Amos 4

1 Listen to this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who tell their husbands, “Bring us drinks!” 2 The Lord GOD has sworn by his holiness that behold, “The days shall come on you that they will take you away with hooks, and the last of you with fish hooks. 3 You will go out at the breaks in the wall, everyone straight before her; and you will cast yourselves into Harmon,” says the LORD. 4 “Go to Bethel, and sin; to Gilgal, and sin more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days, 5 offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim free will offerings and brag about them: for this pleases you, you children of Israel,” says the Lord GOD. 6 “I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in every town; yet you haven’t returned to me,” says the LORD. 7 “I also have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest; and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city. One place was rained on, and the piece where it didn’t rain withered. 8 So two or three cities staggered to one city to drink water, and were not satisfied: yet you haven’t returned to me,” says the LORD. 9 “I struck you with blight and mildew many times in your gardens and your vineyards; and your fig trees and your olive trees have the swarming locust devoured: yet you haven’t returned to me,” says the LORD. 10 “I sent plagues amongst you like I did Egypt. I have slain your young men with the sword, and have carried away your horses; and I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camp, yet you haven’t returned to me,” says the LORD. 11 “I have overthrown some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a burning stick plucked out of the fire; yet you haven’t returned to me,” says the LORD. 12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, Israel. 13 For, behold, he who forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought; who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the high places of the earth: the LORD, the God of Armies, is his name.”

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

Verses 1–5

What is got by extortion is commonly used to provide for the flesh, and to fulfil the lusts thereof. What is got by oppression cannot be enjoyed with satisfaction. How miserable are those whose confidence in unscriptural observances only prove that they believe a lie! Let us see to it that our faith, hope, and worship, are warranted by the Divine word.

Verses 6–13

See the folly of carnal hearts; they wander from one creature to another, seeking for something to satisfy, and labour for that which satisfies not; yet, after all, they will not incline their ear to Him in whom they might find all they can want. Preaching the gospel is as rain, and every thing withers where this rain is wanting. It were well if people were as wise for their souls as they are for their bodies; and, when they have not this rain near, would go and seek it where it is to be had. As the Israelites persisted in rebellion and idolatry, the Lord was coming against them as an adversary. Ere long, we must meet our God in judgment; but we shall not be able to stand before him, if he tries us according to our doings. If we would prepare to meet our God with comfort, at the awful period of his coming, we must now meet him in Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of the Father, who came to save lost sinners. We must seek him while he is to be found.

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