We are in the Exile Stream reading from the New Living Translation.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
God, we don’t even know how to pray for these people. Teach us how to pray for those who are lost. Amen.
Amos is sad at heart, pleading for Israel to come back to God. The nation is about to fall and it will be a horrid invasion – from which they would not come back. The 10 tribes that were hauled away – there is no historical record of them returning. They assimilated, blended in, vanished as a people. The fall of Israel was so close, it had to hurt to feel tension as someone who knew what was coming. The numbers that Amos shared about those who do NOT return from battle should have gotten their attention. God is using a juxtaposed illustration to urge them to return to him now, and thereby not see battle. They didn’t hear…because they wouldn’t listen.
Then 17 verses is dedicated to listing the problems of their paganism: They were trashing poor people, ridiculing righteous people, worshiping stars (astrology not astronomy). They had told themselves that Baal brings the wind and rain – [NO, God does this, people!] The Israelites, despised honesty, they hated truth, they oppress and gouge people into destitution through strangling taxes and pricing. Bribery was a rampant problem. God insisted that all this be remedied and remedied now. God gave a route of repentance and escape – though He knew they wouldn’t. So they best ready themselves to weep in anguish as the land is about to be crushed.
Some n’ere-do-wells in the northern kingdom were pontificating, “well, maybe the Lorrrrrd will help us avoid any imminent trouble…?…” DUH! after spending 200 years ordering Him to scoot on out? REALLY?
There is terror coming and it will be everywhere you turn. God was beyond nauseated by their religious platitudes, the double living, the hypocrisy, AND the Satanism (may as well call it what is was!)… God basically bellowed, “show me justice and righteousness – spare me your duplicitous garbage!”
The god mentioned as “Sakkuth” is the familiar “Molech” from the Greek. This is the god they did infant sacrifice to. He was a bloodied and awful god adopted in from the Phoenicians. “Kaiwan” is the god that is referred to in the Greek versions of the Bible as “Rephan” – also mentioned in Acts 7:42-43. Thus the reference to worshiping God who made the constellations and such in Amos 5:7 instead of the stars themselves.
So into exile they will go. Would they turn from this disastrous path? Could they? Hmmm, Wasn’t it Carly Simon who sang, “it’s too late baby, now it’s too late.” I want to say “God help them” but they don’t want God’s help; not God’s way. anyway …