Amos 8 (NIV)
A Basket of Ripe Fruit
This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2 “What do you see, Amos? ” he asked.
“A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered.
Then the Lord said to me, “The end has come upon my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
Scholars say that this is a clever play on words. In Hebrew, the words ‘ripe fruit’ sound like ‘end.’ God’s mercy has come to an end.
3 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!”
No more songs of thanks at harvest time. Instead there will be sadness, weeping, death.
4 Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,
“When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?” —
skimping on the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
6 buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
God has seen the arrogant rich people cheating, he has seen them conducting their unfair business practices, and he has seen them taking advantage of the vulnerable poor people.
7 The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.
We can make a contrast between Amos 8:7 and Hebrews 6:10: For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. God does not forget the good works of His people, and He does not forget the evil works of those who reject Him.
8 “Will not the land tremble for this,
and all who live in it mourn?
The whole land will rise like the Nile;
it will be stirred up and then sink
like the river of Egypt.
9 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your religious festivals into mourning
and all your singing into weeping.
I will make all of you wear sackcloth
and shave your heads.
I will make that time like mourning for an only son
and the end of it like a bitter day.
Zechariah 12:10 (ESV)
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”
11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.
Since it is true that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4), then it is true that a famine of hearing God’s Word is ultimately worse than a famine of bread.
13 “In that day
“the lovely young women and strong young men
will faint because of thirst.
14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria —
who say, ‘As surely as your god lives, Dan,’
or, ‘As surely as the god of Beersheba lives’—
they will fall, never to rise again. ”
HERE is “Lord, Have Mercy” by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. Deep down, we are so much like the Israelites! Thank you, Lord, for your kindness and mercy to us!