Calamities Are God’s Warnings Amo 4:1-11
Speaking after the imagery of his vocation, Amos the herdsman compares the rich and powerful of Samaria, who were living in luxury and wantonness, to the kine of Bashan, a breed of cattle notorious for strength and stubbornness. They broke through hedges, threw down fences, trespassed on neighboring pastures, and gored lesser cattle. The judges and magistrates were in cruel collusion with the masters who oppressed the serfs, and were willing to condone breaches of the law for drink. Sacrifices and tithes were rigorously maintained, but the entire religious system was rotten.
Already heavy judgment had fallen upon the degenerate people. There had been famine, the intermission of the rainy seasons, blasting and mildew, pestilence and murrain-but all in vain. That God was behind these phenomena was obvious from the fact that rain showers had fallen in one place and not in another. There had been a method in God’s dealings that indicated a personal agency. The worst cities had suffered the most. But the people had refused to lay it to heart. Note the sorrowful refrain- yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord . It may be that some reader of these lines may find herein a clue to the mysterious succession of strokes that have befallen himself and his household.