Summary: Zion was, of course, in the southern kingdom of Judah; so both parts of the nation, Judah and Israel, are addressed here.
SLEEPING CHURCH MEMBERS Amos 6:1
Zion was, of course, in the southern kingdom of Judah; so both parts of the nation, Judah and Israel, are addressed here. Zion was the center of religion—God's temple was there, and Samaria was the metropolis of a powerful kingdom.
"Woe to them that are at ease in Zion." They were sitting in the lap of luxury in a day of affluence. We have been doing that as a nation since the Depression and World War II.
"And trust in the mountain of Samaria." It was the capital of the northern kingdom, Ahab and Jezebel had lived there, and lovely palaces of ivory were built there. The mountains of Samaria provided such excellent natural fortifications that the city was able to stand the Assyrian siege for three years before it fell. Samaria was such an important city that, after the Assyrians had destroyed it, Herod later rebuilt it. Herod was quite a builder, and he built all over Palestine. He built Caesarea right from the ground up, but Samaria he rebuilt because it was such a marvelous location. With all this luxury and excellent fortifications, Israel felt secure and well protected.
"Which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!" "Chief of the nations" probably refers to Israel's princes who were men of rank and authority. To these godless and careless heads of the nation the people of Israel came for justice and for help. But the princes were interested only in their own ease and self-indulgence.
The church world is asleep in this day also, and needs a prophet like Amos to awaken it.
I. THE PEOPLE ADDRESSED:
1. “Zion” (text).
2. Zion has always been the type of the church.
3. Zion was God’s chosen people.
II. THE CHARGE AGAINST THEM:
1. “At ease in Zion” (Text) Asleep in Zion!
2. They were “presumptuous sleepers.” “Trust the mountain" (V:1).
3. “Self-righteous sleepers.” “By our own strength" (V13),
4. They were “procrastinating sleepers.” “Ye put faraway the evil day” (V:3).
5. They were “wicked sleepers," “Cause the seat of violence to come near” (V:3).
6. They were “pleasure-mad sleepers.” “Upon beds of Ivory” (V:4).
7. They were “gluttonous sleepers.” “Eat lambs, and calves” (V:4)
III. THEY WERE ASLEEP UNDER TERRIBLE CIRCUMSTANCES
1. Asleep when “doom was pronounced!” “Woe to them!” (V:1).
2. Asleep when “judgment threatened.” “They shall afflict” (V:14).
3. Asleep when God’s prophet was trying to awaken them (V:11). IV. RESULTS OF THIS BACKSLIDDEN CONDITION:
1. God’s prophet could prevail no longer to hold back judgment. "I will not again pass by them” (7:8).
2. God hated their pretense at worship. “I hate your feast days” (5:21). I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
3. God hated the sound of their songs (5:21).
CONCLUSION: The inevitable is at hand, “judgment” (Chapter 5:24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.). There is much that sounds modern in this crowd of backslidden church members, and God’s judgments may be nearer at hand than we dream.