I. OBSERVE WHENCE THE VOICE OF THREATENING PROCEEDS.
1. It is the voice of the Lord - that voice which assumes now the accents of compassion and mercy, and again the tones of wrath, but which is always authoritative.
2. It proceeds from the sacred city, which was the favoured abode of Jehovah.
II. AND WHITHER THE VOICE OF THREATENING PENETRATES. From the habitations of the shepherds in the south, to the flowery Carmel in the north, this roar makes itself heard. That is to say, it fills the land. Judah and Israel alike have by disobedience and rebellion incurred Divine displeasure, and against both alike the denunciations of the prophet go forth.
III. CONSIDER THE EFFECT WHICH THE VOICE OF THREATENING SHOULD PRODUCE.
1. Reverent attention.
2. Deep humiliation and contrition.
3. Repentance and prayer.
4. Such reformation as the heavenly summons imperatively demands. - T.
I. THE CHANGE WHICH SIN WORKS IN THE RELATIONS BETWEEN EARTH AND HEAVEN. "The Lord will roar from Zion." The figure is that of a lion ready for its prey. Can this be He of whose tenderness Moses spoke? (Deuteronomy 32:9-14.) What had wrought such a change between God and His people? Years of wandering, and rebellion, and sin can alone explain this change. Contrast between the friendship and the enmity of God a fruitful means to awaken the sinner and save His own people from wandering (Isaiah 40:11).
The Lord will roar from Zion.
( John Calvin.)
II. THE PLACE FROM WHICH DANGER SHOULD COME — Zion and Jerusalem. These were the centres of the old national worship — places that God had chosen to put His name there. In the palaces of Zion God had been known for a refuge. Sin turned the sources of peace and prosperity into the seat of their mightiest enemy.
III. THE TIME OF THE PROPHECY OF WOE. An era of hope. Prosperity had returned (2 Kings 14:25). The prophecy burst upon them like thunder out of a blue sky, or as if one, in full tide of health, should see his own funeral procession pass. However dazzling the prosperity to which sin may have raised men, its time of most luxuriant growth is often the hour of its blasting. "The Judge standeth at the door."
IV. THE VISITATION WAS TO TOUCH THEM ON THE SIDE WHERE THEY WOULD MOST FEEL IT — temporal prosperity. "The habitations of the shepherds shall mourn" — poetic personification of the ruin that should come to that class of which Amos had so recently been a member. "Carmel" — the place of surpassing fertility — abounding in rich pastures, olives, and vines. God takes what men prize most if haply their heart may be softened by His visitation. Application(1) The concurrence of testimony among all Divine messengers to the certainty of vengeance due for wrong. Only false prophets can utter the "smooth things" which sinners would fain hear.(2) The change in God's dealings with men wrought by sin.
(J. Telford, B. A.)
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