All false idols are like that, in their day as well as ours. They make promises that we foolishly buy into. But when you’re in the trench and going through the dregs of life, porn, food, pride, money and power don’t have your back. But they’ll be all you have left when you tell the prophets of God to shut up.
Amos gets another vision from God and it is indeed dire. God has a basket of summer fruit, which is picked at the end of the season. I’m assuming that this is an indication to Amos that the season God has allowed is coming to a close and the fruits are now being gathered (and Israel’s fruits are junky and bring them ruin). There are other potential interpretations there probably but that makes sense to me, especially when coupled with the pronouncement that the end has come to the people and the reiteration that he will not pass over their sin anymore.
The picture is an especially rough one. The exile will be indiscriminate and violent. Bodies will be strewn about treated without honor (lying around, no proper burial). And although that’s a shocking image, Amos reminds them of what got them there: treating the poor terribly, focusing on their own gain over concern for others (when will all of these holidays/holy days be over so I can get back to selling my goods?) and generally being deceitful in business (false balances, selling the worthless part of the wheat, etc.) God will not forgot how prideful they’ve been and the repercussions are equaled only in the power of nature.
The judgment will be so terrible that nature itself will be impacted. Do I think the sun really is going down at noon? No. Darkness, moon and sun being impacted in very unnatural ways, are all ways the Bible has described judgment. Could it be literal? Sure. But it’s not likely and it’s not the most natural reading of the text. And note the rest of the section, everything gets flipped on its head; feasts into mourning, songs into lamentations, sackcloth everywhere, rampant baldness (intentionally, sign of mourning, check Isaiah), etc.
Compounding the dire situation of the exile, God also declares a famine…of His words. He will turn them over to the Assyrians and they will be denied the comfort of God’s words even though they will desire them. What he has communicated thus far will be all they have to chew on. He is almost turning them over, saying “go to your idols, let them save you.” You set up false temples at Samaria, Dan and Beersheba, what they have given you is all you have left. All false idols are like that, in their day as well as ours. They make promises that we foolishly buy into. But when you’re in the trench and going through the dregs of life, porn, food, pride, money and power don’t have your back. But they’ll be all you have left when you tell the prophets of God to shut up.
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