This is Daniel Whyte III president of Gospel Light Society International with The Scripture & the Sense Podcast #440, where I read the Word of God and give the sense of it based on an authoritative commentary source such as the Bible Knowledge Commentary or Matthew Henry Commentary. This podcast is based upon Nehemiah 8:8 where it says Ezra and the Levites “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” The aim of this podcast is that through the simple reading of the Word of God and the giving of the sense of it, the church would be revived and the world would be awakened.
Today we are reading Amos 4:4-5.
4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:
5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God.
That was Amos 4:4-5. Now here is the sense of it.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary reads:
Verse 4 is a parody of a priest’s summons to pilgrims. The usual invitation was to “come into the sanctuary to worship”. But with biting sarcasm Amos exhorted Israel to go to Bethel and to Gilgal in order to sin (to break their covenant with God). Bethel was the chief sanctuary of the north, the place where the king worshiped. Gilgal, with its memorial stones marking Israel’s initial entrance into the land, remained in the eighth century as a center for pilgrimage and sacrifice. Amos commanded the Israelites to bring the whole gamut of offerings to these shrines enthusiastically. Sacrifices were offerings in which an animal was slaughtered and consumed as part of a sacred meal. Tithes of produce were set aside every three years in order to help the poor. (A possible alternate translation of Amos 4:4 refers to the custom of offering the regular tithes on the third day after arriving at the sanctuary.) The purpose of the thank offerings was to express gratitude for blessings and answered prayers. Freewill offerings were voluntary and spontaneous gifts, born of an inner devotion to God. But all these offerings, Amos charged, had become a sham. The people’s religious activities were carried out to impress others, not to fellowship with God. The Israelites would brag about their devotion, but their day-to-day conduct violated the spirit of their offerings. Some of the produce they tithed came from stolen land. Some animals they sacrificed had been fattened on unjustly seized fields. Their very worship was an offense to God as it hypocritically offered the fruits of their rebellion against His covenant.
Thank you for listening to the Scripture & The Sense Podcast. Remember to read the Word of God each and every day and pray without ceasing to God for wisdom to understand it and apply it to your life. Most importantly, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Please stay tuned for a complete presentation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ so that you can get your soul saved from Hell to that wonderful place called Heaven when you die. May God bless you and keep you is my prayer.