Amos Overview

It is a book about recalcitrance. Amos is called from nowhere to deliver a message to a complacent, greedy, prosperous, lazy populace.

Not interested.

He’s the meat in the sandwich between them and God. As the chapters wear on he pleads with the people to take his ever more desperate cries seriously; and with God not to be too harsh on them because they are weak and can’t take it.

Fire and locusts arrive in chapter 7, and worse in the unremittingly bleak 8. But they just turn on him.

It is about being distinctive, standing out from the morality around you. Their gospel is not Jesus, yet, but justice and fairness, and respect for Jehovah. They don’t respond, they are indistinguishable from the surrounding cultures that have no special revelation of God.

But, as the book ends in the inevitable destruction, the death that comes to us all, there’s a hope held out of a new promise of abundant blessing to all nations.

Death terminates our time on earth for all of us. Use it to respond, be prayerful and courageous no matter how lowly you are

1 Amos is an angry shepherd, telling the neighbouring countries they have tried God’s patience too long. This concrete truth telling now also exists as spiritual truth telling in our hearts

2 condemns Moab, Judah, and then at the centre, and closest to his heart, Israel. They have a lazy, greedy corruption. He compares them to a cart, bogged down in sin, going nowhere.

3 complaining about the deep complacency of the Israelites, easy application: how saved do WE behave?

4 prosperous Israelites living in Samaria will face full on judgement, they’ll turn to their false gods but they won’t help.

5 It’s like parent talk, trying everything to try and get a recalcitrant child to obey. Good just wants us to be decent

6 God wants us to be distinct from those around us. The Israelites were no different from those around them, not “grieved for the affliction of Joseph”

7 Amos’ prayer and courage. His prayer is a catalyst for God’s mercy when the people are punished with locusts and fire. Then the King blames him, and he courageously speaks the truth: he’s a nobody sent by God.

8 His bleakest vision, end of the line, they’ve wasted all their chances of repentance. I contemplate that you must disturb.

9 the inevitability of destruction, God riches the earth and it melts. A small ray of hope talks about a restored City, abundance for all nations that will not fail. We die, God’s eternal, trust him.

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