Israel is called to an upward, inward and outward transformation. Upward being real worship towards God with an abandonment of religious and moral error. This is measured outwardly by the destruction of idols, the looking to God instead of other means for salvation and true societal justice. This reflects the inward rendering of the heart of which the Apostle James writes; that faith without works is dead.
Interesting how we think of and sing about the day of the Lord being a blessing to look forward to….whereas Amos shows it’s a day of reckoning and destruction. (5:18)
There is a warning against any pride and differing attitudes towards the poor not being blessed by God. Amos ministered in a time of great national blessing second to Solomon. There was religious and moral complacency within the ranks of the élite, which stemmed from the thought that God, was with them because of their apparent blessing.
Perhaps the Gospel story of the rich man who built a bigger barn and whom was told “You Dead Fool” was drawn from Amos 5:11-12. Certainly one commentator says that “God condemns them for using wealth to avoid social responsibility and to evade justice.”
While doom seems to be promised, there is hope that God will be with them if they seek good, hate evil and maintain justice. We too are encouraged to continue this theme through Paul’s message to Timothy.
1Ti 6:17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1Ti 6:18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 1Ti 6:19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.