Amos 5:21-27 "I hate, I reject your festivals,nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,I will not accept them;and I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings." Take away from Me the noise of your songs;I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.ï¿½But let justice roll down like watersand righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves. Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
When I first reread this passage in Amos, a few things struck me.First of all the Lord is bringing judgment on Israel for carrying on religious ceremony without true dedication to the Lord.They sing songs and present their offerings while harboring idols.I was reminded of how the Lord must view the heretical apostate mega church celebrations of today.There is a lot of pomp and circumstance, yet little or no obedience to the Word of God.The Lord does not look favorably upon worship of that type, no matter the hype, no matter the noise, no matter the show.He actually ï¿½hatesï¿½ it.
Modern ï¿½worshipï¿½ music has taken on a distinct flavor of the world.It is all about how well crafted the music is to get followers to think they are experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit, when in fact they are simply experiencing the effect of their own emotions.They mistake spiritual things for soulical. They think carnal things are an evidence of the presense of the Holy Spirit.True worship of the Lord has been left behind and substituted with high volume rock music where audience participation has been relegated to raising of hands and clapping instead of making their own voices heard above the din.You can have the best musicians and songs crafted to tug at the heartstrings and it may very well be something the Lord hates.The Lord is looking for obedience and true worship, not a show, and not lyrics compromising truth.
The Lord reminds Israel of their journey through the wilderness after disobeying the Lord.They continued to present their sacrifices and grain offerings while carrying with them idols.When I wrote my article entitled ï¿½Monotheism in Ancient Cultures is virtually non-existentï¿½ (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/monotheisminancientcultures.html) I dealt with the issue of polytheism.My article was addressing the misconception of people like Don Richardson, gained from a number of Catholic sources, that monotheism has always been present since Babel in hundreds of cultures around the world.
This is patently not true if you are a student of culture.I wrote this of what happened at Babel:
God confused the tongues of those at Babel because they had disobeyed the Lord and were staying together, worshipping a male and female as gods and building them a ziggurat so they could be close to the heavens. This is because they believed Nimrod to be the sun (after his death it was said that he "became" the sun) and Semiramis (his mother) to be the moon (Semiramis was also called the "Queen of Heaven") (http://www.torahandspirit.com.istemp.com/babylon.htm). This is where, I believe, the worship of the "Queen of Heaven" originated, which the Bible details. (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19 & 44:25) Later they continued to be worshipped in Babylon as Marduk and Astarte, as well as in Canaan as Baal and Asherah. So when God forcibly sent everyone on their way from Babel they did not go out with the knowledge of God (Elohim) but of the false religion of polytheism they had devised along with the worship of created things called "Animism". This is what we see today which lays the basis for all Gentile cultural false religions.I knew that I had not covered completely the list of false gods in the Bible that God warned against.God never accepted the worship of "supreme beings" from the Gentile cultures, or the false gods Israel learned to worship in Egypt or Canaan. So it was with interest that I read Amos recounting that: "You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun (or Chiun), your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves."What were these idols called Sikkuth and Kiyyun? They were obviously one more example of the polytheism in all Gentile cultures which was a direct link to the worship of Nimrod and Semaramis in Babel, as was Marduk and his consort. Why do I say that? Because Nimrod and his mother were worshipped as the Sun and moon. They were considered star gods as most other ancient culture polytheistic pairs. They built a ziggurat to place Nimrod and his mother/wife toward heaven from which they were said to have come. They had no plans to disperse and populate the earth as the Lord had commanded them a few hundred years earlier after the flood so they had to be forcibly removed from that one location by the confusion of their languages.
We know that the Bible teaches that the Gentiles "did not know God" over and over so those who have tried to prove that all the cultures from the beginning have all been based on monotheism such as Wilhelm Schmidt in his "Origin of the Idea of God", Don Richardson in "Eternity In Their Hearts", Daniel Kikawa in "Perpetuated in Righteousness", and many other World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People (WCGIP) advocates as well as Emerging Church, New Apostolic and liberal theologians, are dead wrong. They need to base their findings on what the Bible says over and over about the Gentiles not knowing God instead of starting from a false, badly researched premise.
