5:7-17 The same almighty power can, for repenting sinners, easily turn affliction and sorrow into prosperity and joy, and as easily turn the prosperity of daring sinners into utter darkness. Evil times will not bear plain dealing; that is, evil men will not. And these men were evil men indeed, when wise and good men thought it in vain even to speak to them. Those who will seek and love that which is good, may help to save the land from ruin. It behoves us to plead God's spiritual promises, to beseech him to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us. The Lord is ever ready to be gracious to the souls that seek him; and then piety and every duty will be attended to. But as for sinful Israel, God's judgments had often passed by them, now they shall pass through them.
16. Therefore—resumed from Am 5:13. God foresees they will not obey the exhortation (Am 5:14, 15), but will persevere in the unrighteousness stigmatized (Am 5:7, 10, 12).
the God of hosts, the Lord—an accumulation of titles, of which His lordship over all things is the climax, to mark that from His judgment there is no appeal.
streets … highways—the broad open spaces and the narrow streets common in the East.
call the husbandman to mourning—The citizens shall call the inexperienced husbandmen to act the part usually performed by professional mourners, as there will not be enough of the latter for the universal mourning which prevails.
such as are skilful of lamentation—professional mourners hired to lead off the lamentations for the deceased; alluded to in Ec 12:5; generally women (Jer 9:17-19).