The Bible and its Story: Amos Rubukes Israel’s Luxury

‎The career of Amos was not unlike that of the earlier and more celebrated Elijah, Just as Elijah had appeared suddenly before King Ahab over a century before, so Amos now stood among the rich nobles and mighty priesthood of the court of Jeroboam. This period seems to have been that of Israel’s greatest material splendor; the ivory palace and other gorgeous structures of King Ahab had been added to, until Samaria was one of the most imposing cities of the world. Hut wealth and ease, alas, had bred as they so often must, a people languishing in idleness, seeking excitement in physical excesses or in cruelty, and dwindling into spiritual death.

‎Amos did not begin by denouncing the Samarians. First he denounced their enemies. Damascus had savagely plundered Samaria, so Damascus should perish; Tyre had been false and treacherous, she should perish; Amnion had been brutish; Judah had neglected to worship God. Then suddenly, as the Samarians listened in satisfaction, Amos turned upon them. They had committed all these crimes in fuller measure than any of their foes. In vivid words the prophet pictures Israel’s idleness, and cruelty and debauchery. He points to the inevitable result: “The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?”

by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne

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