Amos 5:18 through 6:14

Amos starts each sub-section of this section with "Woe..." The first is "Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!" The day of the LORD is a day of judgment, where there will be plenty of weeping and gnashing of teeth. The Israelites felt that they would be exempt from judgment, but apparently will not. Amos says that Israel's offerings are detested since they are in action only and the Israelites have been worshiping other gods.

The second woe is "Woe to those who are at ease in Zion." Amos tells the Israelites to look to other countries who have already been overthrown and asks whether Israel is mightier or better than than them.

The third and final woe is "Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory." Israel has become fat and lazy and content in their wealth. In doing so they have neglected Yahweh. Amos warns of impending doom - the death of entire households - and concludes with more rhetorical questions and a dire warning that Yahweh will raise up against Israel a nation who will oppress them within their entire border.

This is particularly applicable in today's political atmosphere. The US should be careful how vigorously it exercises its power over weaker nations and examine its motives for various involvements worldwide. In addition, its citizens have become fat and lazy and content in their wealth. Many nations before us were more powerful and/or expansive (Rome, the United Kingdom, Germany, USSR) and they were put in their places.


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