Many people cannot believe that God would reach a point in His patience with people that He would finally be done. God’s patience with His people has run out because they continued to ignore His warnings and repent of their actions.
“A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness.” (The Attributes of God, Arthur W. Pink, Pg 82)
We must accept the God who has been revealed to us and not the one we would like Him to be. God has revealed Himself to us through His scriptures and although there are things we may not like that does not change the fact that this is who God is. God will show Amos that His patience has run out with Israel because they have not repented of their ways and God’s wrath will soon follow.
Read Amos 8:1-3 This is what the Lord God showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. 2 And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lord said to me, “The end[a] has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass by them.3 The songs of the temple[b] shall become wailings[c] in that day,” declares the Lord God.“So many dead bodies! ”They are thrown everywhere! “Silence!
“I will spare them no longer”
The vision that is shown to Amos is that of summer fruit. Just like fruit has an expiration date so does God’s patience. Fruit also in the Hebrew language sounds similar to the word end. We know that God is a patient God not wanting anyone to perish (1 Peter 3:9) but we see here that God has reached a point of no return with this rebellious people. God has given them time to repent and to change but they have decided that the way they are living is good and even acceptable to Him.
Although we like a God who demonstrates love and patients, we also want a God who is Just and righteous, because that means that God is going to deal with those who for their own gain have hurt others. A God who did not punish sin would not be a just God. A time is coming when people will no longer be able to repent and turn to God and it is on that day that there will be a day of mourning and not joy. They will be wiped out from an invading army and everyone present will be affected.
Many people like to say the phrase “Rest in Peace” when someone passes from this life, but for those who do not accept the free gift of salvation from Jesus there death will not be a time of peace. None of us knows when our last day on this planet will be because none of us know for sure when we will face eternity.
Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
What makes this situation unique is that these people are still alive and yet God is saying that He is done with them and will no longer spare them or walk in their presence. They have reached a point of no return with God not because they have already passed away but because they have hardened their hearts to the point that they will no longer respond to God. This goes against what most of us have been taught about God because we teach that you can always turn to God even if it is your last breathe, which is true, but not if you become so calloused toward Him that you will not reach out.
Hebrews 3:15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
The people that Amos was dealing with had a form of spirituality but they had created a religion and a god of their own making and ignored what the true God had desired. Because their religious leaders were leading them astray they no longer desired to reach out to God. Each time you reject the claims of Christ your heart becomes hardened and insensitive to the call of God back to Him. Eventually you will become so hard hearted that you will lose your love for God and then for His creation. Sometimes we wonder why people do the things they do when they do evil and horrendous acts toward others. We question God in these times but the reality is Christianity has an answer for why people act the way they do. Our society teaches that people are basically good but the Bible teaches the opposite saying that inside of us lurks evil that if allowed to grow will lead to all different acts of evil. We have a problem in our hearts, a sickness or disease that is only going to get worse unless we allow God to change us.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Mark 10:18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
Jesus tells us only God is good and that we have a problem called sin that is a terminal disease that is destroying us and God’s creation. We are not good people that need to be better we are sick people that need a heart transplant. Until we get a new heart by God our evil nature will rise to the top and we will eventually do evil we never thought we would do.
Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Because of this disease called sin there are two specific sins God will point out to Amos that he is to report back to the people in trying to get them to see the errors of their ways.
Amos 8:4-7 Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, 5 saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain. And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel[d] great and deal deceitfully with false balances, 6 that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?” 7 The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds
Because of this disease called sin there are two specific sins God will point out to Amos that he is to report back to the people in trying to get them to see the errors of their ways. There are several things that made God reach a point that He said enough is enough and I will no longer give them more chances.
1) God was Fed Up with the Treatment of Others
“Trample the Needy” Instead of helping their fellow man they treated them poorly, harshly and unjustly. As followers of God we believe every human being is a special creation of God no matter their financial status, their abilities or their color.
Matthew 22:37-39 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Because the religious leaders were always looking to get out of doing things they wanted to know who their neighbor was and Jesus told them the story of the good Samaritan. We are seeing a devaluing of people in our own country because of abortion which says that they are not a human and evolution which says that animals and people are equal. We know that in the end times people will continue to harden their hearts toward God and then their love for others will become less. Because of technology and education the generation that is coming up is already known to be less empathetic for others. Their motto is “If it does not affect me then it does not matter”. The people were stealing from others to get rich and they did not care what it did to anyone else as long as it benefited themselves. They were using false measurements to steal from others and weighted shekels to tip the scale in their direction. When those they were stealing from could no longer pay they sold their children into slavery in order to cover the debts that were brought on because of unethical business practices.
How we treat others is important to God and that means no matter their color or financial status we have a responsibility to them as human beings.
2) God was Fed Up with half- hearted worship
“When will this be over with?” is what they said about the times of worship. Have you ever found yourself showing up for church just so you could mark it off your to do list? The people were carrying out the religious activity but God saw that their hearts were not into it because they hated losing out on making a profit by not being able to work. We pause to worship God because He deserves our praise and trust in Him to provide for our needs. The people were going through the motions (even though they were adding other gods to it) but their hearts were somewhere else. Matthew 6:21 Jesus said where your treasure is that is where your heart is and people were more into making money rather than worshiping the God who gave them the ability to make it. What you are most concerned about tells the condition of your heart. How often we come to church and cannot give God our attention because we have to look at emails, text and social media instead of surrendering ourselves fully to Him for an hour or so.
1 Chronicles 16:8-12 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 9 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! 10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! 11 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! 12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
We are to come to worship and praise God for all that He has done and remember Him but too many times we come to worship out of habit or guilt and lose the true meaning of why we show up.
Jesus said in Matthew 15:7-9 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;9 in vain do they worship me,” Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who was not really paying attention? When we show up to worship are we not really engaging with God and are we distracted by other things we have deemed more important?
Our priority should always be to give God our full attention but by doing so then we should also care for those around us. We should see each person we come into contact with as a precious human being that has dignity and not someone we can take advantage of or someone who we think we are better than because of our race or our financial status.
God was fed up and done with them because of their treatment of worship and their treatment of people. We need to learn from the people Amos was addressing and evaluate our own hearts so that we can make sure our hearts have not become hardened to the things of God.