Amos 5:1 - 27
ESV - 1 Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel: 2 "Fallen, no more to rise, is the virgin Israel; forsaken on her land, with none to raise her up."
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The customs God established (the law of Moses) were given to instruct the people how to live a God-fearing (honour, reverence, awe) life and to worship (praise and thank) God for all his provision for the nation of Israel. But the people rejected God and pursued idols made from human hands that had no life in them, no ability to love and care for the people. The nation also rejected God’s principles for a just and righteous human society and pursued the evil desires of their hearts, leading to evil, wickedness, corruption and decay. This made God furious in his righteous anger and he punished (disciplined) his people for their sins. When the people performed the rituals that God prescribed, their hearts were far from God, they had no fear, faith or desire to please God, so he rejected their offerings and sacrifices. These verses in Amos ch 5 describe the sins that Israel was committing because they had no faith in God, and declares God’s righteous anger to send them into exile.
Many Jews in Amos' time had become hypocrites. They showed up at religious feasts & offered sacrifices, but their hearts weren't in it. Their hearts were cold. They had a form of godliness but no power--they denied it by the way they acted. They made hypocritical offerings but God rejected them (Amos 5:21-22). God wants sincere hearts, not the songs of hypocrites. So He will punish the nation's hypocrites. He rejects their songs (Amos 5:23-24) but wants to see a river of righteous living instead.
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