Amos 4:1–5 (NKJV)
4:1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria,
Who oppress the poor,
Who crush the needy,
Who say to your husbands, “Bring wine, let us drink!”
2 The Lord God has sworn by His holiness:
“Behold, the days shall come upon you
When He will take you away with fishhooks,
And your posterity with fishhooks.
3 You will go out through broken walls,
Each one straight ahead of her,
And you will be cast into Harmon,”
Says the Lord.
The Lord here addresses women who take advantage of the weak and poor, and lord over their homes with unseemly arrogance. They are called cows, for they are fat with lavish living and rich sustenance. This was completely unheard of in a patriarchal society such as Samaria, but many social and even spiritual traditions were cast aside in this permissive and sinful time in Israel. The punishment and destruction that would come would leave Samaria in shambles, to where the enemies could lead the Israelites out of their homes without even needing doors, simpling walking through holes in their walls.
4 “Come to Bethel and transgress,
At Gilgal multiply transgression;
Bring your sacrifices every morning,
Your tithes every three days.
5 Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,
Proclaim and announce the freewill offerings;
For this you love,
You children of Israel!”
Says the Lord God.
God’s sarcastic response to this shameful behavior was to encourage them to sacrifice to the Lord and bring tithes, knowing that their sin would make the sacrifices unacceptable. He was basically mocking the nation for their futile efforts to worship with sin in their lives. When Christians come before God with unforgiven sin in their hearts, they are mocking God. Be sure that your sin is confessed, and that you come before God with a humble heart, filled with worship for Almighty God. Then, your worship will be received and will glorify Him. Don’t be a cow!