Chapter eight contains the fourth vision that God showed Amos, “a basket of summer fruit” (Amos 8:1). What seems as if it could have been an illustration of prosperity was really a dire omen. The summer fruit came at “the end” of the harvest, and, in the same way, Israel had come to the end of her time. 1 The people’s hearts were so out of touch with what God really wanted that they complained all the way through the feasts and Sabbaths (which God gave them for rest) about getting back to work (Amos 8:4-6). 2 More specifically, they could not wait to get back to making money by cheating people, the very antithesis of those special days.
The judgments promised in Amos 8:7-13 seem to be mix of both immediate and future events. The Assyrian invasion would certainly bring death and destruction. The “famine” for “divine revelation” seems to have been fulfilled in the 400 years between Malachi and the Gospels. However, the massive earthquake and the darkening of the sun probably refer to the ultimate “day of the LORD” in the Tribulation.
- There is a play on words here not visible in English. The Hebrew word for “summer fruit” is קָיִץ, qayits, and the word for “end” is קֵץ, qets. ↩
- This sad commentary could have been written about American Christianity today. Worship services and spiritual growth are often considered duties, invasions on the calendar, rather than cheerful priorities. ↩