The Vision of Summer Fruit

Because of a minor infraction, a sailor aboard the USS Reeves, bound for Japan, was busted one rank, fined and given extra duty for three weeks. Looking forward to celebrating his 21st birthday on July 22, he consoled himself every night during his extra duty by reciting, “T … More

Judgment

Amos saw a basket of summer fruit gathered, and ready to be eaten; which signified, that the people were ripe for judgment, that the year of God’s patience was drawing towards a conclusion (vv. 1-3). Like this fruit Israel was ripe for judgment (v. 2). God had appointed a day of judgment for Samaria and when that day finally came, the sounds of worship in the temple would turn to wailing and bodies would be flung everywhere (v. 3). The reason for this devastation is given (vv. 4-6). These merchants were keeping the religious festivals, but not in spirit. The couldn’t wait for the holy days to be over so they could go back to making money. They were so interested in becoming rich that they would cheat and short-change the quality, even selling chaff as wheat.

The rich and powerful of the land were the most guilty of oppression, as well as the foremost in idolatry (vv. 7-10). The Lord says He will never forget any of their rebellious deeds (v. 7).  He continues by saying, the land shall tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it (v. 8). He will cause the sun to go down at noon, and will darken the earth in the broad daylight (v. 9). All of this will take place when He turns their feasts into mourning and all their songs into lamenting (v. 10).

Because God’s people has not listened to the warnings of the prophets, the Lord promised to send “a famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (vv. 11-14). While a lack of food can lead to disease and death, a famine of the Word can produce eternal consequences. Just like today, many looked everywhere for answers to life’s problems, except in Scripture.

Application

God’s word is available to us today, so I must do all I can to help people know it before the time comes when it is eternally too late.

Amos 8:1-14 (English Standard Version)

This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. And 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 by them. The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day," declares the Lord GOD. "So many dead bodies!" "They are thrown everywhere!" "Silence!" Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, "When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?" The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: "Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?" "And on that day," declares the Lord GOD, "I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist 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. "Behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "when I will send a famine on the land-- not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it. "In that day the lovely virgins and the young men shall faint for thirst. Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria, and say, 'As your god lives, O Dan,' and, 'As the Way of Beersheba lives,' they shall fall, and never rise again."

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