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Monday, October 17, 2011


1 This is what the Lord GOD showed me — a basket of summer fruit. 2 He said, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A basket of summer fruit." Then the LORD said to me, "The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass them by. 3 The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day," says the Lord GOD; "the dead bodies shall be many, cast out in every place. Be silent!"
     4 Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, 5 saying, "When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, 6 buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat."
     7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. 8 Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who lives in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?
On that day, says the Lord GOD, I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight.  10I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day.  11The time is surely coming, says the Lord GOD,
when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.

(Eclipse of the sun- left; Texas dust storm that blocked sun 10/17/11)

Thoughts: The New (2011) NIV version has made this passage harder to understand.  The 1984 NIV translates this like this: 2 "What do you see, Amos? 'A basket of ripe fruit.' The Lord said, 'the time is ripe for my people Israel." 
     Why was the time ripe?  They had a bad attitude about keeping the Sabbath, they cheated in business (using false weights/scales), and they took advantage (instead of having compassion) on the poor.  God cares that we put our time, our things and our needy in His hands.  Our time is a gift from Him- so we should honor one day in seven to acknowledge He is God of our time.  Our things are gifts from Him- so we should be honest as He is in our work and commerce.  Our needy (like the disabled, the widow or orphan) are gifts to us as well- therefore instead of enslaving them with debt to us, we should be compassionate upon them.

     Incidentally, Amos speaks of an eclipse- the sun going down at noon.  There was an eclipse in 763 as a confirmation Amos' and God's words.  The darkening of the sun is a symbol of the blindness of the people of his day.  The famine for the word of God- is also a blindness and deafness.  They have prophets and the Law (the Word), but they cannot see or hear for they refuse to do so.  They hunger gor God's Word as for bread but the bread of life right in front of them cannot be seen.

Prayer: While we deserve your wrath, O God, be patient with us. You have given us your Word in so many different ways.  Help us to take advantage of your Word by feasting on it.

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