According to Halley’s Bible Handbook, Israel’s Northern Kingdom (Samaria) had been considerably enlarged after its separation from Israel’s Southern Kingdom (Judah). Samaria was in the tide of prosperity; but brazen in its idolatry, and reeking in moral rottenness; a land of swearing, stealing, injustice, oppression, robbery, adultery and murder. About 30 years before its destruction when it was at the zenith of its prosperity, God sent Amos and Hosea in a final effort to try and stop the nation in its mad dash for death.
Amos was sent to Bethel to deliver his prophecy, which was the religious center of the Northern Kingdom. It was a degenerate center of idolatry. It was located only about 12 miles north of Jerusalem. This was where Jeroboam had set up a golden calf to worship when he broke away from Judah.
The two verses below sum it up quite well. The rich wives who knew nothing but prosperity were soon to be led away captive by the Assyrians. History later records this as a literal fulfillment of the prophecy:
Listen to me, you fat cows living in Bashan (Samaria), you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy, and who are always calling to your husbands, “Bring us another drink of wine!” The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by his holiness: “The time will come when you will be led away with hooks in your noses. Every last one of you will be dragged away like a fish on a hook!” (Amos 4:1-2)
Now let’s turn to America — morally bankrupt with a false sense of security in its prosperity. We are just like Samaria! Just like the picture at the start of this post, I believe Jesus has been trying to warn this nation for many years. David Wilkerson was a modern day Amos who tried to warn America during much of his lifetime about the consequences of its moral decay and turning its back on the Lord God of Israel. The first time Jesus came to earth was as a baby born to die for our sins. Rest assured that the second time He comes will be as Judge.
America now is like a freight train that has gathered so much speed and momentum that it is almost impossible to come to a safe stop before derailing and having a horrible crash. America has been trying to correct its ills for decades through political correctness and a wave of liberalism, but has failed miserably. Our leaders will point you to the stock market, which is reaching to new heights in drunkenness, and say look how successful we have been in leading you once we broke the restraints of Christianity. But in their ignorance they have never taken notice that the Creator and Judge of the Universe always brings prosperity as an initial judgment on a wicked nation before pulling the rug out, which will bring about even greater devastation!
There is a social, economic, religious and racial rift in America like never before. Our godless leaders have succeeded in creating a generation that has been deprived of learning about a God who loves them and is there to take their sins away. Only through Jesus Christ can it be resolved:
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved, but by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. ” (Acts 4:12 NKJV)
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28 NLT)
The fat cows of Wall Street and Washington DC that have led us astray will soon meet their demise. So let’s not let the current affairs of the world deter us from preaching the gospel or allow it to rob us of our peace. These are the words of wisdom that are found in the last chapter of the Bible:
Then he instructed me, “Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book, for the time is near. Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy.” “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.” (Revelation 22:10-12 NLT)
Persecution of the Church will continue to get worse and worse as we get closer and closer to the end because the gospel keeps frustrating those who walk in darkness. This is where we must push on in love. We must follow the example of our Savior who chose not to be distracted by the political scene of the time. He pushed on in love towards the cross, continuing the good works He started with:
At that time some Pharisees said to him, “Get away from here if you want to live! Herod Antipas wants to kill you!” Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose. (Luke 13:31-32 NLT)
I will leave a little word of wisdom from Gary Wilkerson (David’s son) for those who still fret over the removal of Christ and the symbols of Christmas from our landscspe:
“I’ve never heard of someone coming to Christ through a public manger scene, but I know scores who have been won through His love.”