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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Amos 7

Verses 1-17

  1. LOCUSTS! (1-3)
    1. (1) Warnings of complete destruction of the crops when the summer heat was due to begin.
      1. Formed locusts – They’re in the larval stage.
      2. Beginning of the late crop – the grass that grows after the late rains of March/April.
      3. After the king’s mowings – 1st cuttings were set aside to feed the kings horses, before the people harvested the main crop. (Walvoord & Zuck; pg.835.)
    2. (2) (lit.) How can he stand…he’s so small!
    3. (3) The Lord relented – An Anthropopathic expression(to have human feelings).
      1. God did not change His mind, as men do, but changed his course of action. Which is consistent w/his eternal unchangeableness.
      2. This was in response to the cry of Amos, “Oh Lord God, forgive!”
      3. “If you walk against the wind, it resists you; but if you turn & walk in the opposite direction, it helps you.” (F.B.Meyer)
      4. Intercession!
        1. ​​​​​​​How often does the bible tell the story of the power of intercession? (picture a priest standing before God & whom he is sacrificing for)
        2. Here Amos’ intercessions warded off the blow!
      5. Pray like Epaphras did for his friends to stick to Gods will & not their own: “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you,that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” Col.4:12
      6. Pray like Paul commands us for all men; for those in authority; & for lost souls: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim.2:1,3,4)
      7. Pray like Paul did for the Thessalonians sanctification: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely;” (1 Thes.5:23)
      8. Pray like Samuel did for the children of Israel: “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.”
      9. Q: How are you doing with intercession? {Pray for specific conversions; or for specific friend’s/children’s sanctification; pray for others prosperity in the work of the Lord!}
      10. Ps: God never gives us discernment regarding a friend in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.
  2. FIRE! (4-6)
    1. ​​​​​​​(4) The heat was so severe that it consumed the subterranean sources of the springs & rivers.
  3. PLUMB LINE! (7-9)
    1. ​​​​​​​(7) He stood by the wall –
      1. The measuring of the wall(Israel)is a symbol of the testing of Israel’s conduct.
      2. Picture Yahweh standing as “building inspector”…Israel is out of plumb! – His plumb perfectly straight, their wall woefully crooked!
    2. Plumb Line –
      1. Show - Plumb Line! (when the string is held up the weight is pulled down by gravity, & the result is a true vertical)
      2. No charge was made, but it was evident to Amos they were measured & came up wanting!
        1. Prov. 21:2 “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.”
        2. Dan.5:25-28 “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. "This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; "TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; "PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."
        3. This time no intercession, doom was determined.
      3. Is.28:17 “I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line;”(NIV)
        1. Show – ruler(s). {the above verse forms a cross!}
      4. Q: How have you built your spiritual house?
        1. Story: of a building contractor who asked one of his builders to construct him a house. He ended up using the cheapest material, & cut many corners. At the end of the project the contractor gave it to his builder, seeking to bless him.
      5. The Building Inspector “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” & “I am He who searches the minds and hearts.”
        1. 1 Cor.3:9-11 “…you are God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
      6. Allow God to hold the Plumb Line up to your house now!
        1. Is your foundation reinforced? (Jesus) Walls straight? (ever try to build a block wall?)Type of material…the cheapest? (Would watered down paint describe your prayers?)Is your house inviting to others, or is it a fortress unto yourself? (dark street/scary house in Maine…give you $5 to touch it!) Does your house sit alone or part of a community? (fellowship)
        2. Q: How have you built your spiritual house?
      7. Q: How straight could you free hand, a straight line, on 3’ of paper? - Some of us could do better then the next, but would any be as straight as you could get w/a ruler?
        1. So the real question is…Q: How straight are you next to our “ruler” Jesus?
        2. So God was saying, “Ok, let’s see who is good!”
        3. There was a crooked man, And he walked a crooked mile.
          He found a crooked sixpence(coin), Beside a crooked stile (A set or series of steps for crossing a fence or wall);
          He bought a crooked cat, Which caught a crooked mouse,
          And they all lived together, In a little crooked house.
    3. (8) God will not permit intercession any longer.
      1. No pardon is left for them.
    4. (9) Jeroboam(II) – 2 Kings 14:24 “And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam(1st) the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.”
      1. His kingdom was given to him upon moral conditions “…if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you.” (1 Kings 11:38)
  4. AMAZIAH vs. AMOS! (10-17)
    1. ​​​​​​​(12) Go you seer – advising him to flee, he attempts to appeal to the fear of Amos. {Q: Can you think of anyone who has silenced you?}
      1. There eat bread – i.e. make your living by prophesying in Judah.
    2. (14) Thus Amos’ response – He denied that he was a prophet in a “professional sense”!...But Jehovah spoke to me, & I have become a prophet truly in deed!
      1. Tender = “one who cut or scraped”.
      2. Tender of sycamore fruit – It was punctured to help insure ripening.
        1. Again, this is the perfect example of what the Lord must do in our lives to make our fruit sweet to His taste!
        2. Don’t reject his knife of sharp trials; don’t refuse His heavenly blows. Other wise our bereavements, our bodily pains, our discomforts will all become simply “sour fruit!”
    3. (15) The Lord called me…& I must obey!
      1. It’s as simple as that!…I’m just a lowly “lay guy”(laity).
        “I am not a card-carrying Prophet in the prophets Union!” I’m simply being diligent to the little job I’ve been given.
      2. Eccl.9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might;”
        {NLT - “Whatever you do, do well”}
      3. “The Lord said to me!”...not I believe,…or I think.
    4. (16) Spout – drip, driveling on(dribbling).
    5. (17) As for you Amaziah…you will pay for your compromise & sins.
    6. Boldness!
      1. ​​​​​​​Read - Martin Luther, Heroes of the Faith; pg.153.
      2. It’s not easy being a spokesman for God!
      3. W. J. Slim, “When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take--choose the bolder.”
      4. Jesus was never mean or cowardly, nor must his servants be. There was no braver man than Christ. He could stoop to save a soul, but he would stoop to nothing by which his character might be compromised, or truth and righteousness insulted. (Spurg)
    7. End: William Carey, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Amos 7". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/amos-7.html. 2017.