Friday, June 26, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday June 28, 2015

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GOD WILL NEVER FORGET
(GOD judges our unholy priorities, practices, and activities)
(Amos 8)

In Amos chapter 8 we find the prophet’s, now famous, “Vision of the ripe fruit”. Here GOD describes to Amos, in very grim details, of how HIS once beloved Israel was now “ripe for judgment” because of her many continued miscarriages of justice against the poor and down-trodden people in her community. Yes, Israel’s social injustices and economic disparity against the weak, had severely stretched, even the patience of GOD, to dangerous and, perhaps unchartered limits.    
In this passage GOD paints a picture of a terrible irony where worshipers are singing songs of praise in the temple (entertaining themselves by playing church) while the poor and needy of the community (the real church work) were suffering greatly just outside the church house doors. Here GOD says that such insincere worship in the temple will be turned to wailing as, in that day, we will see dead bodies scattered everywhere, even within, and outside the church house doors (Vs.1-3).
In verses 4-6 the LORD says that the church worshipers so enjoyed robbing the poor and trampling over the needy that they actually couldn’t wait until the Sabbath days, and the religious festivals were over, so that they could get back to their dishonest activities and dealings. They even went as far as to, in many instances, enslave poor people who owed them as little as a piece of silver, or a pair of sandals.
To be GOD’s elect does not give one a license to sin and mistreat others. The Israelites assumed that since they were the “descendants of Abraham” they were guaranteed GOD’s blessings no matter how deep their sin ran from generation to generation. In verse 7 GOD calls such an attitude “the pride of Israel”. Here the LORD swears an oath that HE will not forget the wicked things that they had done, and that the whole earth (even their enemies) would tremble and mourn in the wake of the punishment that HE would hang on HIS chosen people. All of their joyful celebrations would turn into mourning, and all of their joyous songs would be reduced to dirges (funeral songs), and the intensity of their grief would rival that of one who had lost their only begotten son, and all of their hope had been cut off  for the family’s future (Vs. 8-10).
In verses 11-14 GOD said that HE would bring a famine on the land, not from “a lack of bread and water”, but rather, from “the hearing of HIS Word”. Since Israel had refused to hear HIS Words any longer, GOD would fall silent for an undisclosed period of time. And in those days, while under duress from GOD’s punishment, the people would, to no avail, begin to inquire desperately for HIS help, hope, and explanation.  However, GOD will refuse them, just as they refused HIM, by rejecting the messages of HIS prophets, until after the time when the consequences of their sins have run its course.
Furthermore, GOD says that even the young and strong in those days, who, are physically able to endure and persist the longest, will grow weary in their search to hear the Word of GOD, and not find satisfaction in their search. And all those who have made idols of their possessions, and worship and swear by their wealth, will lose their lives to eternal damnation, just as they had lost their hearts to the people and things of this world.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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