Gal. 4:8 Formerly,when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
1 Cor. 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God,the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is thatit did not know him.
Rom. 1:28 Furthermore, sincethey did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
1 Thess. 4:5 ...not in passion of lust, likethe Gentiles who do not know God...
Ephesians 2:12-13 ...remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise,without hope and without God in the world.But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
2 Thess. 1:8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
And yet we have many people out there trying to justify all the cultures of the world, putting them on equal footing with Israel, to whom God exclusively revealed Himself by Name (YHWH-"I Am That I Am" Ex. 3:14). These ideas from Richardson et. al. basically constitute radical Replacement Theology on steroids. That is because they are trying to make all Gentile cultures into their own separate trees when the Bible says that any true believer is a branch off the tree of Israel.
Rom. 11:17-18 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
The teachings of the WCGIP and others are creating a new world order that is a demonic lie and those who follow them end up worshipping false gods. Bible translation societies have also followed this paradigm and have placed the names of foreign gods in the Bibles of various languages, thus"blapshemizing" the Bible (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/blasphemizingthebible.html) The truth is that man has rejected God from the beginning and after Babel took false religion to the four corners of the globe.
Here is just a partial list of some of the oldest cultures after the flood which had a male & female deity at the apex of their pantheon of gods.
Babylon:Marduk & Astarte(continued worship of Nimrod & Semiramis)http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/assyrbabyl-faq.html
Anunnaki:Elil & Ishtar (see Babylon above)http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa102197.htm
Canaan/Ugaritic:Baal & Asherahhttp://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html
Sumerian:An and Kihttp://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/sumer-faq.html
Hitite:Kumarbi & Hannahannashttp://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa102197.htm
Egyptian:Amen & Muthttp://socsci.colorado.edu/LAB/GODS/
Persia:Ahura Mazda & SpentaArmaiti (the earth goddess) (Source)
Mesopotamia:Enlil and Ninlilhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mesopotamian_deities
Ninevah:El & Athirat (http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa102197.htm)
Hurrian:Teshub & Hebathttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurrian_deities#Religion
Lydian:Baal & Anathttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anat
India:Vishnu & Shivahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_deities
Armenia:Aramazd & Anahithttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_mythology#Pantheon
Pre-Islamic Arabia:Hubal & Manathttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabian_mythology
Ossetian:Huycau & Satanahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossetian_deities
Berbers:Isis & Sethttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berber_mythology
Greek:Zeus & Herahttp://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/zeusgirl.html
Roman:Jupiter & Junohttp://www.gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/roman/
Celtic:Rosmerta and ï¿½Mercuryï¿½, Nantosuelta and Sucellos, Sirona and Apollo Grannus, Borvo and Damona, or Mars Loucetius and Nemetona.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_deities
China:NÃ¼wa & Fuxihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_mythology
Japan:Isanagi & Izanamihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_deities
Korea:Cheonjiwang & Queen Bajihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_deities#Supernatural_beings
Aztec:Toci & Tlazolteotlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_goddess
Maori:Puhaorangi & Tangotango (no mention of 'Io)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_M%C4%81ori_deities
Hawaiian:Kane & Na' wahine (Keawe became both Kane (male god) and Na' wahine (female god)http://www.huna.com/gods_diagram.html
Here is some more information on Sikkuth and Kiyyun from commentaries and literature.
