Amos 5:4–15 (NKJV)
4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek Me and live;
5 But do not seek Bethel, Nor enter Gilgal, Nor pass over to Beersheba;
For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, And Bethel shall come to nothing.
Three sections speek of the correct place to seek for deliverance. First, the Lord says, “Seek me and live.” He then warns them against seeking out religious centers that do not offer proper worship of Yahweh. Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba claim to worship Yahweh, but actually worship false gods as well. This is not acceptable! They will not deliver you. His command specifically tells the people of God to seek the place where He dwells. In this case, that place is Jerusalem. In our case today, it is anywhere true worship happens.
6 Seek the Lord and live, Lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, And devour it, With no one to quench it in Bethel—
7 You who turn justice to wormwood, And lay righteousness to rest in the earth!”
8 He made the Pleiades and Orion; He turns the shadow of death into morning And makes the day dark as night; He calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth; The Lord is His name.
9 He rains ruin upon the strong, So that fury comes upon the fortress.
10 They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, And they abhor the one who speaks uprightly.
11 Therefore, because you tread down the poor And take grain taxes from him, Though you have built houses of hewn stone, Yet you shall not dwell in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards,
But you shall not drink wine from them.
12 For I know your manifold transgressions And your mighty sins: Afflicting the just and taking bribes; Diverting the poor from justice at the gate.
13 Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time,
For it is an evil time.
The second seek command tells Israel to “Seek the Lord and live.” This takes it a step further by reminding them Who He is. He is the Lord. He put the stars in place, and has the power to destroy by fire and turn day into night. Fear Him and live!
14 Seek good and not evil, That you may live; So the Lord God of hosts will be with you, As you have spoken.
15 Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the Lord God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
The final admonition is “Seek good and not evil, that you may live.” This admonition is less of a warning and more of a command of promise. Do the things commanded of God, do good, and you may live. If so, God will be with you and will be gracious. Unfortunately, this promise is to the righteous remnant who remains to reestablish the nation. The unrighteous will be gone, destroyed. So, love good and hate evil,,,and live!