A funeral dirge
Amos now begins to sing a funeral dirge for the nation of Israel. Although not common in our culture, it was very common in his day to sing a song of grief at the funeral of a loved one. Amos is grieved because of what he knows is going to happen to Israel because of their sins.
Grieving for the death of a young child
Amos’ song begins with telling us how great his grief is. Amos is grieving the way a parent would grieve the loss of a child. There is probably no greater grief that a human being can experience than losing a young child. This shows how deep the anguish is that Amos feels.
Amos finishes his song be telling why he is so grieved: Israel will be completely devastated by God’s judgment. 90% of the people will die. There will be virtually no one left alive after the land is invaded.
The judgment of God is real
This passage teaches us much about our attitude towards God. So often judgment and hell are “far off” ideas to us. However, they are very real. This reality should place the fear of God within us.
We should weep
A common theme among the prophets was their grief. In fact an entire book of the Bible, Lamentations, is nothing but a song of grief. The true people of God were overwhelmed with sorrow when they saw the sinfulness around them and the coming judgment of God. This is actually one of the descriptions of the coming Messiah; He would be “acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3.) Jesus does openly wept over Jerusalem because of their sins and coming judgment (Matthew 23:37.) Paul has the same grief for the Jewish people (Romans 9:1-3.) In fact, God is looking for people who grieve over the sinfulness around them (Ezekiel 9:4.)
Are you grieved for the sins of those around you? Do you weep for your own sins? Is your heart too hard to weep? Would you seek the Lord for forgiveness and a soft heart?