A basket of summer fruit – what a wholesome and healthful symbol – it looks good, tastes good, and conveys good wishes, health and strength. Imagine how Amos must have been baffled at first with this vision. Could this vision of a basket of summer fruit have symbolized fruitfulness, joy, blessing, and a hopeful future in light of all that Amos has prophesied to this point? The answer is a devastating ‘No!’ Rather than the joy of the harvest, this basket of summer fruit represented the onset of disaster. Instead of celebration and weal, this vision meant woe; instead of life, it meant death; songs would become wailings; solid land will tremble; the sun will set a noon; joyous feasts will be turned into morning and songs into lamentations. The atmosphere of revelry will suddenly be replaced by that of a funeral, and God himself will be the agent of this destruction. Israel was ripe alright, ripe for judgment!
This sermon discusses the application of Amos’ words to 8th century BC Israel to modern day America in the 21st century. Is America a basket of summer fruit? Are we under the judgment of God? How about the church in America? Have we been fooled by our ‘pillow-prophets’ to understand the basket of summer fruit to be a vision of blessing, while in reality is a vision of our end?