Joseph had two sons, Ephrim and Manasseh, the fathers of two tribes of the house of Israel. God calls the descendants of Ephrim His firstborn. That is because Jacob, Joseph’s father, on his death bed, blessed Ephrim, the youngest, with the birthright. So, what’s the birthright? God’s promises given to Abraham who passed them down to Isaac and now Jacob who lays his hand on Ephrim. Jacob blessed Judah with the Septer. the right to rule his brothers. From Judah came Christ, the King.
Amos was prophesying to the Northern Tribes, called the House of Israel. Amos pleads with Ephrim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph. Amos tells them what God said He was going to do to them, destroy nine out of ten and scatter the rest. What is shocking is that they must have thought they were ok, some were even longing for the day of the Lord.
“Seek good and not evil, so that you may live;
And so may the Lord God of armies be with you,
Just as you have said!
Hate evil, love good,
And establish justice in the gate!
Perhaps the Lord God of armies
Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Therefore this is what the Lord God of armies, the Lord says:
“There is mourning in all the public squares,
And in all the streets they say, ‘Oh no! Oh no!’
They also call the farmer to mourning
And professional mourners to mourning rites.
And in all the vineyards there is mourning,
Because I will pass through the midst of you,” says the Lord.
Woe to you who are longing for the day of the Lord,
For what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you?
It will be darkness and not light;
As when a man flees from a lion
And a bear confronts him,
Or he goes home, leans with his hand against the wall,
And a snake bites him.
Will the day of the Lord not be darkness instead of light,
Even gloom with no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:14-20 NASB)
When dates are not given, it is easy to place events anywhere you want, as long as they have not happened, only described. When they do it’s seldom more than a few who see it coming. Remember Anna and Simeon and the wise men? They were looking and waiting. The best advice I can give is work while it’s still light, and maybe change your focus. I’m longing for the day after the day of the Lord.