AMOS CHAPTER 6: IGNORING GOD
What is described?
What literally happened?
What is revealed about God’s character?
Chapters 3-5 of Amos are interrelated, but starting in verse 18 of chapter 5 we see two “Woe to you” statements which connect chapter 5 to chapter 6. Again, this section of Amos is mostly directed at the Northern Kingdom of Israel which is termed “Samaria” and “Joseph” and “bride of Jacob.”
CHAPTER 6:1-14 “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel comes! 2 Pass over to Calneh, and see, and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory, 3 O you who put far away the day of disaster and bring near the seat of violence? 4 “Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall, 5 who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David invent for themselves instruments of music, 6 who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! 7 Therefore they shall now be the first of those who go into exile, and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall pass away.” 8 The Lord God has sworn by Himself, declares the Lord, the God of hosts: “I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds, and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.” 9 And if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And when one’s relative, the one who anoints him for burial, shall take him up to bring the bones out of the house, and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, “Is there still anyone with you?” he shall say, “No”; and he shall say, “Silence! We must not mention the name of the Lord.” 11 For behold, the Lord commands, and the great house shall be struck down into fragments, and the little house into bits. 12 Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow there with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood— 13 you who rejoice in Lo-debar, who say, “Have we not by our own strength captured Karnaim for ourselves?” 14 “For behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord, the God of hosts; “and they shall oppress you from Lebo-Hamath to the Brook of the Arabah.“
The “woes” continue for the People of Israel.
The Lord speaks about an attitude of indifference and comfort that seemed to infest all of the leadership of Israel and was leaking out into the people:
#2 oppression of others
#4 idleness and partying
#5 much wine
Therefore, because of these sins and the indifference with which they hold the statutes of the Lord, He says they will go into captivity and punishment first (verse 7). Amos continues in chapter 6 all about the judgment that would come because of the actions of Israel. Worldly pride and indulgence in flesh is a primary cause and root of God’s anger against His people. God even asks ridiculous rhetorical questions (verse 12) to show that the people are acting stupidly and dangerously. They know better but are choosing to take in the world and act like the nations around them.
Amos tries to shake them into reality (Behold! In verse 11)
God is ignored.
The Bible speaks of the consequences of ignoring God and that it is possible for human beings who have freewill from their Creator:
1 John 2:22
The big picture is that God is speaking to His people (who should be with Him) who do wrong. They sin yes, but they are His people, and they are dedicated to sin. They are “lukewarm” to use an NT phrase. God is disappointed.
To put a human attitude on it: He expects sin from the Philistines, but not from His people. This is worse than being an “ignorant dirty sinner.” They are blessed and know Him and yet they have decided to ignore Him and go after other gods/idols.
The truth about being under the Lordship of God means one follows Him. Following and obeying is part of being in the Kingdom. God has patience and enduring love as people fail/sin and trip toward Him. No one is perfect. God provides for us because we aren’t perfect.
Woe to them.
SUMMARY & APPLICATION: What is revealed about God’s character?
God will not be ignored without consequences. This is a truth that is evident all throughout the Book of Amos. God can be ignored by people, but there are consequences in this life and in the next. God is patient (true), but He also levies out judgment for those who ignore Him (true).
John 4:23 says: “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him” (ESV). God desires people to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Israel was not. They were bearing the Lord’s Name in vain. They were worshipping the Lord, if at all, in laziness and lies. They were not representing God’s character in any way. As a nation, they turned away.
God provided salvation through Jesus… so let’s hold onto Him.
God provided salvation through Jesus… so worship in spirit and truth.
God provided salvation through Jesus… so don’t sin in ignorance.
God provided salvation through Jesus… so make your decisions for the Kingdom.
TMB & BMD