Amos 5. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
By Senior Pastor Don Roy Hemingway.
1 Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel:
2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise. She is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
3 For thus saith the Lord God: “The city that went out by a thousand shall be left a hundred, and that which went forth by a hundred shall be left ten to the house of Israel.”
4 For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel: “Seek ye Me, and ye shall live;
5 but seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
6 Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel—
7 ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth!”
8 Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night, who calleth for the waters of the sea and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is His name,
9 who strengtheneth the despoiled against the strong, so that the despoiled shall come against the fortress.
10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat, ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine from them.
12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor at the gate from their right.
13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good and not evil, that ye may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate. It may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord saith thus: “Wailing shall be in all streets, and they shall say in all the highways, ‘Alas! Alas!’ And they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skillful in lamentation to wailing.
17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing, for I will pass through thee,” saith the Lord.
18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light:
19 as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
20 Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?
21 “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell the scent in your solemn assemblies.
22 Though ye offer Me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
23 Take thou away from Me the noise of thy songs, for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
24 But let judgment run down like waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
25 “Have ye offered unto Me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god which ye made for yourselves.
27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus,” saith the Lord, whose name is The God of Hosts.
Thank you, Father in heaven, for gathering us together and opening a door which can be entered by all who are like children. You open the door for all who have the childlike hope that you are carrying out your purpose, that in the midst of the ruin and sin of world history, life remains, the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, life for all the world. No one can destroy this life, which will soon gather power until all people see him, Jesus Christ, who for the salvation of humankind is the same yesterday, today, and in all eternity. In Jesus we Pray. Amen.
(4) For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel:
“Seek Me and live;
(5) But do not seek Bethel,
Nor enter Gilgal,
Nor pass over to Beersheba;
For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity,
And Bethel shall come to nothing.
(6) Seek the LORD and live,
Lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
And devour it,
With no one to quench it in Bethel—
(7) You who turn justice to wormwood,
And lay righteousness to rest in the earth!”
(8) He made the Pleiades and Orion;
He turns the shadow of death into morning
And makes the day dark as night;
He calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the face of the earth;
The LORD is His name.
(9) He rains ruin upon the strong,
So that fury comes upon the fortress.
(10) They hate the one who rebukes in the gate,
And they abhor the one who speaks uprightly.
(11) Therefore, because you tread down the poor
And take grain taxes from him,
Though you have built houses of hewn stone,
Yet you shall not dwell in them;
You have planted pleasant vineyards,
But you shall not drink wine from them.
(12) For I know your manifold transgressions
And your mighty sins:
Afflicting the just and taking bribes;
Diverting the poor from justice at the gate.
Why does Amos specifically mention Bethel other than that it was where the Israelites were holding feasts? Why did they choose Bethel as a feast site? Bethel played an important role in Israel’s history. Twice Jacob, one of the fathers of Israel, has important events happen to him there.
Genesis 28:11-22 records the first occasion Jacob has an encounter with God at Bethel, though it was not called Bethel then. It received its name—”House of God”—from God revealing Himself to Jacob there, and Jacob believing that He lived there. On this occasion, the patriarch arrives as a homeless wanderer, a man on the run from the murderous intents of his brother Esau. He is a man with a past, having just deceived his father and brother out of the blessing. Nevertheless, God reveals Himself to him there, and the transformation of Jacob begins. He leaves Bethel as a man with a future.
The second time he encounters God at Bethel (Genesis 35:1-4, 7, 9-15), he arrives after departing from his father-in-law, Laban, and having reconciled with Esau. He is a far better man than the first time, but he is not yet complete. However, he arrives as “Jacob” and departs as “Israel.” The new name is assurance of the reality that he is a new man, that a transformation is taking place. In the Israelite mind, Bethel thus became associated as a place of renewal, of reorientation, of transformation by God.
Even as verses 1-3 of Amos 5 are a dirge, verses 8-9 are in the form of a hymn praising the true God, the transforming God. When God is at work, things change for the better; He is the God who makes a difference.
With this background, we can understand why Amos 5 calls attention to Bethel. God is asking, “Why aren’t you Israelites being transformed in the conduct of your life when you keep the feasts?” He is saying, “You indeed go to Bethel for the feast, but no transformation of your conduct and attitude occurs. Are you going there to seek Me?”
One of the primary proofs that God is making a difference in a person’s life occurs when one who was formerly hostile to God and His law begins to love God and His law. He shows his new love by obeying God and His law in his life in areas like those mentioned in verses 10-12.
Yet, the Israelites attended the feasts in Bethel and returned home with their lives still ungoverned by God’s truth. When Jacob met God, his life began changing immediately, as his vow to tithe in Genesis 28:22 shows. Faith immediately became part of the conduct of his life. The lives of those in Amos’ day should also have changed according to the dictates, principles, and examples of God’s Word. They should have left Bethel singing and exemplifying, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
It seems that these people turned the feast in Bethel into nothing more than a vacation. Thus, Amos admonishes, “Do not seek Bethel! Seek the Lord and live!” Ultimately, the Bethel approach signifies death, not life.
Psalm 2121st Century King James Version (KJ21)
21 The king shall rejoice in Thy strength, O Lord; and in Thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
2 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
3 For Thou goest before him with the blessings of goodness; Thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked life of Thee and Thou gavest it to him, even length of days for ever and ever.
5 His glory is great in Thy salvation; honor and majesty hast Thou laid upon him.
6 For Thou hast made him most blessed for ever; Thou hast made him exceeding glad with Thy countenance.
7 For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.
8 Thine hand shall find out all Thine enemies; Thy right hand shall find out those that hate Thee.
9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of Thine anger; the Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
10 Their fruit shalt Thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
11 For they intended evil against Thee; they contrived a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.
12 Therefore shalt Thou make them turn their back when Thou shalt ready Thine arrows upon Thy strings against the face of them.
13 Be Thou exalted, Lord, in Thine own strength; so will we sing and praise Thy power!
Have a great day Brothers and Sisters of the CJCN, The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Today, we are only asking you to donate $50 cents to our church and our worthy causes…………
PLEASE BE AS GENEROUS AS YOU CAN THE LORD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7English Standard Version (ESV)
The Cheerful Giver.
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
May God bless you all and ‘The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation’, Amen.
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