1. Were the Israelites considering the affliction of their people?
No, they were at ease; complacent, partying about: “(1) Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came! (2) Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border? (3) Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; (4) That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; (5) That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; (6) That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph” (Amos 6:1-6).
- Woe is not a word you want God to use (Isaiah 3:11 and Lamentations 5:16).
- They were at ease. They felt secure (Zephaniah 1:12-18).
- When people think they’re getting away with evil they get comfortable (Ecclesiastes 8:11).
- We’d do well not to get comfortable (Revelation 3:14-22); but rather to learn from this to be alert and ready (Matthew 24:35-25:13, Mark 13:37, I Corinthians 16:13, and I Thessalonians 5:6).
- Israel trusted in their mountain (Amos 4:1).
- The Lord instructed them to survey other nations. Are they better? Who had God dealt with better? Israel was His chosen (I Chronicles 16:13).
- They thought not evil would come to them (Amos 6:3).
- They made themselves comfortable. They had their feasts, their music, their drinks, etc. It was party time in Israel (Isaiah 5:11-12, Isaiah 22:13-14, and Isaiah 56:10-12). That is NOT GOOD (Luke 12:13-21).
- They had no grief for the spiritual state of their people (Jeremiah 3:8).
2. Were those that felt at ease going to continue to be at ease?
No: “Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed” (Amos 6:7).
- Those at ease would be the first to be taken captive (Psalms 37:35-38).
- The partying of the complacent has an end (Luke 6:24-25).
3. How did the Lord feel about the excellency of Jacob?
He abhorred them: “The Lord GOD hath sworn by himself, saith the LORD the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein” (Amos 6:8).
- God abhorred their excellency [pride; arrogance] their palaces, etc. (Psalms 18:27, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 8:13, Isaiah 3:16-17, and Matthew 23:1-12).
- Some think God does not hate. Think again (Psalms 5:4-5, Psalms 10:3, and Psalms 11:5-7).
4. Could it be said that the Lord’s punishment would have been so thorough that houses were going to be cleared out?
Yes: “(9) And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die. (10) And a man's uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the LORD. (11) For, behold, the LORD commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts” (Amos 6:9-11).
- Thorough judgment (Isaiah 6:8-13, Hosea 13:16, and Amos 7:9).
5. What had they done with judgment?
Perverted it: “Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock” (Amos 6:12).
- You cannot farm on top of rock (Matthew 13:5).
- They turned judgment and righteousness into poisonous substances (Proverbs 17:23 and Hosea 10:4). That was certainly contrary to their law (Deuteronomy 16:19) and that brought consequences (Deuteronomy 27:19).
6. While they had rejoiced in nothing and thought themselves to be strong, what was the Lord raising up against them?
A nation: “(13) Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength? (14) But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the LORD the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness” (Amos 6:13-14).
- Think here about those that trust in the wrong things (Jeremiah 9:17-24).
- That mountain, what’s it doing for them when God judges them (Zephaniah 3:11)?
- We know Israel was punished by the hand of the Assyrians (II Kings 17:1-18:12) and Judah by the Chaldeans (II Kings 25:1-30).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.