) For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: (5) But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought. (6) Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel” (Amos 5:4-6).
- Seek Him and ye shall live (I Chronicles 28:9, Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 29:10-13, and Lamentations 3:25-26).
- This is not a guarantee for all though (Proverbs 1:22-32).
- Don’t turn to anyone/anywhere else (Psalms 118:8-9, Isaiah 2:11, and Jeremiah 17:5-7).
5. What did God say to those that turned judgment to wormwood?
“(7) Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth, (8) Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: (9) That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress” (Amos 5:7-9).
- Wormwood was considered bitter; poisonous, and therefore accursed (Strong’s # 3939). Negative nonetheless (Deuteronomy 29:18, Proverbs 5:4, and Jeremiah 9:15).
- As we will address again in verses 11-12, righteous judgment in Israel was turned backward (Isaiah 59:13-14). That was sinful (Leviticus 19:15).
- God is righteous in judgment (II Timothy 4:8).
- The message of looking to the Creator as is tied to judgment (Psalms 50:1-7).
- God reversed, during O.T. times, the judgment against the frail to strengthen them that could not stand on their own (Isaiah 40:28-31 and Zechariah 10:1-12).
6. How loved were those whom spoke the truth in Israel at this time?
They were hated: “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly” (Amos 5:10).
- I Kings 18:17, II Chronicles 24:20-22, Proverbs 15:12, Isaiah 29:21, Amos 7:13-16, Luke 6:26, John 3:19-21, Acts 7:51-58, and Galatians 4:16
7. Could it have been said that they loved their neighbors and executed righteous judgment at the time Amos is a prophet?
No: “(11) Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them. (12) For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right” (Amos 5:11-12).
- The law commanded them not to oppress the poor and defenseless (Exodus 22:21-27 and Exodus 23:6).
- Yet, they oppressed the poor and defenseless (Isaiah 3:14-15, Amos 2:6-7, Amos 4:1, and Micah 2:2).
- Manifold [in abundance] transgressions (Isaiah 1:5, Isaiah 5:18, and Isaiah 30:1).
- They took bribes and perverted judgment (Isaiah 1:23 and Micah 3:11).
- The right of the poor at the gate (Deuteronomy 15:7 and Proverbs 21:13).
8. What were the prudent doing in those times?
Keeping silent: “Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time” (Amos 5:13).
- The word prudent means: “to be (causatively, make or act) circumspect and hence, intelligent: — consider, expert, instruct, prosper, (deal) prudent(-ly), (give) skill(-ful), have good success, teach, (have, make to) understand(-ing), wisdom, (be, behave self, consider, make) wise(-ly), guide wittingly…” (Strong’s # 7919).
- Psalms 39:1, Micah 7:5-6, Matthew 10:17, Colossians 4:5-6, and I Peter 2:5-4:19
9. For those that sought good, what were they to hate?
Seek good equals also hating evil: “(14) Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. (15) Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph” (Amos 5:14-15).
- Love the good and hate the evil (Psalms 31:6, Psalms 37:27, Psalms 119:104, Psalms 119:163, Psalms 139:21-22, Romans 12:9, I Peter 3:10-11, III John 1:11, and Revelation 2:6).
- Fellowship with God is about departure from evil (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1, II Timothy 2:19, I John 1:3-7, and II John 1:9-11).
10. Was wailing going to be widespread?
Yes: “(16) Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing. (17) And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD” (Amos 5:16-17).
- Lamentations 5:1-22 and Amos 8:10
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.