God Will not Be Mocked

Amos 5:18-24

18 Alas for you who desire the day of the LORD!
Why do you want the day of the LORD?
It is darkness, not light;
19 as if someone fled from a lion,
and was met by a bear;
or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
and was bitten by a snake.
20 Is not the day of the LORD darkness, not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it?
21 I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”  NRSV

In yesterday’s post we were given the backstory of Amos’ prophecy. In this post, we continue to hear God’s judgment against the worshipping of false gods in Israel (yesterday’s text) and the hollow worship of God in Judah (vss 21-23). While Israel made no pretense to worship the God of their fathers and mothers, Judah did. Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians in 721 BCE. It was understood to be God’s judgment on their idolatry. God granted Judah another century and a half or so to get right with God. In the end, they failed, too. It resulted in the Babylonian exile in 586-587 BCE.

Sometimes, we do not get what we want or expect, but instead get what we deserve. That’s God’s point, here, in verses 18 and 19. God will not be mocked. Amos concludes with one of the most familiar passages in all of scripture.

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