The next few sins Amos addresses all have one thing in common: the Israelites are trying to gain God’s favor by religious deeds not obedience. In doing so they are profaning God’s name.
The sexual immortality in Israel was out of control. Amos only cites one thing, but it is used as an example of how far into sexual perversion the whole nation had gone. The nation was so far gone that incest and orgies were common place. The swapping of sexual partners had no boundaries, including no family boundaries.
Disregard for the poor
God had expressly commanded that you could not keep a poor person’s blanket over night (Exodus 22:26-27.) The children of Israel directly disregarded this law thus oppressing the poor and hurting among them. There was not just contempt for God’s law, there was also contempt for the poor.
As we saw last week judges would rule based upon bribes. They would impose heavy fines on people who were in the right. They would condemn them and extort money from them. Wealthy individuals would also levy fines and fees on the poor extorting money from them as well.
All of these things together show the way they worshiped “God.” They would spend all night in their temples having drunken orgies. This was done to obtain God’s favor. They believed God would bless them for spending all night in the temple “worshiping” Him in this manner.
Profaning God’s Name
God delights in obedience not sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22.) The people of Israel thought they could procure God’s favor with their perverse sacrifices even though they disregarded His Law. What was worse is that they did all this as “worshipers of Yahweh.” They were dragging God’s name through the mud, profaning His Law, name, and character.
Today the name of Jesus Christ is profaned by church going people. They claim that they are Christians yet they live in all manner of wickedness. This profanes God’s name. In 1 Corinthians 5 and Matthew 18 we are taught that these people must be confronted and expelled from the church if they do not repent. That is because they are tarnishing the reputation of Jesus and profaning His name. In Matthew 7 Jesus clearly declares that these fake Christians will be thrown into hell. We must hold each other accountable and call professing Christians to repent. We must repent ourselves and run to Jesus for forgiveness and the power to walk in obedience.