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Here is a cry to the Church. The wanton state of professors described; and the Lord's determination to punish.
What is here said of Zion, in the days of the Prophet Amos, is equally applicable to the Church in all days. There is nothing more foreign to a state of grace, than a state of ease in the world. For when a soul is really and truly at ease in Christ, he must be at contention with the world. It was the character which the Lord gave Moab, that Moab had been at ease from his youth, and had settled on his lees; so that the old tang of nature was the same, and no change of heart had taken place. Jeremiah 48:0 ; Jeremiah 2:0 . Whereas the Lord Jesus describes his people as being carried into captivity, and called upon as his followers to the taking up a cross, plucking out an eye, cutting off an arm. Luke 9:23 . And the Apostle sets it down as a truth not to be questioned, that if any man will live godly in Christ Jesus, he must suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 . We have therefore here a melancholy picture of sinners at ease, unawakened to a sense of sin, and unconcerned for their eternal salvation. And what makes the picture more melancholy is, that it is in Zion; that is, under the very roof of God's church. Reader! think how truly awful must it be to sit under the preaching of the gospel, and yet to be a total stranger to a work of grace in the heart. The Prophet describes in these verses the corresponding conduct of all such; ease, indolence, disregard, and a contempt of salvation. They are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Alas! No--nor for the agonies of the Lord Jesus! Job hath given another such a description. Job 21:7-15 . Reader! before you turn away from this awful account, for very awful it is, look round and see whether you cannot find the picture of the Prophet, and what the Man of Uz describes; but too sadly brought forth to the life, in the present day in which we live. Yea, bless God if in your own heart, and house, and family, no such features appear.
Probably the captivity here spoken of, in the first sense, had a reference to the Babylonish captivity. But I humbly conceive it had respect to another of an higher nature in a spiritual sense. But, Reader! think if it be possible to what a desperate state of hardness and impenitency must that man be arrived, who hath given up even the mentioning the name of the Lord. Well may everyone who reads this account cry out, from pride, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word and commandment, good Lord deliver us!
I CANNOT pass away from this solemn Chapter, without first desiring the Reader to ponder well the sacred contents of it, and learn from it how to form a just estimate of what is still going on in life, in the different characters, between him that feareth the Lord, and him that feareth him not.
The carnal world, in this our British Zion, are, as Amos described the Zion of old, in the time of his ministry. A graceless mind, meeting with what is called the good things of life, have their whole hearts, and families, and houses, swallowed up in those sensual enjoyments. No prayer in their family; no grace in themselves; their children, if they have any, their servants all around them, breathe, and live, and move, in the same corrupt atmosphere. They put far away the evil day as a day of dread and horror. They chant to the sound of the viol; but know nothing of the melody of the gospel. They invent to themselves instruments of music; but are ignorant of the joy of the soul. They send forth their little ones to the dance; but teach them nothing of the afflictions of Jesus! But, oh! how sad the close of their account. They spend their day (saith Job,) in wealth, or (as the margin of the Bible hath it) mirth and in a moment go down to the grave! Reader! shall not you and I say, in the language of the dying Patriarch, 0 my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly mine honor be not thou united!
On the other hand, look at the people of Cod, and you will discover, that in proportion to the attainments under grace they have acquired in the school of Jesus, so are their exercises and conflicts. .I think (said Paul) that God hath set forth us, the Apostles, last as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. Even to this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place. And these were men of whom the world was not worthy. Reader! with whom is your choice? Can you with Moses, and from the same blessed principle of faith as he had, take up his resolution, and choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season? Oh! the unspeakable blessedness of such a state even now: when like him, we esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. And oh! the blessedness that will follow, when mortality is swallowed up in glory!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Amos 6". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany