Amos 3:9–15 (NKJV)

9 “Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say:  ‘Assemble on the mountains of Samaria; See great tumults in her midst, and the oppressed within her.

10 For they do not know to do right,’ says the Lord, ‘Who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.’ ”

11 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “An adversary shall be all around the land; He shall sap your strength from you, and your palaces shall be plundered.”

12 Thus says the Lord: “As a shepherd takes from the mouth of a lion two legs or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be taken out who dwell in Samaria—in the corner of a bed and on the edge of a couch!

13 Hear and testify against the house of Jacob,” says the Lord God, the God of hosts,

14 “That in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions, I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel; and the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground.

15 I will destroy the winter house along with the summer house;  The houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end,” says the Lord.

In response to the Lord’s proclamation in the first part of this chapter, He outlines how the punishment for Israel’s sin will be carried out.  He calls the Assyrians and the Egyptians to assemble and observe Israel in preparation for war against them.  God’s discipline of His people will come in the form of an attack by these powerful nations.  He declares the reason for this action: Israel does not do right!  While this action will be initiated by God, He states in verse twelve that He will save some from the action and preserve a remnant.  However, the punishment will come, and the devastation will be harsh.  Even the place (Bethel) where they worship will be destroyed, for their worship is profane and no longer acceptable to God.  Their palaces will fall, and shame will come.  This should warn us all that mocking God’s word and failing to obey Him will take us into a covenant transgression that could cost us dearly.  Live in the covenant of grace and be whole!

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