Ancient Israel regarded Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba as a sacred shrines, but were not becoming spiritually transformed as a result of pilgrimages.
God requires a higher standard of righteous behavior from those who have consciously made a covenant with Him and are acquainted with His Law.
How can we evaluate whether our Feast is 'good' or not? God's criticism of Israel's feasts in Amos 5 teaches what God wants us to learn from His feasts.
If we go to the Feast with the goal of physically enjoying, we may lose out on both the spiritual and physical benefits. 'Going through the motions' defiles it.
Amos severely chides Israel for exalting symbolism over substance, superstitiously trusting in locations where significant historical events occurred.
Amos gives a series of dire warnings, beginning with Israel's enemies, but concluding with a blistering indictment on Israel herself for her hypocrisy.
Sometimes, we get down because we think that all our labors for God have gone unnoticed. Elijah did, and his story points out a major lesson for us all.
Ancient Israel had at the core of its religion an obsession to please the self at the expense of justice and the best interests of the disadvantaged.
The book of Amos is an astounding prophecy, closely paralleling the conditions in the Western world today. Amos reveals how unrighteousness undermines society.
The people to whom Amos writes have the mistaken assumption that because they have made the covenant with God, they can bask in a kind of divine favoritism.
Even though Jacob's offspring have had a special relationship with God, their carnal nature led them to test God's patience, growing more corrupt than even Sodom.
Modern Israel is repeating the same sins as ancient Israel. God's metaphors of the promiscuous wife, stubborn heifer, and rebellious child all apply to America.
Israel had every opportunity that the Gentiles did not have. God gave the Israelites gifts to live a better way, but they completely failed to reflect Him.