A Harvest (Amos #20)

Text: Amos 8:1-3

That ordinary basket of summer fruit is just fruit to some, but it speaks volumes to Amos.  The basket of summer fruit is an illustration of the end for the northern tribes of Israel. I can imagine Amos looking at the harvest of fruit collected and knowing exactly what the truth from the Lord is.  This is the end.

Common illustration

  • …and behold a basket of summer fruit… (vs 1)
  • Amos saw that this basket of fruit is the end result of what was planted, tended to, and now harvested.  That ripe sycamore fruit represented success; the seed come to fruition and now gathered into bundles. But before a sigh of relief could come over Amos, he was reminded by that summer fruit in the basket that Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.
  • Israel is now in the reaping season.
  • If a man plants cucumbers, he does not expect to get peas. He cannot plant an apple tree and expect to get oranges.
  • Hosea 10:13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity.
  • And by a very natural and observable law, Amos preaches the reality of Israel’s situation.  Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
  • The northern part of Israel would spiral in instability.  Leaders would be assassinated one after another. Then Assyria would invade and only leave for a short while after being paid off through heavy taxation.  Then Assyria would return without any regard for the people. They would kill and enslave whoever they wanted to, whenever and wherever they wanted to.

Certainty of the harvest

  • Course has been run; Completed life cycle
    • You could say it this way, the end is the reality.
    • Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
  • “Dying Testimonies of Saved and Unsaved”
    • Mr. Inskip, servant of the Lord, pg 48
    • ppg 315-318
    • Dying Without God, pg 303
  • You’ve got to be told of the certainty of the harvest, not because you don’t know what’s going to happen, but more so, because you don’t want to believe is going to happen.
  • The LORD asks Amos what he sees and then gives Amos the interpretation.  Amos needs God’s perspective on this.
  • You’ll deceive yourself about this basic truth.  Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
    • It’s easy to be deceived because things aren’t what they seem.  We walk by faith, not by sight.
    • It’s also easy to be deceived because we’d rather be deceived.
    • Here’s someone who has a terrible thought life.  Depressed, angry, fearful. But he can’t put together that all that ever goes through his mind is news, dirty music, dirty movies, gossip, envy and he can’t figure out why he’s so miserable.
  • We are so good at being deceived in this basic truth because we fail to believe the LORD’S interpretation and just take what we see as the truth.
    • Proverbs 11:7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
    • Your harvest is the thing you tend to the most.  This is what you’re working for.
    • What if all your hopes and expectations came true?  How far does it extend beyond the grave?

Compensation is due

  • Now the farmer will take his fruit to market and be paid his wages.
  • Amos saw that basket of fruit is the harvest that would bring in wages.
  • The sinners of Israel will take their fruit to market and be paid their wages.  Usually payday is a good day. The wages of sin is death.
    • Jeremiah 16:18 And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.
    • Jeremiah 25:14 …and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.
    • When payday comes, you don’t get paid for good intentions.
    • When payday comes, you don’t get paid for excuses you made.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.


  • Some of you are praying about things that were set in motion many years ago.  And you won’t be able to undo the harvest. You’re reaping.
  • Hebrews 12:16-17 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
  • Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience…
  • Paul came to a point in his life where he counted it all loss.  Forgetting those things which are behind…