Rev. Carl Roth, pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Elgin, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 8:1-3.
After Amos’ confrontation with the apostate priest Amaziah, the prophet’s fourth vision continues to spell out the end of Israel. The LORD shows Amos a basket of summer fruit to convey the truth that the time is ripe for their judgment. God’s Word is full of positive imagery concerning fruit. Jesus is the true Vine, and Christians are the branches; we can only bear fruit in Him. When He makes us His own in Baptism, His Holy Spirit works His fruit in us and through us. Israel, however, had denied the one true God. Their idolatry at Dan and Bethel had severed them from Christ; they were only diseased trees that could only bear diseased fruit. By the time Amos saw his fourth vision, Israel had continued to refuse to repent. They were overripe and rotten; their end was at hand. The LORD would no longer pass by their sins in forgiveness; their joyful songs would be turned to wailing. The judgment that Amos sees is horrific. Corpses lie strewn across the landscape. These unburied bodies declare God’s curse against Israel and serve as a vivid picture of hell. By the end of this vision, there must be silence. There is nothing left for Israel or any sinner to say in defense. Silence is the only response to God’s Law, because only God’s Word can raise us from the dead. That is what God speaks to us in His Gospel through Jesus Christ, who has become the curse for us to redeem us from death and give us eternal life.
“The Day Is Surely Drawing Near” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the book of Amos. This Old Testament prophet speaks the LORD’s roaring Word in order to call us first to repentance over our idolatry and injustice and second to faith in the Messiah in the line of David, Jesus Christ. Only through faith in Him will we stand forgiven and redeemed on the coming Day of the LORD.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
The Coming Day of Bitter Mourning
8 This is what the Lord God showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. 2 And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lord said to me,
“The end[a] has come upon my people Israel;
I will never again pass by them.
3 The songs of the temple[b] shall become wailings[c] in that day,”
declares the Lord God.
“So many dead bodies!”
“They are thrown everywhere!”
- Amos 8:2 The Hebrew words for end and summer fruit sound alike
- Amos 8:3 Or palace
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.