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The ripeness of Israel for judgment is proclaimed. 1 Thus hath the Lord God shall rise up wholly as a flood; shewed unto me: and behold a and it shall be cast out and basket of summer fruit.
drowned, as by the flood of 2 And he said, Amos, what Egypt. seest thou ? And I said, A 9° And it shall come to pass in basket of summer fruit. Then that day, saith the Lord God, said the Lord unto me, The that I will cause the sun to go end is come upon my people of down at noon, and I will darken Israel; I will not again pass by the earth in the clear day: them any more.
10 And I will turn your feasts 3 And the songs of the temple into mourning, and all
your shall be howlings in that day, songs into lamentation ; and I saith the Lord God: there shall will bring up sackcloth upon be many dead bodies in every all loins, and baldness upon place; they shall cast them forth every head; and I will make with silence.
it as the mourning of an only 4 Hear this, O ye that swal. son, and the end thereof as a low up
the needy, even to make bitter day. the poor
of the land to fail, 11 Behold, the days come, saith 5 Saying, When will the new the Lord God, that I will send moon be gone, that we may sell a famine in the land, not a famine corn ? and the sabbath, that we of bread, nor a thirst for water, may set forth wheat, making the but of hearing the words of the ephah small, and the shekel Lord: great, and falsifying the ba- 12 And they shall wander from lances by deceit?
sea to sea, and from the north 6 That we may buy the poor even to the east, they shall run for silver, and the needy for a to and fro to seek the word of pair of shoes; yea, and sell the the Lord, and shall not find it. refuse of the wheat ?
13 In that day shall the fair 7 The Lord hath sworn by virgins and young men faint the excellency of Jacob, Surely for thirst. I will never forget any of their 14 They that swear by the sin of works.
Samaria, and say, Thy god, O 8 Shall not the land tremble Dan, liveth; and, The manner for this, and every one mourn of Beer-sheba liveth; even they that dwelleth therein ? and it shall fall, and never rise up again.
LECTURE 1414. The peril of not using God's word when we have it. The basket of summer fruit, shewn to Amos in vision, was an emblem signifying, that the people were ripe for punishment: “I will not again pass by them any more.” We hang as fruit upon a tree, with One watching our progress, and many times passing by, when conscience might make us feel that we are ripe for judgment, and perhaps taking us at last when we least expect
it. Oh may we be found, whensoever we are taken, meet for our heavenly Owner's use, ripe not for perdition but for glory, not for the silence of death, or the wailings of torment, but for joining in the songs of heaven to all eternity!
We may learn here what are some of the sins which canker the fruit in the garden of the Lord, and draw down his wrath upon his people. Oppression of the poor, often dwelt on by this prophet, is here once more very forcibly pointed out. It must have been a very crying sin in Israel at that time. It is a sin very offensive unto God at all times. And it concerns every one of us, when we find it so fearfully denounced, to examine whether we do our duty fully by our poorer brethren, in the spirit of brotherly kind
A distaste for sabbaths and other holy days is another sin here dwelt upon ; such distaste as arises from anxiety to pursue the gains of a worldly calling by means ever so dishonest. This too is a sin which we all have need to watch against, whether we are engaged in trade or not, and however fairly we may design to deal. Are we glad or sorry when the Lord's day comes round? Are we vexed to be hindered in our worldly callings, or glad to be summoned to the work of heaven and to the house of prayer? And do we really hallow the day by abstaining from all such work as properly belongs to the other days of the week? Or are we even worse than these Israelites, as some Christians are in this respect: that they are in no haste for the sabbath to be gone, because it makes no difference in their occupations, they never hallowing it at all ?
Of all these threatened judgments, and the signs and fearful portents by which they were to be accompanied, no one is so appalling as the famine here described, “ not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” Miserable indeed must God's people be, when in such a case; to have enjoyed the use of his Scriptures, to have heard the voice of his prophets, but to be cut off from this chiefest of comforts in trouble, that which alone holds up the light of hope in the lowest depths of distress! Wretched indeed are they that are in such a case! How much more wretched and wicked too, they who might enjoy these benefits, and will not; who starve, by their own folly, in the midst of plenty! Better to run to and fro, and seek without finding, than to refuse to hear, when sought out and spoken to. Better, in the case of God's word, to hunger and thirst, and not to have, than to have, and not care to use. Oh may God, who has given us of his blessed word abundantly, also give us the disposition to use it, and to profit by it, to enjoy it, to be thankful for it, and to prove our thankfulness, by believing as He herein teaches us, and doing as He herein commands us !
Israel's desolation denounced. A restoration promised. i I saw the Lord standing up- and the Syrians from Kir? on the altar: and he said, Šmite 8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord the lintel of the door, that the God are upon the sinful kingposts may shake: and cut them dom, and I will destroy it from in the head, all of them; and I off the face of the earth; saving will slay the last of them with that I will not utterly destroy the sword: he that fleeth of the house of Jacob, saith the them shall not fee away, and he LORD. that escapeth of them shall not 9For, lo, I will command, be delivered.
and I will sift the house of 2 Though they dig into bell, Israel among all nations, like as thence shall mine hand take corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall them; though they climb up not the least grain fall upon the to heaven, thence will I bring earth. them down:
10 All the sinners of my peo3 And though they hide them- ple shall die by the sword, which selves in the top of Carmel, I say, The evil shall not overtake will search and take them out nor prevent us. thence; and though they be 11 In that day will I raise up hid from my sight in the bottom the tabernacle of David that is of the sea, thence will I com- fallen, and close up the breaches mand the serpent, and he shall thereof; and I will raise up his bite them :
ruins, and I will build it as in 4 And though they go into the days of old; captivity before their enemies, 12 That they may possess the thence will I command the remnant of Edom, and of all sword, and it shall slay them: the heathen, which are called and I will set mine eyes upon by my name, saith the LORD them for evil, and not for good. that doeth this.
5 And the Lord God of hosts 13 Behold, the days come, is he that toucheth the land, saith the LORD, that the plowand it shall melt, and all that man shall overtake the reaper, dwell therein shall mourn: and and the treader of grapes him it shall rise up wholly like a that soweth seed; and the mounflood; and shall be drowned, as tains shall drop sweet wine, and by the flood of Egypt.
all the hills shall melt. 6 It is he that buildeth his 14 And I will bring again the stories in the heaven, and hath captivity of my people of Israel, founded his troop in the earth; and they shall build the waste he that calleth for the waters of cities, and inhabit them; and the sea, and poureth them out they shall plant vineyards, and upon the face of the earth: The drink the wine thereof; they Lord is his name.
shall also make gardens, and 7 Are ye not as children of eat the fruit of them. the Ethiopians unto me, O chil- 15 And I will plant them upon dren of Israel? saith the LORD. their land, and they shall no Have not I brought up Israel more be pulled up out of their out of the land of Egypt? and land which I have given them, the Philistines from Caphtor, saith the Lord thy God.
The prospect of a holy universal church. The Prophet Amos saw the Lord standing on the altar, the idolatrous altar set up by Jeroboam in Samaria, and heard Him issue the divine directions for the destruction of the building, and utter the awful sentence of his irresistible purpose to overtake the idolaters, whithersoever they might fly, with a swift and sure destruction. Is there any object that we idolize? any creature of God that we prefer in our affections to Himself? Let us endeavour by faith to see the Lord standing upon the altar of our idolatry, and to hear Him decreeing its overthrow, and warning those who so rob Him of his honour, that no flight shall save them, no mountain height, nor ocean depth, not hell beneath, nor heaven above, shall hide them from his all searching eye, or deliver them from his almighty hand. Earth melts at his touch; heaven was constructed at his bidding; all creation is subject to his pleasure, and is ready to execute his judgments.
