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Walking Thru The Bible
Amos was a herdsman from the southern nation of Judah that was called by God to go up and preach against the sins of the northern kingdom, Israel. Jeroboam, the first northern king, had established the worship of the golden calves at Dan and at Bethel. Amos appeared at one of their services at Bethel and spoke out.
The herdsman-prophet went up to Bethel and by inspiration announced God’s coming judgment upon the nations surrounding Israel for all their sins and crimes. He got the ear of the people as they probably uttered "Amen" to his sermon, and "Preach on brother!" But then the prophet stopped "preaching" and started "meddling" talking about the sins of Israel.
Israel was at the peak of its prosperity but had reached bottom spiritually, and was morally corrupt and decadent.
Overview of the Book of Amos
Amos announced God’s judgment against Israel’s neighbors (Amos 1:1 - 2:3). He then turns to Judah (Amos 2:4-5) and Israel (Amos 2:6-16). Details about Israel’s specific sins and its impending judgment are related (Amos 3:1 - 6:14).
Amos was then given five visions of the coming judgment of Israel: the locust plague, the devouring fire, the plumb line, a basket of summer fruit, and the altar (Amos 7-9).
In the course of the visions, a priest of the altar at Bethel, Amaziah, rises up in opposition to Amos (Amos 7:10-17). The book ends with a glimpse of the splendor of the Messianic age (Amos 9:11-15).
The Social Conscience of the People of God
Amos was a fiery prophet who evaluated people’s religion through their conduct in society. Surrounding nations were condemned because of their wickedness and cruelty to others (Amos 1:1-2:3). The rulers of Israel were denounced as thieves, and their wives as lazy, greedy, and oppressing the poor. (Amos 3:9-4:3).
In Amos’ preaching the abuse of the poor is denounced severely (Amos 5:10-12). The N.T. has similar warning for Christians (James 5:1-6). In recent decades, liberal religious groups have abandoned the Bible for a social gospel, or social activism; while over the same period many conservative people have defended the Bible and neglected the poor, oppressed, and the helpless. Abortion should not be abandoned to the Catholic Church as its social issue. The plight of the elderly must not be left to federal agencies for solution. Family disintegration is a concern for every Christian.
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From Cambridge Bible Notes
"The reason for this judgment is the leaders’ injustice to the poor (Amos 2:6-7), the immorality of their personal behavior (Amos 2:7), and their gross self-indulgence (Amos 2:8). He recalls all that God has done in the past for Israel and how they have rejected these ancient models of responsibility (Amos 2:9-12). Now they can only await Yahweh’s judgment that is soon to fall (Amos 2:13-16). God remains in control of the history of Israel and the nations, and he will punish the faithless people (Amos 3:1-8). The other nations will know of their weakness and exploit it (Amos 3:9-12). It will result in the destruction of the costly homes of the rich (Amos 3:13-15). Judgment will fall and they will be scattered in spite of their vain show of religiosity (Amos 4:1-5). They have shown in the past that God’s judgment does not bring them to repentance (Amos 4:6-13), and they will surely experience punishment for their injustice and immorality (5:1-17). The day of the Lord will bring destruction, not deliverance, and will result in their being exiled to a land beyond Damascus (Amos 5:18-27). This doom will fall on the selfish, ruthless rulers and the rich who have abandoned God and concern for his people (Amos 6:1-14)."
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Amos 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany