Amos 8:11–14 (ESV)
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,
“when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the LORD.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD,
but they shall not find it.
“In that day the lovely virgins and the young men
shall faint for thirst.
Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria,
and say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’
and, ‘As the Way of Beersheba lives,’
they shall fall, and never rise again.”
This passage continues the Christ theme from yesterday. This time, Amos is prophesying the long silence that will set the stage for the Messiah. He doesn’t say that it will last 400 years, but he does say it will last long enough to wear everyone out, even the strongest and fairest.
It’s long enough to wipe them out too, but the only ones that will be wiped out are the ones worshipping other gods. Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria, is a deliberate mispronunciation in Hebrew. The Hebrew word for guilt (Ashmah) sounds like Asherah, the name of the Samarian god whom they were worshipping (swearing by). It’s mispronounced as an insult.
But everyone is going to have four centuries without any word from the LORD. That’s 20 generations.
Anything more than three generations ago is ancient history to me. Four hundred years is inconceivable. I don’t know which continent my ancestors were living on then, probably some of each. Twenty generations ago would be my great17-grand-parents. That’s over a million people.
Amos rightly calls this period of silence a famine. It’ll be uniquely discouraging. The pain of living under the thumb of Rome will be bad enough, but the total lack of prophesy will make it worse. They’ll be able to practice their religion, but only because the emperor allows it. Rome will be alpha.
They’ll wonder, “Where is God?” There won’t be given any sign that Rome’s power is limited, in either time or magnitude.
Their belief that Yahweh is the Lord of all creation will be mocked, and He won’t do or say anything to prove them wrong—to show that their faith is anything more than superstition.
Seventy years in exile is peanuts compared to this.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.