66 The Lord is his name. And He is the Lord not of one people but of all, not of one world but of the whole universe. How vain then is the thought that we can escape his wrath! How mad must we be to persist in disobeying his commandments !
But though the Lord is God every where, and his eyes are in every place, He would have his chosen people know, that his view is especially fixt on them, and fixt on them in displeasure by reason of their sins. His " sinful kingdom," doubly sinful inasmuch as it was his, must be utterly destroyed from off the face of the earth; the kingdom, and yet not the whole house of Jacob. Destruction and preservation are to go hand in hand. The house of Israel, every where dispersed, shall be every where kept separate, against a day of signal restoration. And whilst the presumptuous sinners amongst them must assuredly perish, God will raise up again the fallen tabernacle of David, repair its ruins, and rebuild it in all its former glory, the glory of his favour and protection. Wide extent of dominion, fruitfulness in all good things, and permanent enjoyment of God's good gifts, such are the blessings heaped together in these precious promises, with which the prophecies of Amos conclude. What a comfort to the devout Israelite, as he viewed in consternation the ruin impending on his country, to see, however dimly, in the prospect of the future, a hope of better things! What a confirmation of our hopes in the Gospel, to find so much of what is here foretold fulfilled in our present privileges, and in those of our Christian brethren throughout the world! See Acts 15. 17. Soon may God accomplish all! Soon may the day arrive, when Jew and Gentile, all Jews, all Gentiles, every where, unite to form one holy universal church, wide as the world, fruitful in every good word and work, and lasting as eternity!
The destruction of Edom is foretold. i The vision of Obadiah. Thus by slaughter. saith the Lord God concerning io For thy violence against Edom; We have heard a rumour thy brother Jacob shame shall from the Lord, and an ambas- cover thee, and thou shalt be sador is sent among the hea- cut off for ever. then, Arise ye, and let us rise 11 In the day that thou stoodup against her in battle, est on the other side, in the day
2 Behold, I have made thee that the strangers carried away small among the heathen: thou captive his forces, and foreignart greatly despised.
ers entered into his gates, and 3 The pride of thine heart hath cast lots upon Jerusalem, even deceived thee, thou that dwellest thou wast as one of them. in the clefts of the rock, whose 12 But thou shouldest not have
bitation is high; that saith in looked on the day of thy brother his heart, Who shall bring me in the day that he became a down to the ground?
stranger; neither shouldest thou 4. Though thou exalt thyself as have rejoiced over the children the eagle, and though thou set of Judah in the day of their thy nest among the stars, thence destruction ; neither shouldest will I bring thee down, saith the thou have spoken proudly in LORD.
the day of distress. 5 If thieves came to thee, if 13 Thou shouldest not have robbers by night, (how art thou entered into the gate of my peocut off !) would they not have ple in the day of their calamity; stolen till they had enough? if yea, thou shouldest not have the grapegatherers came to thee, looked on their affliction in the would they not leave some grapes? day of their calamity, nor have
6 How are the things of Esau laid hands on their substance in searched out! how are his hid- the day of their calamity; den things sought up!
14 Neither shouldest thou have 7 All the men of thy confede- stood in the causeway, to cut off racy have brought thee even to those of his that did escape; the border: the men that were neither shouldest thou have deat peace with thee have deceived livered up those of his that did thee, and prevailed against thee; remain in the day of distress. they that eat thy bread have laid 15 For the day of the LORD is a wound under thee: there is near upon all the heathen : as none understanding in him. thou hast done, it shall be done
8 Shall I not in that day, saith unto thee: thy reward shall rethe LORD, even destroy the wise turn upon thine own head. men outof Edom, andunderstand
16 For as ye have drunk upon ing out of the mount of Esau ? my holy mountain, so shall all 9 And thy mighty men, ( the heathen drink continually, Teman, shall be dismayed, to yea, they shall drink, and they the end that every one of the shallswallow down, and theyshall mount of Esau may be cut off be as though they had not been.