Summer Fruit

This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me, “The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass by them. The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,” declares the Lord GOD. “So many dead bodies!” “They are thrown everywhere!” “Silence!” Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?” The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?” “And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day. “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.”
Amos 8:1–14
Summer Fruit
When we think of a basket of summer fruit, it might be a joyful thought. The bright colors and the anticipation of the sweet taste draw up visions of delight. Yet what we often forget is that the fruit in the basket is dead. It has been plucked off the plant and will soon rot away. The summer fruit of Amos’s vision points to the Lord’s pending judgment. A judgment that will soon cut down the people of Israel for their idolatrous worship, their greed, and their callous mistreatment of their fellow man. So it serves as a warning for us today as well. If we persist in doing evil and despising God’s graciousness, we will suffer the same fate, plucked off and separated from God our souls rot away as a result of the eternal separation from His life-giving Word. Therefore, we treasure the Word and hold it dear. Never neglecting to hear it. Our God is gracious and continually stands ready to receive the repentant heart and lift it up with His Word of forgiveness and peace in Jesus. God has given us the faith to know His Word. And that Word assures us that He will not despise a broken and contrite heart such as ours. Therefore, He graciously receives our confession and covers us with Christ’s forgiveness. Forgiveness won for us on the cross and shown forth in the empty tomb.
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