by Shepherds Chapel
God uses many analogies to characterize people in His Word. He often uses the nature of the ants and the grasshoppers to set an example of the types of people there are, especially in the end times. Everyone knows that ants work very hard, storing up their food all summer so they can survive the hard winters. Grasshoppers on the other hand (or locusts) flit around all summer filling their bellies. The first time there is a cold, snap, they die. There is wisdom to be gleaned from these examples so let's begin in Proverbs.
Prov 30:24-25 There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
The word "people" in Hebrew is:
Strong's H5971 - `am –
…as used in Hosea when God called "My people", "ammi" or "not My people", "lo-ammi."
He is showing you that He is using this as an example of a people. Ants not only store their food in reserves, but if it gets damp some colonies will even carry it out and dry it in the sun and then put it back. They have different ranks that have separate duties and when a load is too heavy they get together and share the burden to accomplish their job. For their size they are extremely strong.
Prov 30:26-27 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;
Locusts (grasshoppers) are driven on the wind. The prevailing winds blow bands of locusts into areas where they ravage the land. To take it a step further in this analogy the "ruach" which is the Spirit drives them wherever God wishes them to go. They are like a ready-made chain saw, such as was used on the Egyptians, unlike the ants, who are survivors. Let's read of this in another Proverb:
Prov 6:6-8 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
God is telling the lazy person to gain wisdom from watching the ants. They have no leader yet it is their nature to work diligently in order to be prepared for what is to come. They are even a good example for preparation for war. Some colonies are found to have many chambers, like a 10 story building with granaries, nurseries, defensive holds, etc.
Prov 6:9-11 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
God hates a sluggard. Especially one that is spiritually lazy. The wisdom He is trying to teach has a much deeper meaning than just working for your retirement. He is speaking about the spiritual food that you store in your brain for the day when the chief of the locust army makes himself known (as described in Joel 2:2). When Antichrist's troops are sent forth it will be too late for you to start trying to stock up on spiritual truth. You must be well prepared to withstand all things, knowing most of all, that God drives the locusts as He will. Joel says they come as a well-organized army, but you should have no worry because as an ant you have stored up your food for hard times to come.
Amos 6:14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the LORD the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.
This is that locust army God warns of in Joel 1:6. God's truth is sometimes overlooked because He requires a little work on your part. The lazy person may simply skip over a passage such as this one because it may require a little homework to understand. The "entering of Hemath" indicates the Kenite nation, documented in the fact that in I Chronicles 2:55, Hemath was the father of all Rechabites, who were the Kenites. The "river of the wilderness" in the Hebrew means "until the dusk of the day" which always indicates the end times. Let's dig a little deeper.
Amos 7:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings.
"Latter growth" is the end generation and the grasshoppers will take what ever is left after taxes. Does today's society live in debt? Do you throw much money away in interest?
Amos 7:2-6 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD. Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part. Then said I, O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD.
God is showing Amos what would happen to His people in the end. Amos begged for God's mercy on them and God changed His mind.
Amos 7:7-8 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:
In Zechariah there is a plummet with seven eyes. The seven eyes are God's elect and the plummet which holds the truth of God's Word is the weight on the end of the plumbline. It marks the straight course which is Christ and His Word which releases that truth to you whereby the Holy Spirit can work through you and accomplish the will of our Father.
Amos 7:7-10 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword. Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.
Amaziah means "strength of Yahaveh." He had powerful "credentials" and he was sure upset with Amos. Amos was prophesying things that Amaziah couldn't explain and the people were asking too many questions.
Amos 7:11-13 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.
Beth-el is the "house of God." Amaziah told Amos to go speak God's truth somewhere else but not in their "house of God." It was the king's house. There is a false king coming beloved, but there is only one Beth-el. Be sure you are in the house of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Amos 7:14-15 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
Amos wasn't raised as a priest, he was a working man who didn't make his living from teaching or prophesying God's words. He's saying, "I didn't ask to bring you this message and I'm not profiting by it."
"Sycamore fruit" is really "wild figs." Are you familiar with the parable of the fig tree which Christ commanded you to know?
Amos 7:16-17 Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.
The city is Babylon, the state of confusion or "babel" that is come upon the world in the end. Many shall fall on either side of that plumbline as it divides through those who are lazy and those deceived. Jeroboam was the last king of Israel before it went into the Assyrian captivity. The remaining people scattered and lost their heritage to the point that they don't even know who they are today. It was an awful war waged on Jeroboam, but nothing compared to the famine for God's truth, spiritual food.
Amos 8:1-2 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.
Summer fruit is ripe for the picking, if you are on the path of the "plumbline." If not, it is ripe for chastisement to be made ready for the millennium.
Amos 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.
The temple is the church. They cast forth spiritually dead bodies with a great "religious" hush.
Amos 8:4-5 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
It’s saying "When is their holy day, so we can rip 'em off again? We'll charge them the same for that bushel, but give them less." Have you heard of inflation?
Amos 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
Through inflated debt and interest they hold the people in bondage and even sell them the moldy wheat. Who would buy moldy wheat? Have you ever been to a "Beth-el" that has an "Amaziah" in the pulpit putting forth truths that are all moldy from the traditions of men? This is where our spiritual "bread" comes from. Are you being fed?
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
How is your storehouse, Beloved? Have you stocked the chambers of your mind with spiritual food whereby you can stand and never be ashamed? Are you filled with the Living Word whereby every day is a wonderful day for you? Remember, His Ruach will blow the locust army at His will. For those along the plumbline that Wind blows them away from you. Thank our Father for the beauty and completeness and the love found no other place in the world except in His Word.
Every day is a beautiful day, because Jesus Is the Living Word
In His Service
Pastor Arnold Murray