God’s Word of Justice
Amos 8:1-14: The prophet Amos has another vision. This time it is a basket of ripened fruit, an indication that a time of judgment and punishment has come. Images of an earthquake, eclipse, and famine are used to describe the impending doom and destruction.
A Vision of a Basket of Fruit
1I had another vision from the Sovereign Lord. In it I saw a basket of fruit. 2The Lord asked, “Amos, what do you see?”
“A basket of fruit,” I answered.
The Lord said to me, “The end has come for my people Israel. I will not change my mind again about punishing them. 3On that day the songs in the palace will become cries of mourning. There will be dead bodies everywhere. They will be cast out in silence.”
4Listen to this, you that trample on the needy and try to destroy the poor of the country. 5You say to yourselves, “We can hardly wait for the holy days to be over so that we can sell our grain. When will the Sabbath end, so that we can start selling again? Then we can overcharge, use false measures, and fix the scales to cheat our customers. 6We can sell worthless wheat at a high price. We’ll find someone poor who can’t pay his debts, not even the price of a pair of sandals, and we’ll buy him as a slave.”
7The Lord, the God of Israel, has sworn, “I will never forget their evil deeds. 8And so the earth will quake, and everyone in the land will be in distress. The whole country will be shaken; it will rise and fall like the Nile River. 9The time is coming when I will make the sun go down at noon and the earth grow dark in daytime. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 10I will turn your festivals into funerals and change your glad songs into cries of grief. I will make you shave your heads and wear sackcloth, and you will be like parents mourning for their only child. That day will be bitter to the end.
11“The time is coming when I will send famine on the land. People will be hungry, but not for bread; they will be thirsty, but not for water. They will hunger and thirst for a message from the Lord. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 12People will wander from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean and then on around from the north to the east. They will look everywhere for a message from the Lord, but they will not find it. 13On that day even healthy young men and women will collapse from thirst. 14Those who swear by the idols of Samaria, who say, ‘By the god of Dan’ or ‘By the god of Beersheba’—those people will fall and not rise again.”
Today’s Key Verse: Amos 8:9a
The time is coming when I will make the sun go down at noon and the earth grow dark in daytime.
Reread verses 4-6. What dishonest practices were taking place? According to verse 11, what will the people hunger and thirst for? Have you ever felt “parched,” with a sense of longing for God?
Lord God, I hunger and thirst for your message. Thank you for your tender mercies and for renewing me each day with your life-giving Word. Amen.
Amos 9:1-15: The prophet Amos describes the future restoration of Israel.