For those of you reading along with us....or if you're just reading my recaps....bless you!!! I hope that you're able to keep all these major and minor prophets....especially the "minor" ones (who really shouldn't be considered minor at all, in my opinion)....but, I hope you've somehow been able to remember a little about each one to set them apart from each other.
So...let's talk about Amos!!!
***His name means "burden bearer"
***He was a shepherd
***Although he prophesied to the Northern Kingdom of Israel...he was a native of Judah, the Southern Kingdom
The theme of Amos' message was that Israel had rejected the one true God in order to worship false gods....but this truly was the message of all the prophets to God's chosen people....and it should be the basis of God's word to us today, too...that we need to turn away from every false "god"....that keeps us away from the ONE TRUE GOD!!!
The book of Amos is divided into 3 major sections:
1) Judgment against the nations, including Judah and Israel
2) Sermons of judgment against Israel
3) Visions of God's judgment. The book concludes with a promise of Israel's restoration.
God gave Amos....a shepherd....the message He wanted him to relay to His people. He gave Amos words to speak to each section as to how they had sinned and He would not let them go unpunished. He would send down His judgment on them.
The following verse of scripture spoke to both Pappy and me about friendships and relationships....
Amos 3:3 - Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?
Now....if you've followed my blog for long, you know that sometimes I just find things in scripture to be a bit funny....and this was no exception. In Chapter 4, the upper class women were referred to as "you fat cows"! These women cared little for the poor. Their only concern was to support their own needs.
Even though God withheld rain....struck the farms and vineyards with blight and mildew....locusts devoured all the fig and olive trees....the people still would not return to the Lord. He sent plagues - killed the young men in war - and led all their horses away. The smell of death filled the air...but, they still refused God. The people were accused of being dishonest with each other. They trampled the poor, stealing their grain thru taxes and unfair rent.
Amos 5:13 - So those who are smart keep their mouth shut, for it is an evil time
I've had some bad days....but never one this bad....
Amos 5:19 - In that day, you will be like a man who runs from a lion, only to meet a bear. Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house and he's bitten by a snake.
Going to church does not make us a Christian....sorta of like the saying that standing in a garage does not make me a car!! :)
Amos 5:21 - "I hate all your show and pretense - the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies".
The Lord gave Amos a vision of Himself preparing to send a vast swarm of locusts over the land, destroying every green plant in sight. Amos asked the Lord to not send the insects....so the Lord listened to Amos.
A Fiery Drought
The Lord was preparing to punish His people with a great fire that burned up the sea and devoured the land...but, once again Amos asked Him to stop....to not destroy Israel....so the Lord stopped.
A Plumb Line
The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built using a plumb line to see if it was straight. God was going to test His people with a plumb line and would no longer ignore their sins.
A Basket of Ripe Fruit
This represented Israel being ripe for punishment. They were to be reprimanded for their dishonesty....cheating the helpless....and enslaving poor people. The Lord told His people, thru Amos, that He would not forget the wicked things they had done. One of the verses said the people would be full of sorrow....as if their only son had died. WOW!!! Was that not a foreshadow of what was go come?!?!?
God Standing at the Altar
God would stand in judgment of Israel. They would not be able to hide, or escape, from His wrath. Israel felt that because they were God's chosen people that they could live any way they wanted and God wouldn't punish them.
Amos 9:10b - "Nothing bad will happen to us".
But....in the end....God would restore His people!!!
"I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them," says the Lord your God.
That sounds a bit like heaven to me!!
In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!