In the Septuagint it says: lifted up the shrine of Molek / and the star of your god Rephan, / their idols.I had not realized that Molek and Rephanwere also another couple based on the worship of Nimrod and his mother. (Footnotes on Amos 5, NIV)
"But you have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch (# Am 5:26), little shrines that you made to carry about with you, pocket-idols for your private superstition, when you durst not be seen to do it publicly. You have had the images of your Molochï¿½ your king" (probably representing the sun, that sits king among the heavenly bodies), "and Chiun, or Remphan" (as Stephen calls it, # Ac 7:43, after the LXX), which, it is supposed, represented Saturn, the highest of the seven planets. The worship of the sun, moon, and stars, was the most ancient, most general, and most plausible idolatry. They made to themselves the star of their God, some particular star which they took to be their god, or the name of which they gave to their god. This idolatry Israel was from the beginning prone to (# De 4:19); and those that retain an affection for false gods cannot expect the favour of the true God.(Full Matthew Henry Commentary on Amos 5)Many in Israel apparently carried around little stars as good luck charms to gods they considered divine, possibly not really understanding that they were simply following the rebellion that took place all the way back at Babel.
SIKKUTH AND CHIUN. deities mentioned in Amos 5:26 in a warning sermon delivered to the people of the Kingdom of Israel, perhaps in Beth-El. Although the vocalization is modeled after shikku? (shiqqu?, "abomination"), the consonantal base suggests a pair of Mesopotamian astral deities, as was recognized by E. Shraeder (see bibl.) and others. Sikkuth is identified with Sag/k.kud/t (transliterated in a Mesopotamian god list as Sa-ak-ku-ut!), an astral deity known also from the "An" god list found at Ugarit (originally from Nippurian and other Mesopotamian sources, see Weidner, in bibl.), where it appears as [d]sag/k.k[ud]/t = [d]s[a]g/k.kud/t (Ugaritica, 5 (1969), 214, line 44). (In other "non-Western" lists of gods and stars, Sikkuth has recently been identified with Ninurta, one of the chief Mesopotamian deities (known also in the "West" and sometimes identified with Horon). Sikkuth in Amos is a perfect transliteration of this star deity. Its appellation, melekh (Akk. šarru, "king"), alludes to the high rank of this deity, a (translated) classification device known from Ugaritic and other sources. This means that in the ritual to which Amos alludes Sikkuth is the most important figure. Chiun is identified with the Akkadian Kajam?nu (in Akkadian intervocalic m comes to be pronounced like w, and so m was often written even for original w), "the steady one" (sometimes sag. us), the appellation of the star god Saturn (hence Aramaic Kewan, Ar. Kaiwan). This pair of deities appears in astrological lists (of celestial observations) and also in the "release" (lip?ur) passage of the expiatory prayer and ritual known as Šurpu (2:180), among other gods of the night and stars: "… sag. kud. sag. uŠdImmerija [= ilu-wer, mentioned in the inscription of Zakir king of *Hamath] release!" This may be translated as "may Sakkut, Kajam?nu release [from sin]." The appellation ?almekhem in Amos denotes the Akkadian star-idol ?almu, usually the second participant in the ritual of celestial and expiatory prayers (see Speiser, in bibl.). Amos warns his listeners to exchange the sacrificial cult with the accompanying sacred music for justice, or they will be exiled, along with the images of those deities beyond *Damascus. He thus mentions them only in passing, and nothing is learned about the details of their cult in Israel. (https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sikkuth-and-chiun)It is very clever how Amos made a vocalization of Sikkuth into shikkuz, a Hebrew word, meaning "abomination"The worship of these false gods was an abomination that continued in Israel all the way from the escape from Egypt till the captivity of Israel.To show you how long these ideas have lasted, our word for Saturday was taken from the worship of Chiun as the manifestation of the planet Saturn (Saturnsday).But then all the modern names of the days of the week were taken from the names of pagan deities.
Sunday (day of the sun) is the first day of the week. Its English name and its German name (Sonntag) are derived from the Latin dies solis, "sun's day," the name of a pagan Rhomaios (Roman) holiday. Sunday is called the Lord's Day (Dominica in the Latin version) and in Romance languages (French Dimanche; Italian Domenica; Spanish Domingo; RhomaiosDuminica).Remember that Nimrod was likely the first Sun god.
Monday (day of the moon) is the second day of the week, derived from the Anglo-Saxon monandaeg, which means "the moon's day." Its Latin equivalent is dies lunae, or "day of the moon." For the Anglo-Saxons the second day was sacred to the female deity of the moon. It is called yomsheniy in Ibriy, meaning "second day" or "day two."Semiramis was worshipped as the moon goddess.
