Amos 3

1 Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying: 2 “I have only chosen you of all the families of the earth. Therefore I will punish you for all of your sins.” 3 Do two walk together, unless they have agreed? 4 Will a lion roar in the thicket, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing? 5 Can a bird fall in a trap on the earth, where no snare is set for him? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when there is nothing to catch? 6 Does the trumpet alarm sound in a city, without the people being afraid? Does evil happen to a city, and the LORD hasn’t done it? 7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets. 8 The lion has roared. Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken. Who can but prophesy? 9 Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria, and see what unrest is in her, and what oppression is amongst them.” 10 “Indeed they don’t know to do right,” says the LORD, “Who hoard plunder and loot in their palaces.” 11 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “An adversary will overrun the land; and he will pull down your strongholds, and your fortresses will be plundered.” 12 The LORD says: “As the shepherd rescues out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be rescued who sit in Samaria on the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed.” 13 “Listen, and testify against the house of Jacob,” says the Lord GOD, the God of Armies. 14 “For in the day that I visit the transgressions of Israel on him, I will also visit the altars of Bethel; and the horns of the altar will be cut off, and fall to the ground. 15 I will strike the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory will perish, and the great houses will have an end,” says the LORD.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–8

The distinguishing favours of God to us, if they do not restrain from sin, shall not exempt from punishment. They could not expect communion with God, unless they first sought peace with him. Where there is not friendship, there can be no fellowship. God and man cannot walk together, except they are agreed. Unless we seek his glory, we cannot walk with him. Let us not presume on outward privileges, without special, sanctifying grace. The threatenings of the word and providence of God against the sin of man are certain, and certainly show that the judgments of God are at hand. Nor will God remove the affliction he has sent, till it has done its work. The evil of sin is from ourselves, it is our own doing; but the evil of trouble is from God, and is his doing, whoever are the instruments. This should engage us patiently to bear public troubles, and to study to answer God’s meaning in them. The whole of the passage shows that natural evil, or troubles, and not moral evil, or sin, is here meant. The warning given to a careless world will increase its condemnation another day. Oh the amazing stupidity of an unbelieving world, that will not be wrought upon by the terrors of the Lord, and that despise his mercies!

Verses 9–15

That power which is an instrument of unrighteousness, will justly be brought down and broken. What is got and kept wrongfully, will not be kept long. Some are at ease, but there will come a day of visitation, and in that day, all they are proud of, and put confidence in, shall fail them. God will inquire into the sins of which they have been guilty in their houses, the robbery they have stored up, and the luxury in which they lived. The pomp and pleasantness of men’s houses, do not fortify against God’s judgments, but make sufferings the more grievous and vexatious. Yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, will be secured by our great and good Shepherd, as from the jaws of destruction, in the worst times.

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