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Amos 5:18-24

Lions and Bears and Snakes, Oh My!

18 Alas for you who desire the day of the LORD! Why do you want the day of the LORD? It is darkness, not light; 19 as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake. 20 Is not the day of the LORD darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it? 21 I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. 23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. 24 But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

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Musings

Amos' optimism turns to warning as he suggests that the expected "day of the LORD" could turn ugly rather than be the good thing that is expected. Rather than be a day of triumph for Israel it could be the day of their destruction. All the cultic worship they can muster won't save them if it is insincere. So he should have had their undivided attention by the time he got to "But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Perhaps one of the most well-known verses of Amos. While not good for sacrificing, it might be good practice for carrying the Olympic torch.


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