Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Amos: Heeding The Word Of The God Of The Whole World
Part VI: Our Need To Revere God In Our Marital Roles
(Amos 4:1-3)
  1. Introduction
    1. God made marriage to be an institution where the husband is the head of his wife, Ephesians 5:22-25.
    2. However, failure to revere God violates these roles, and with it evils arise that God eventually must judge.
    3. Amos 4:1-3 powerfully illustrates this truth, and provides us a rich series of lessons to apply (as follows):
  2. Our Need To Revere God In Our Marital Roles, Amos 4:1-3.
    1. God's first created institution for mankind was that of marriage where the husband would be the head of his wife and his wife would be his helpmeet, Genesis 2:20-25; 1 Corinthians 11:3.
    2. However, when the Northern Kingdom of Israel departed from God, this marital model was extensively inverted along in spiritual decline, creating great abuse and wickedness, Amos 4:1:
      1. The "kine of Bashan" (KJV) ["cows of Bashan" (NIV)] refers to the "well-fed cattle" of the land east of the Sea of Galilee that "was famous for its lush pastures," Bible Know. Com., O. T. , p. 1435.
      2. The noun "kine" (KJV) ["cows" (NIV)] depicts "rich women" who were as "pampered" as these cattle were with their pastures, and Amos' prophecy picks up with a discussion on these rich, pampered women after introducing the fact that they lounged on couches in rich palaces in Amos 3:11b, 12b, 15.
      3. These women had expensive tastes for wine, and they were demanding of their husbands who were Biblically supposed to be in leadership over them to get them this wine! The husbands responded as meekly obedient slaves of their wives, turning to the oppression of the poor and needy to gain money from them in order to support their wives' lusts for wine, Amos 3:1b,c; Ibid.:
        1. The word for the "masters" who "ruled" these women is not the usual word for husband, but it is adonai, "master," a mock of the fact that the husbands were not "mastering" their wives after the Biblical model, but submitting to them in violation of it, Ibid.; Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 920.
        2. To meet such demands, these wives' husbands were resorting to "ruthlessly exploiting the poor and needy," with the words "oppress and crush" (KJV, NIV) describing "threats and physical harassments used to squeeze money from the helpless," Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T.
    3. God called Amos to pronounce severe judgment on this wickedness in Amos 4:2-3 as follows:
      1. The word for "Lord" KJV in the expression "Lord God" (Amos 4:2a KJV; "Sovereign" NIV) is the same word, adonai that was mockingly used of the husbands in Amos 4:1c!
      2. As such, God was revealing that though the husbands were only mockingly said to be "master" of their demanding wives, God Himself, Who was their Ultimate "Master" as Sovereign Lord, would rectify the situation, dealing with these insubordinate women in judgment! (Ibid., Kittel)
      3. Thus, the Lord Who was above the whole marital arrangement that was being unbiblically inverted would check these unruly, rich, pampered wives of Samaria, to allow an invading army to take them away in captivity with hooks, and the last of them with fishhooks, Amos 4:2b NIV!
      4. The feminine pronoun appears for the pronouns in Amos 4:3 (Ibid., Kittel), so Amos there writes of the women in Amos 4:1-2, clarifying each would go straight out through breaks in the city wall. This meant the city's defenses would be so massively breached, rather than going out of the city in captivity through the gate, they would simply be pushed out through the wall at a nearby hole and fastened to ropes with hooks for a "single-file march into Assyrian exile," Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T.
      5. Those who refused to be so led, typical of their obstinate attitude, would be snagged by meat hooks used to carry fish slung together over the shoulder to market; they would thus be brutally forced to march and die in transit by the time they reached Harmon in Bashan, and be cast out as dead, Amos 4:3 NIV. Thus, the "cows of Bashan" would end up as dead bodies in the land of Bashan, Ibid.!
Lesson: For sinning against God and its associate vices of unbiblical disrespect for their husbands and heartless abuse of the poor to feed their lusts, God planned severe judgment on Israel's women.

Application: May we (1) revere the Lord and (2) maintain our proper marriage roles (3) that leads to a proper treatment of others in society as a whole, (4) that we enjoy God's blessing, not His discipline!