AMOS 6:1


The Bible is speaking about God and what He does in this world, and it says in Amos 6:1-6, “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.” The theme to this entire passage is found in the first phrase of verse 1. It says, “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.” What is wrong with being “at ease?” There is a time for everything, and if it is time to work, then it is wrong to be at ease. It is definitely wrong to be at ease if there is some important issue that needs to be addressed. If a dam was about to break, it would be wrong to go sit on the couch and relax if there was something you could have done to fix it. There were problems that needed to be addressed, and they did not fix them. It says about the Israelites in verse 6, “but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.” They were enjoying being at ease.  


Let’s look at the lifestyle of these Israelites, and let’s see if it reminds of anything in our present surroundings. First it says that they “trust in the mountain of Samaria:” in other words they were not trusting in God. It says in Amos 1:3 that they “put far away the evil day:” in other words they do not think about the evil. They have their mansions where they live isolated from everyone else, so why should they care or do anything differently? When it says in Amos 6:4 that they, “lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches,” it is emphasizing the fact that they are doing nothing. They are on permanent vacation. They do not care about anyone but themselves. They have retired from the evil of the world, and they let it rage on when they could have done something about it. They rest and they sleep in comfort while the world burns. The world may be starving, but they are eating well. It says in verse 4, “eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall.” In Amos 6:5 it says that they “chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David.” Notice that it does not say there is anything wrong with their music. The music helps them to relax and enjoy life. The music helps them to escape from the realities of the outside world. The first part of Amos 6:6 says that they “drink wine in bowls.” Of course, substance abuse is part of this. The drug of alcohol also helps them to relax, and helps to make them lethargic so they do nothing. These people have plenty of money, and they do not want to smell the stench of sin, so they “anoint themselves with the chief ointments.” This is their lifestyle. In case you have not noticed, it is the lifestyle of the rich and powerful of all the nations of the world. Judgment will come upon them because “they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.”


The Bible says in Amos 6:7-11, “Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.[8] 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.[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.” These verses tell us how great the destruction will be when God’s judgment comes. How fortunate we are to have Jesus as our Savior and thus avoid such a judgment. Notice there are things that God hates. God is love and He has an infinite love for the souls of mankind, but God does hate sin and He hates the place where sin abounds. God says in Amos 6:8, “I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces.” The Bible says in Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:[17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,[18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,[19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”  


The Bible says in Amos 6:12-14, “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:[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 Hamath unto the river of the wilderness.” I think the purpose of these verses is to show how foolish and illogical it is for lost people to not turn to the Lord. It just does not make any sense at all that someone would not turn to Jesus once they have the opportunity. We are talking heaven instead of hell. We are talking forgiveness instead of guilt. It seems like a no-brainer. Surely people will hear the gospel and turn to Jesus in an instant. Do you see horses marching on granite? That would not work. Horses are on ground where they can get good footing. Do oxen plow upon granite rock? Of course not: the plow would be broken and the time would be wasted. The same is true about those who turn away from God. Hell and destruction await those who turn away, so surely they will realize that. It makes no sense to refuse the salvation that Jesus offers and then to end up in hell forever.


The Bible says in Amos 7:1-6, “Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings.[2] And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.[3] The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD.[4] Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.[5] Then said I, O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.[6] The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD.” God pronounces two judgments upon Israel, and after each pronouncement of judgment, Amos prayed for Israel. It is interesting to note that each time that Amos prayed, God answered Amos’ prayer and granted his request. This shows the power of prayer. This also shows that there are some things that are going to happen, but then they do not happen because of the prayers of God’s people. Prayer changes things. Jesus taught about prayer in Matthew 21:21-22, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.[22] And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”


It is important to notice that the kinds of prayers that Amos prayed in Amos 7:3 and Amos 7:5 we call intercessory prayers. Amos was praying for others because of their sins and because of the judgment that would otherwise come upon them. The people did nothing for themselves. The prayer of Amos made the difference. That is exactly what Jesus does for every believer, but on a much greater scale and with eternal ramifications. The prayer that Jesus prays is probably something life this: “Father, for give them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus prayed that prayer when He was hanging on the cross. Jesus also prayed for believers in the garden of Gethsemane. For example, in a small part of the prayer, Jesus prayed in John 17:6-9, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.[7] Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.[8] For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.[9] I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” Jesus will always be there to speak on the behalf of believers. That is one of the reasons that we teach that believers have eternal security. It is also why we know that we will always be forgiven. As the Bible says in First John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:[2] And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”


The Bible says in Amos 7:7-9, “Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.[8] And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:[9] And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.” We know that God visits people by the Holy Spirit in order to draw them to Christ. That is probably what is meant when it says about Jesus in John 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Jesus said in Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” The light and the calling that Jesus gives are an opportunity to be saved and to be forgiven of one’s sins. Yes, it is a great and a wonderful opportunity, possible only because of the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. But beware: the opportunity has an end to it. God gives you a choice, but once you have made your choice, Jesus makes no promise that you will be given another opportunity. There certainly will be no opportunity after this life is over. And because life itself is uncertain and temporary, today may be your last day on this earth. It says in Second Corinthians 6:2, “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation


One thing is sure: the Israelites had reached the end of their opportunity to turn back to God in truth and sincerity. That is what God used the plumbline for. In effect God drew a line in the sand, and once the Israelites crossed that line, there was no going back. When you think of the importance of souls being saved, there are some very sad words that God said in Amos 7:8, “I will not again pass by them any more.” Please do not let such a statement be made about you. Turn to Jesus before you cross that line and your soul is lost forever. The Bible says in Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved


Copyright; 2014 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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