The Great Transformer (Amos 5:6-13)

The Great Transformer (Amos 5:6-13)


  • Amos’ scathing judgment has climaxed into a lament.
    • Bethel (6-13) Jacob (Gen. 28:10-22; 35:1-15). Represented a place where God’s presence and calling were uniquely felt. Genuine experience of God’s transforming power.
    • Beersheba (14-20) Abraham (Gen. 26:23-24), Jacob (Gen. 46:1-4). Each received assurance that God was with them.
    • Gilgal (21-27) Joshua 4:19, first encampment after entering the Promised Land. Covenant renewal – circumcision and Passover (5:2-12). Saul crowned (1 Sam. 11:14-15). Represented a place of religious ceremony.

Read Amos 5:6-13

  • The glimmer of hope contained in vv.5-6 of this lament is beginning to fade, swallowed up in the language of justice, judgment, and transgression.
  • A person void of moral transformation lacks the experience of true faith.
    1. The Great Tribulation (6-7)
    2. The Great Transformer (8-9)
    3. The Great Transgressors (10-13)

The Great Tribulation (6-7)

  • v.6 Genuine appeal for repentance/judgment. Joseph (Northern Israel) is not safe (v.2). Bethel will not protect them from the covenant curse of fire.
  • v.7 “Righteousness” is the fruit of holiness. “Justice” is the fruit of righteousness. But Israel has corrupted both.
  • A nation following the Lord will emulate his holiness, which will result in justice and righteousness. When all has become corrupted it is evident that they are no longer worshipping God
  • But their actions hypocritically suggest otherwise and further harden their hearts towards Amos’ rebuke.
  • See Matt. 7:21-23.
  • Their religious worship was a sham. They flaunt their “righteousness”, but never experience moral renewal. Just like the Pharisees.
  • Legalism makes religious piety the root rather than the fruit of faith.
  • “Live” is imperatival (command not promise). But God’s command enables the response.

The Great Tribulation is carried out by…

The Great Transformer (8-9)

  • v.8 God marks all changes:
    • Seasonal (8a Pleiades and Orion marked seasons)
    • Daily (8b)
    • Occasional/unexpected (8c)
    • Historical (v.9).
  • v.9 Destruction will fall upon the strong and fortress. The very people and objects meant to defend will be destroyed in a “flash”!
  • Central section of Amos’ lament. Appropriately emphasizes God’s power.
  • Hymn to the Transforming God. Speculation that Amos quotes from one of their own hymn books.
  • The irony is that they have sung this many times thinking how secure they were, but Amos turns the words of the hymn against them.
  • YHWH can destroy and comfort. His chosen people are not safe from judgment. That’s just as true of the visible church around the world today!
  • Amos acknowledges God’s power which elevates the fear of his ability to destroy them.

The Great Tribulation is carried out by the Great Transformer upon…

The Great Transgressors (10-13)

  • 10 They hate just judges and truth testifiers.
  • 11 Mistreatment of poor > won’t enjoy fruit of crimes. Become like those they oppressed.
  • 12 Judges/elders afflict the righteous since can’t bribe them. Greedy refusing to help poor.
  • 13 Even thoughtful people silenced on that day.
  • As a lament, the eulogy is unexpected. Instead of remembering the good, Amos emphasized their sin that brought destruction.
  • All of the corruption that entered their courts was, of course, in direct violation of the law God had given them.
  • How can truth prevail where the courts are no longer just?
  • The people remain unchanged!
    • No Truth (v.10).
    • No Compassion (v.11).
    • No Conscience (v.12).
    • No Prudence (v.13).

Motyer Amos’ exposure of a religion which leaves life untouched could not have been more brilliantly accomplished. They go, they sing, they come away, and nothing, simply nothing has changed.



  • The Great Tribulation would be carried out by the Great Transformer upon the Great Transgressors. How could it be otherwise?
  • They needed to experience true repentance by acknowledging their depravity rather than attempting to cover it up with hypocritical worship.
  • They needed to rest in the Savior to come, the One who would bear their iniquities and remember their sins no more.
  • In other words, they needed a genuine work of the Holy Spirit! They needed their hearts to be circumcised.
  • They needed to trust in the only One who provided everything they lacked, the One who enables transformation.