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Amos Chapter Five part 2, A study of Amos 5:4, Amos 5:5, Amos 5:6, and Amos 5:7 with our Common Man's Commentary

Amos 5:4

"This is what the Lord says to Israel: 'Seek me and live;'" NIV translation

God reminds the Israelites that the cure for the death that they are facing is belief in Him. 

Amos 5:5

"'do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.'" NIV translation

Israel had slipped into religion and just going through the motions. God reminds them that it is their relationship with Him that saves them.

He explains that their pilgrimages to certain towns and shrines mean nothing.

The same is true for us today. There are many taking trips here and there seeking a closer relationship with God while He is waiting right where they are. Some even make a pilgrimage to a building each week for worship without having the relationship with the Lord. There is an entire religious tourism industry that is growing rapidly. For Christians, these tours of the Holy Land can be a good tool to help us to understand more about our faith but they cannot be a substitute for a true relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said that, in the last days, people would be running here and there but when He returns it will be obvious to all (see Luke 17).

Amos 5:6

"'Seek the Lord and live, or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.'" NIV translation

We are used to seeing stories about wildfires on the news and that is sorta what God is telling the Israelites about. They were dead in their idolatry and just waiting for the spark to light the judgment. When the trees and brush get dry and dead, a small fire rapidly grows to where it seems that there is no way to put it out. Many times they simply must burn themselves out. God's judgment is the same way, when it starts, men are powerless to stop it. Once again, the only answer is to cry out to the Lord.

Amos 5:7

"'There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground.'" NIV translation

Not only were their religious practices corrupt but the leaders were corrupt as well. The same thing could be said of our world today as many people do their "religious duties" but, as soon as they leave the service, they go back to their corrupt practices.

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