on Amos 9 :4
I will set mine eyes upon them for evil - I will use that very providence against them which before worked for their good. Should they look upward, they shall see nothing but the terrible lightning-like eye of a sin-avenging God.
on Amos 9 :4
Captivity - , at least, seemed safe. The horrors of war are over. Men enslave, but do not commonly destroy those whom they have once been at the pains to carry captive. Amos describes them in their misery, as "going" willingly, gladly, "into captivity before their enemies," like a flock of sheep. Yet "thence" too, out of "the captivity," God would command the sword, and it should slay them. So God had forewarned them by Moses, that captivity should be an occasion, not an end, of slaughter. "I will scatter you among the pagan, and will draw out a sword after you" Leviticus 26:33. "And among these nations shalt thou find no ease - and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life" Deuteronomy 28:65-66. The book of Esther shows how cheaply the life of a whole nation was held by Eastern conquerors; and the book of Tobit records, how habitually Jews were slain and cast out unburied (Tobit 1:17; 2:3). The account also that Sennacherib (Tobit 1:18) avenged the loss of his army, and "in his wrath killed many," is altogether in the character of Assyrian conquerors. Unwittingly he fulfilled the command of God, "I will command the sword and it shall slay them."
I will set mine eyes upon them for evil - So David says, "The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to root out the remembrance of them from off the earth" Psalm 34:15-16. The Eye of God rests on each creature which He hath made, as entirely as if He had created it alone. Every moment is passed in His unvarying sight. But, as man "sets his eye" on man, watching him and with purpose of evil, so God's Eye is felt to be on man in displeasure, when sorrow and calamity track him and overtake him, coming he knows not how in unlooked-for ways and strange events. The Eye of God upon us is our whole hope and stay and life. It is on the Confessor in prison, the Martyr on the rack, the poor in their sufferings, the mourner in the chamber of death, for good. What when everywhere that Eye, the Source of all good, rests on His creature only for evil! "and not for good," he adds; "not," as is the wont and the Nature of God; "not," as He had promised, if they were faithful; "not," as perhaps they thought, "for good." He utterly shuts out all hope of good. It shall be all evil, and no good, such as is hell.
on Amos 9 :4
9:4 Set my eyes - I will perpetually watch over them.