Israel's Guilt and Punishment

Amos 3

1 Listen to this, Israel. God is calling you to account - and I mean all of you, everyone connected with the family that he delivered out of Egypt. Listen!

2 "Out of all the families on earth,
I picked you.
Therefore, because of your special calling,
I'm holding you responsible for all your sins."

3 Do two people walk hand in hand
if they aren't going to the same place?
Does a lion roar in the forest
if there's no carcass to devour?
Does a young lion growl with pleasure
if he hasn't caught his supper?
Does a bird fall to the ground
if it hasn't been hit with a stone?
Does a trap spring shut
if nothing trips it?
When the alarm goes off in the city,
aren't people alarmed?
And when disaster strikes the city,
doesn't God stand behind it?
The fact is, God, the Master, does nothing
without first telling his prophets the whole story.

8 The lion has roared -
who isn't frightened?
God has spoken -
what prophet can keep quiet?

9 Announce to the forts of Assyria,
announce to the forts of Egypt -
Tell them, "Gather on the Samaritan mountains, take a good, hard look:
what a snake pit of brutality and terror!
They can't - or won't - do one thing right." God said so.
"They stockpile violence and blight.
Therefore" - this is God's Word - "an enemy will surround the country.
He'll strip you of your power and plunder your forts."

12 God's Message: "In the same way that a shepherd
trying to save a lamb from a lion
Manages to recover
just a pair of legs or the scrap of an ear,
So will little be saved of the Israelites
who live in Samaria -
A couple of old chairs at most,
the broken leg of a table.

13 "Listen and bring witness against Jacob's family" -
this is God's Word, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
"Note well! The day I make Israel pay for its sins,
pay for the sin-altars of worship at Bethel,
The horned altars will all be dehorned
and scattered around.
I'll tear down the winter palace,
smash the summer palace - all your fancy buildings.
The luxury homes will be demolished,
all those pretentious houses."
God's Decree.

Amos 4

1 "Listen to this, you cows of Bashan
grazing on the slopes of Samaria.
You women! Mean to the poor,
cruel to the down-and-out!
Indolent and pampered, you demand of your husbands,
'Bring us a tall, cool drink!'
2 "This is serious - I, God, have sworn by my holiness!
Be well warned: Judgment Day is coming!
They're going to rope you up and haul you off,
keep the stragglers in line with cattle prods.
They'll drag you through the ruined city walls,
forcing you out single file,
And kick you to kingdom come."
God's Decree.

4 "Come along to Bethel and sin!
And then to Gilgal and sin some more!
Bring your sacrifices for morning worship.
Every third day bring your tithe.
Burn pure sacrifices - thank offerings.
Speak up - announce freewill offerings!
That's the sort of religious show
you Israelites just love."
God's Decree.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by NavPress and Eugene H. Peterson
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