Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
Roll with the Water
November 8, 2020

Roll with the Water

November 8, 2020

Amos 5:18-24
The Day of the Lord

18 Woe to you who long
    for the day of the Lord!
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
    That day will be darkness, not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
    only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
    and rested his hand on the wall
    only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—
    pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?

21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
    your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
    I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
    righteousness like a never-failing stream!


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Description of the Day of Yahweh (5:18–20). The intensity with which Israel celebrated their anticipation of the Day of the Lord (v. 18) is conveyed in the word desire (‘long for’, niv) which elsewhere describes sharp hunger or thirst (Num. 11:34; 2 Sam. 23:15) and is denounced in Proverbs (11:23; 13:4; 21:25–26) as a greed akin to covetousness. The strength of the verb serves both to show how passionately the people yearned for God’s deliverance and to set them up for the vast contrast between what they believed the day would be and how it would, indeed, turn out.

The confidence in the Day of Yahweh was for Israel a bridge between past and present. Though Amos’ mention of it is the earliest that we can date in biblical literature, it is clear from the context that he was correcting an old misunderstanding, not introducing a new notion. The Day of Yahweh seems to have been linked to Israel’s past wars in which the Lord miraculously intervened to bring victory to his people. The memory of victories like Gideon’s over the Midianites (Judg. 7) or David’s over the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:17–25) sparked hope of the future conquest of God’s enemies (Isa. 9:4; 28:21). Such manifestations of divine intervention were called the day (e.g. day of Midian, Isa. 9:4; day of vengeance, Isa. 34:8; day of Yahweh, Isa. 13:6, 9).

David A. Hubbard, Joel and Amos: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 25, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989), 189.


Point 1 

Notes from Point 1

Point 2 

Notes from Point 2

Point 3

Notes from Point 3



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[1] Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 110–111.

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