Israel's Guilt and Punishment

Amos 3

1 Listen to this message that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel and Judah - against the entire family I rescued from Egypt:

2 “From among all the families on the earth,
I have been intimate with you alone.
That is why I must punish you
for all your sins.”

3 Can two people walk together
without agreeing on the direction?
4 Does a lion ever roar in a thicket
without first finding a victim?
Does a young lion growl in its den
without first catching its prey?
5 Does a bird ever get caught in a trap
that has no bait?
Does a trap spring shut
when there’s nothing to catch?
6 When the ram’s horn blows a warning,
shouldn’t the people be alarmed?
Does disaster come to a city
unless the Lord has planned it?

7 Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything
until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared -
so who isn’t frightened?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken -
so who can refuse to proclaim his message?

9 Announce this to the leaders of Philistia 1
and to the great ones of Egypt:
“Take your seats now on the hills around Samaria,
and witness the chaos and oppression in Israel.”
10 “My people have forgotten how to do right,”
says the Lord .
“Their fortresses are filled with wealth
taken by theft and violence.

11 Therefore,” says the Sovereign Lord ,
“an enemy is coming!
He will surround them and shatter their defenses.
Then he will plunder all their fortresses.”

12 This is what the Lord says:
“A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion’s mouth
will recover only two legs or a piece of an ear.
So it will be for the Israelites in Samaria lying on luxurious beds,
and for the people of Damascus reclining on couches. 2

13 “Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel, 3 ” says the Lord, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
14 “On the very day I punish Israel for its sins,
I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel.
The horns of the altar will be cut off
and fall to the ground.
15 And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy -
their winter mansions and their summer houses, too -
all their palaces filled with ivory,”
says the Lord .

Amos 4

1 Listen to me, you fat cows 4
living in Samaria,
you women who oppress the poor
and crush the needy,
and who are always calling to your husbands,
“Bring us another drink!”
2 The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by his holiness:
“The time will come when you will be led away
with hooks in your noses.
Every last one of you will be dragged away
like a fish on a hook!
3 You will be led out through the ruins of the wall;
you will be thrown from your fortresses, 5
says the Lord .

4 “Go ahead and offer sacrifices to the idols at Bethel.
Keep on disobeying at Gilgal.
Offer sacrifices each morning,
and bring your tithes every three days.
5 Present your bread made with yeast
as an offering of thanksgiving.
Then give your extra voluntary offerings
so you can brag about it everywhere!
This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,”
says the Sovereign Lord .

New Living Translation (NLT) Copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc.
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