June 28, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
Lesson Guide, Direction Urban Ministries
God Will Never Forget
Devotional Reading- Hosea 11:1-7
Highlighted Text – Amos 8:1-6, 9-10
Key verse: “And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them anymore” (Amos 8:2).
Today’s lesson continues with a series of visions that God gave the prophet Amos about the judgment on Israel. Known as “a burden barrier” or “one who is carried”, Amos would plead with God on Israel’s behalf every time God revealed to him the wrath that was about to be given to them. But Israel refused to repent from their injustice on the poor, exploitation and religious hypocrisy. If we compare the present day church to Israel’s situation, we will not have to look far to find similarities. Will we take heed to the warnings of God or continue to repeat biblical history?
Human Grief (Amos 8:1-3)
Despite their continuous disobedience, God had shown Israel grace and mercy. Israel is God’s chosen, his people; therefore, it was his nature and character to show love to his children. But as children are often disobedient and need correction, it was not in God’s nature to spare them the rod of discipline. God used the imagery of summer fruit to symbolize the judgment on Israel. Summer fruit was gathered in the harvest season indicating it was ripe. God was not only letting Amos know that their judgment was near, but that their praise songs would turn into grief and misery. Israel’s kingdom would be left speechless.
Point to Ponder: Because we never know where we are on the spectrum of God’s grace, mercy, judgment and wrath it is important that we always take God’s warnings seriously and immediately repent when given the opportunity.
Cosmic Grief (Amos 8:4-6,9-10)
God is very clear about why he is judging and executing his wrath on Israel. They deliberately took advantage of the poor, intentionally used the misfortune of others for their own profit and grieved God by honoring and respecting other gods. Amos speaks of natural disasters occurring and during that time there was a solar eclipse and earthquake that occurred in 763 B.C and 759. God’s judgment consisted of spiritual and natural disasters. When these disasters struck, it affected their crops, homes and lifestyles.
Point to Ponder: When natural disasters occur we often think it was something that happened not in our control. But in actuality, some natural disasters are in our control because we as a human race have an option to obey God.
We can apply this lesson in today’s society many ways. Yes, we have similarities with the actions of Israel, but we can choose to be different from them by making better choices and decisions. We have a choice not to take advantage of others and to not support individuals, businesses and politicians that seek to do so. We have a choice not to be selfish and only concerned about the need of ourselves and only our households. We have a choice not to put other things and people before God’s Word. We can make this happen by repenting in any area that we are being convicted in and allow our actions to turn God’s heart in our favor.
Commentary by, Minister Shulanda Hastings
Senior Ministry Leader
Spirit Realm Divine Manifestation Ministries