Tuesday (Tyr's day) is the third day of the week, named for the Norse god of war, Tiu, or Tyr, the son of Odin, or Woden. It is called tisdag in Sweden, Tirsdag in Denmark. The Rhomaios honored their god of war, Mars, by naming the third day for him (diesMartis), and in France the day is mardi, in Italy martedì, and in Spain martes. In Germany it is Dienstag, originally meaning "assembly day." It is called yomshlishiy in Ibriy, meaning "third day" or "day three."
Wednesday (Woden's day) is the fourth day of the week, named to honor Odin, or Woden, chief deity in Norse mythology. In Sweden and Denmark, the day is Onsdag, from its Norse original. The Rhomaios honored their deity Mercury by naming the fourth day for him, in Latin, dies Mercurii. Languages of Latin origin retain the root: French, mercredi; Spanish, Miércoles; and Italian, Mercoledì.The Germans call the day Mittwoch, meaning "mid-week." It is called yomrebiy`iy in Ibriy, meaning "fourth day" or "day four."These days of the week named after false gods were also used by the Roman Catholic Church as they went along nicely with the RCC policy of syncretism. You can read more about the incredible mixture created by the RCC in my paper on the history of the "church" here: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ChurchHistory&CoreDoctrines.pdf.
Thursday (Thor's day) is named for Thor who in Norse mythology is the deity of thunder, eldest son of Odin, ruler of the gods, and Jord, the earth female deity. Thor was the strongest of the Aesir, the chief deities, whom he helped protect from their enemies, the giants. He had a magic hammer, which he threw with the aid of iron gloves and which always returned to him. Thunder was supposed to be the sound of the rolling of his chariot. It is called yomchamiyshiy in Ibriy, meaning "fifth day" or "day five."
Friday (Frigg's day) is named for Frigg or Frigga who in Norse mythology is the female deity of the sky and wife of Odin, the chief of the deities. She was worshipped as the female deity of darkness, who killed Balder with a mistletoe sprig. In German mythology, Frigg was sometimes identified with Frevia, the female deity of love. It is called yomshishshiy in Ibriy, meaning "sixth day" or "day six."
Saturday (Saturn's day) is the seventh day of the week, named in honor of the Rhomaios deity Saturn. In Latin, Saturday was called dies Saturni; it was called Sater-daeg by the Anglo-Saxons. It is the rest day of the Yisra'eliym, both physical and spiritual, and in Ibriy is called Shabbath and yomshebiy`iy in Ibriy (Hebrew), meaning "seventh day" or "day seven." The word shabbath derives from the Ibriy word meaning "to rest or cease, intermission" as the Yisra'eliymwere enjoined from working on the seventh day by Yahuwah (4th commandment). It begins at sunset the sixth day and lasts until sunset the seventh day. In Sweden Saturday is "lördagsgodis", or Lord's Day, and in Denmark and Norway it is Lørdag. In Spanish it is el sábado and in Italian sabato, both derived from shabbath. (http://www.considerthis.net/Files/Textfile/paganweekdaynames.htm)
That many in Israel had again forgotten what YHWH had done for them, in freeing them from Egypt and bringing them to the Promised Land and were still carrying idols around with them, is pretty unbelievable.But then they had also built altars to Baal and Asherah poles, another religion tracing back to Babel.They finally had to be driven out of the Promised Land and only in recent times have begun to come back to Israel.God left promises for those who believe on His Son for salvation that they would again inherit the Land and have a King over them forever.
But the message of Amos also resonates for Gentile Christians today.Many are falling away, apostatizing, and joining with the world, in a number of ways, whose prince is the prince of darkness.Their sacrifices, their loud music, their festivals, their solemn assemblies, and their offerings will not bring the approval of Jesus Christ.The Lord looks to see that those who claim to love Him do the following:
John 14:23 Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
John 14:24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.