The poetic meter in the Hebrew of Amos 5:2 is typical of the ancient Jewish funeral marches. Its structure demonstrates the prophets own grief over the funeral of virgin Israel which he must preach. Reading the first three verses of Amos chapter 5, one may ask, is there any hope? The answer to this question was certainly not going to be found in their houses of worship. Amos specifically warns Israel against trusting in the human establishment of religion typified in Bethel, Gilgal, and Beer-sheba. Contrast the hopelessness of that which Israel was seeking in verse 5 with the only place where true hope may be found in verse 6, seek the LORD, and ye shall live.
Bethel, Gilgal and Beer-sheba were three cities which became enshrined because of encounters which the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had with God. If Bethel, Gilgal, and Beer-sheba reveal anything to us, it is that the people of God can end up trusting in the things of God while neglecting God Himself. Meditate upon what you are trusting in where it concerns your eternal salvation. Ask God to reveal to you what Bethels, Gilgals, or Beer-shebas you may be relying upon. Then repent, seek the Lord alone, and you shall live.