What Do You See?
Amos 8. Wow, I’ll admit I pulled out a commentary on this one. I was able to grasp the judgement in the latter part of book, because it seems all the other chapters have been leading up it. However, I wanted to focus on the beautiful basket of summer fruit, but I needed some assistance understanding that vision.
In previous posts we’ve looked at Israel’s lack of compassion and Jacob’s pride and, honestly, I didn’t want to go there again. I can only present judgment from so many angles before it seems I am beating a dead horse, and I thought a beautiful basket of fruit would be a nice change. I am thankful for J. Vernon McGee who offered insights on this topic.
“This is what the Lord God showed me–a basket of summer fruit. He said, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘A basket of summer fruit’” (Amos 8:1-2 NRSV).
Although this isn’t the light, fun topic I’d hoped for, the basket of fruit is a wonderful illustration showing what happened as a result of the ungodly attitudes adopted by the Isrealites’.
Strawberries are one of my favorite summer fruits. When the price is right and their luscious looks beckon from the produce shelf, I can’t resist. But, I’m always so disappointed when, within a couple of days, they start growing hair and shriveling up; their glory days behind them.
When God asks Amos what Amos sees, the prophet answers a “basket of summer fruit.” As soon as Amos responds, God immediately talks about Israel’s end . . . the basket representing their glory days. God’s words indicate the end.
Consider both your personal life and the state of your community. What do you see?
Some people see an eternal basket of fruit even when engaging in ungodly behavior. Either they cannot see the long-term consequences of worldly attitudes and actions, or they choose to pay no heed.
Others look beyond the basket of fruit and focus on gloom and doom. Either they have no hope, or they refuse to look for it.
Still others see the basket and understand the reality of rot and choose to remain hopeful. They are even willing to replenish the basket with fresh fruit as the contents get rancid. They recognize reality and will stand firm with God because they HAVE hope!
In short, some people are naive optimists. Some are naive pessimists. But, those who grasp reality have the healthiest and happiest approach to life. They recognize challenges and seek the truth. They trust and have faith in God. God is the key when we look at a basket of fruit and ask ourselves what we see.
Some people may disagree with me, but I see God as the author of proper perspective (although you would never know it by the way some Christians act, but that’s a post for another day.) With God, we can look at life’s basket of summer fruit with hope and faith. But, even more important, we can look at our spiritual basket of summer fruit and see a beautiful picture with no end.
Word for Today: What do you see? It all depends on your perspective.