Today we see the Lord give Amos a vision of summer fruit, which Amos confirms (vv.1-2). This might not seem like a particularly bad thing for us, but we should remember that the Bible was not written in modern English. In the original Hebrew ‘summer fruit’ and ‘end’ sound alike, so this would have been a much more powerful illustration.
The point of the passage is that ripe fruit is thrown out, fruit at the end of it’s consumable life is not kept around (v.3). You know, don’t you, that when you reach for the fruit bowl and grab something that is all brown and mushy the only place you’re taking it is the bin. This, in principle, is what is happening here.
Through social injustice (v.4), outwardly keeping religious festivals with no inward commitment (v.5), falsifying measures (v.5), giving wrong change (v.5), oppressing the poor (v.6), and selling faulty goods (v.6), God’s people have, in essence, become bad summer fruit.
For us, as well as the specific examples given here in this passage, what can we take care of in our own lives to prevent ourselves becoming soft, mushy, and ready for the bin? The outward appearance of religious adherence and piety may fool some, but, God always knows what is really going on in the heart (v.5a, 1 Samuel 16.7).
It’s a big question with even bigger ramifications, but one that we should care about each and every day.
Point to ponder – Luke 10.25-28
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put [Jesus] to the test, saying,
“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him,
“What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”
And he answered,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
And he said to him,
“You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”