“Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” Those are somber words for the lost. Israel had refused to return to their God, even in the face of punishing events in their lives.
In an attempt to get their attention, God had sent various calamities against Israel. They had suffered famine, drought, blight, invasions of locusts upon their crops and wars that had killed their young men. Their false Canaanite gods could not help them. They had been plagued as Egypt had been long before, but like Pharaoh, they had refused to repent.
The worship of God in Israel had become a mockery of hypocritical acts. “I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies…But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.”
There was still time and opportunity for Israel to repent and return to God. He is merciful and desires that all will follow Him. They were urged to, “Seek good and not evil, That you may live.” BUT, if they continued in their wicked ways, “There shall be wailing in all streets, And they shall say in all the highways, ‘Alas, Alas!’”
God, through His prophet Amos revealed that Israel would be taken into captivity beyond Damascus into Assyria.