Amos 7

1 Thus the Lord GOD showed me: and behold, he formed locusts in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and behold, it was the latter growth after the king’s harvest. 2 When they finished eating the grass of the land, then I said, “Lord GOD, forgive, I beg you! How could Jacob stand? For he is small.” 3 The LORD relented concerning this. “It shall not be,” says the LORD. 4 Thus the Lord GOD showed me and behold, the Lord GOD called for judgement by fire; and it dried up the great deep, and would have devoured the land. 5 Then I said, “Lord GOD, stop, I beg you! How could Jacob stand? For he is small.” 6 The LORD relented concerning this. “This also shall not be,” says the Lord GOD. 7 Thus he showed me and behold, the Lord stood beside a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. 8 The LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold, I will set a plumb line in the middle of my people Israel. I will not again pass by them any more. 9 The high places of Isaac will be desolate, the sanctuaries of Israel will be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.” 10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the middle of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For Amos says, ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land.’” 12 Amaziah also said to Amos, “You seer, go, flee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: 13 but don’t prophesy again any more at Bethel; for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a royal house!” 14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was a herdsman, and a farmer of sycamore figs; 15 and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore listen to the LORD’s word: ‘You say, Don’t prophesy against Israel, and don’t preach against the house of Isaac.’ 17 Therefore the LORD says: ‘Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be divided by line; and you yourself shall die in a land that is unclean, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land.’”

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

Verses 1–9

God bears long, but he will not bear always with a provoking people. The remembrance of the mercies we formerly received, like the produce of the earth of the former growth, should make us submissive to the will of God, when we meet with disappointments in the latter growth. The Lord has many ways of humbling a sinful nation. Whatever trouble we are under, we should be most earnest with God for the forgiveness of sin. Sin will soon make a great people small. What will become of Israel, if the hand that should raise him be stretched out against him? See the power of prayer. See what a blessing praying people are to a land. See how ready, how swift God is to show mercy; how he waits to be gracious. Israel was a wall, a strong wall, which God himself reared as a defence to his sanctuary. The Lord now seems to stand upon this wall. He measures it; it appears to be a bowing, bulging wall. Thus God would bring the people of Israel to the trial, would discover their wickedness; and the time will come, when those who have been spared often, shall be spared no longer. But the Lord still calls Israel his people. The repeated prayer and success of the prophet should lead us to seek the Saviour.

Verses 10–17

It is no new thing for the accusers of the brethren, to misrepresent them as enemies to the king and kingdom, as traitors to their prince, and troublers of the land, when they are the best friends to both. Those who make gain their godliness, and are governed by the hopes of wealth and preferment, are ready to think these the most powerful motives with others also. But those who have a warrant from God, like Amos, ought not to fear the face of man. If God, that sent him, had not strengthened him, he could not thus have set his face as a flint. The Lord often chooses the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise and mighty. But no fervent prayers, or self-denying labours, can bring proud sinners to bear faithful reproofs and warnings. And all who oppose or despise the Divine word, must expect fatal effects to their souls, unless they repent.

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