Amos 8:6, …and sell the chaff of the wheat.
God is about to unleash devastation on Israel. Corpses will be lying everywhere. There shall be silence in the land. Why? Because the merchants and businessmen, “grinding the needy and suppressing the poor in the land.”
They can’t wait for the Sabbath to end so they can open their stores. But when the poor come to buy wheat for their daily bread, the sellers tilt the scales making the bushel smaller on one end of the sale and on the other end overweighing the change they give back. They also sweep up the chaff from the threshing floor (along with some dirt) and mix the chaff and dirt into wheat bulking up the already shortened bushel.
Finally, when the poor become indebted beyond any hope of getting out of the hole, they are sold into slavery, even over a pair of sandals.
God says, “I shall never forget their deeds.” The punishment God is letting loose upon the land under the Assyrians will flood the land like the Nile floods and it will recede slowly like the Nile. Left behind will be the destruction and debris such as a flood leaves behind.
In 8:11 God says he will send famine, hunger and thirst to the land, not for bread and water, “but for hearing the word of the Lord.”
And yet, God never is able to let judgment be his last words. The last words in Amos promise that “I shall not totally destroy Jacob’s posterity.” Through the remnant left He will restore the fallen house of David. The crops will grow so that there is a continuous harvest of wheat and grapes. “I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel…It is the word of the Lord your God.”
Yesterday, in choir we sang “Amazing Grace.” God’s grace is truly amazing.