We read earlier about God’s reasoning in punishing the Northern Kingdom of Israel in Amos 3. The people of Israel forgot “how to do right” (Amos 3:10). They deserved the coming punishment from the Lord.
In today’s passage, we read, first, about another reason that Israel will be punished. They were oppressing the poor by not feeding them. The wealthy of the land had plenty to eat (fat cows! v. 1), yet they did not try to help their less fortunate neighbor.
In response, God lets them know the days are coming when he will lead them away with hooks. The ESV says with fishhooks! If you’re under the age of 25, you’re probably picturing this:
No, this isn’t about that one episode of SpongeBob where they get too close to the fish hooks. This is actually a reference to another verse in the Bible.
“Because your raging against me and your arrogance have reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth; I will make you go back the way you came.” – Isaiah 37:29, CSB
While the Israelites were worshipping idols and boasting about the amount of their offering, the Lord was warning them that sin does not go unpunished.
We see that the Lord did bring the Israelites “back the way [they] came.” They wanted to live destructively, so the Lord brought destruction as a means of bringing them back to Him. However, they would not return to the Lord.
What encouragement can we take from this? I think this passage can serve as a warning to us that our sin has consequences and the Lord often uses those consequences as a way to bring us back to Him. I think we can also see that the Lord cares about those who are needy, and we should seek to help those around us who need help.
Questions to think about:
- What circumstance in my life is God using to bring me to repentance?
- How can I help someone this week who is in need?
By: Lucas Taylor — Worship Ministries Intern