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At Ease In Zion!
It was not alone the house of Joseph who had provoked the Lord. As before noted, Israel refers throughout, not to the ten tribes only, but to the whole nation. Therefore this division of the prophecy concludes with a stirring word to those at ease in Zion, and to those who trusted in the mountain of Samaria (ver. 1). Down in the southern kingdom, the danger threatening the northern one seemed far off, and they took comfort in the fact that Samaria would, as they supposed, withstand a siege long enough to give them plenty of opportunity to prepare if the enemies drew near. Hence they took their ease, and were not concerned about obeying the voice of God calling them to repentance, nor did they afflict their souls for the sorrows of their brethren.
“At ease in Zion” may well speak to us of that unexercised condition in which so many of the professed children of God are found at the present time, unheeding the special message for the moment, and manifesting no concern as to walking in the power of the truth. But if God’s people are indifferent to that which is of importance in His eyes, they need not expect Him to act for them when difficulties and afflictions arise.
Philistine cities, once splendid and magnificent had been destroyed. Calneh, Hamath and Gath were but solemn reminders of past glory, and now in ruins. What better was Israel than these kingdoms? They put far off the evil day, while violence and corruption abounded within their borders. Stretched on beds of ivory and carved couches, they feasted without fear on the choice of the flock and herd. They chanted to the sound of musical instruments, drank wine, and delighted in costly ointments; but God winds up the solemn indictment by declaring, “They are not grieved for the breach of Joseph” (vers. 2-6). And shall not this have a voice for every saint of God today? Are we not in grave danger of living to please ourselves, rejoicing in our possessions, and forgetting the breach of Joseph?-forgetting the unhappy state of the assembly, indifferent to the breaches made by self-will, and which have so dishonored the Lord, the Church’s glorified Head? Surely true love to Him will result in exercise of soul as to the present state of that which is so precious in His sight. Such exercises will lead to searching the Scriptures, and judging all in their light; to seeking to walk individually in “the old paths” in which the people of God have walked, even if one has thus to walk alone. But, withal, there will of very necessity be a manifestation of that “love to all the saints” which should characterize every one who enters in any degree into the truth that “there is one Body, and one Spirit.”
Because of this lack of concern for the affliction, or breach, of Joseph, the Lord could not show Himself strong on their behalf, but would abhor the excellency of Jacob, and deliver up even the city of David to the Gentile oppressor (vers. 7, 8).
When at last the destruction came, the fearful sense of Jehovah’s wrath would close every mouth, even as they buried the dead, for the name of the Lord would be unsuited to their denied lips (vers. 9, 10). It is sad indeed, to be under the rod, and yet to be utterly unable to get into touch with Him who appointed it. Such is the hardening power of the deceitfulness of sin!
Vers. 11 to 14 look on to the Babylonian captivity, which followed the Assyrian invasion of the north over a century later. When the Chaldeans came in like an inundation, overflowing all the land, it should be as by direct command of the Lord, as His rod, because of Judah’s having turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into poisonous hemlock. The Holy One must Himself take sides against His own if they turn His truth into a lie, and walk in unclean-ness. So is it still. “The righteous Lord loveth righteousness,” and will not connect His name with what is contrary to it.
With this message the second division of our prophet comes to a close.
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Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Amos 6". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26