Amos 1-2: God Makes a Simple Farmer and Rancher into a Spokesperson

Meet Amos. He’s a rancher, raising sheep and probably cattle, along with being a farmer of figs. He was a businessman from a small, country town in northeastern Judah, who more than likely traveled a lot to the northern kingdom of Israel for business. Amos knew the territory. He was also a godly man. Even with no formal training like Elisha or even Jonah, God chose him to be his spokesperson to not just Israel, but the pagan, Gentile nations too. He was an amateur. And just so you know, the word “amateur” means “for the love of it”. It doesn’t mean “less skilled” or “less capable”. Just passionate, yet good at what one does.

It’s c. 756 BC. Uzziah reigns in Judah and Jeroboam II is king of the northern kingdom of Israel. (We’ll read their historical accounts when we continue with 2 Kings shortly.) Needless to say, we had good king / bad king respectfully. As we’ll see, Amos was an in-your-face prophet. Again, no beating around the bush. He told it like it is. Let’s dig in…

Amos 1

This message was given to Amos, a shepherd from the town of Tekoa in Judah. He received this message in visions two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, was king of Israel.

This is what he saw and heard:

“The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion
    and thunder from Jerusalem!
The lush pastures of the shepherds will dry up;
    the grass on Mount Carmel will wither and die.”

God’s Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors

Hold on! Wasn’t this supposed to be a judgment on Israel? Why start with the surrounding nations?

This showed Israel how bad they were as they each, individually called out. Therefore, he had their attention when it came to warning Israel about the judgment to come for their pagan sins of idolatry.

Continuing…

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Damascus have sinned again and again,
    and I will not let them go unpunished!
They beat down my people in Gilead
    as grain is threshed with iron sledges.
So I will send down fire on King Hazael’s palace,
    and the fortresses of King Ben-hadad will be destroyed.
I will break down the gates of Damascus
    and slaughter the people in the valley of Aven.
I will destroy the ruler in Beth-eden,
    and the people of Aram will go as captives to Kir,”
    says the Lord.

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Gaza have sinned again and again,
    and I will not let them go unpunished!
They sent whole villages into exile,
    selling them as slaves to Edom.
So I will send down fire on the walls of Gaza,
    and all its fortresses will be destroyed.
I will slaughter the people of Ashdod
    and destroy the king of Ashkelon.
Then I will turn to attack Ekron,
    and the few Philistines still left will be killed,”
    says the Sovereign Lord.

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Tyre have sinned again and again,
    and I will not let them go unpunished!
They broke their treaty of brotherhood with Israel,
    selling whole villages as slaves to Edom.
10 So I will send down fire on the walls of Tyre,
    and all its fortresses will be destroyed.”

11 This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Edom have sinned again and again,
    and I will not let them go unpunished!
They chased down their relatives, the Israelites, with swords,
    showing them no mercy.
In their rage, they slashed them continually
    and were unrelenting in their anger.
12 So I will send down fire on Teman,
    and the fortresses of Bozrah will be destroyed.”

13 This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Ammon have sinned again and again,
    and I will not let them go unpunished!
When they attacked Gilead to extend their borders,
    they ripped open pregnant women with their swords.
14 So I will send down fire on the walls of Rabbah,
    and all its fortresses will be destroyed.
The battle will come upon them with shouts,
    like a whirlwind in a mighty storm.
15 And their king and his princes will go into exile together,”
    says the Lord.

Amos 1 NLT

Amos 2

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Moab have sinned again and again,
    and I will not let them go unpunished!
They desecrated the bones of Edom’s king,
    burning them to ashes.
So I will send down fire on the land of Moab,
    and all the fortresses in Kerioth will be destroyed.
The people will fall in the noise of battle,
    as the warriors shout and the ram’s horn sounds.
And I will destroy their king
    and slaughter all their princes,”
    says the Lord.

God’s Judgment on Judah and Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Judah have sinned again and again,
    and I will not let them go unpunished!
They have rejected the instruction of the Lord,
    refusing to obey his decrees.
They have been led astray by the same lies
    that deceived their ancestors.
So I will send down fire on Judah,
    and all the fortresses of Jerusalem will be destroyed.”

This is what the Lord says:

“The people of Israel have sinned again and again,
    and I will not let them go unpunished!
They sell honorable people for silver
    and poor people for a pair of sandals.
They trample helpless people in the dust
    and shove the oppressed out of the way.
Both father and son sleep with the same woman,
    corrupting my holy name.
At their religious festivals,
    they lounge in clothing their debtors put up as security.
In the house of their gods,
    they drink wine bought with unjust fines.

“But as my people watched,
    I destroyed the Amorites,
though they were as tall as cedars
    and as strong as oaks.
I destroyed the fruit on their branches
    and dug out their roots.
10 It was I who rescued you from Egypt
    and led you through the desert for forty years,
    so you could possess the land of the Amorites.
11 I chose some of your sons to be prophets
    and others to be Nazirites.
Can you deny this, my people of Israel?”
    asks the Lord.
12 “But you caused the Nazirites to sin by making them drink wine,
    and you commanded the prophets, ‘Shut up!’

13 “So I will make you groan
    like a wagon loaded down with sheaves of grain.
14 Your fastest runners will not get away.
    The strongest among you will become weak.
Even mighty warriors will be unable to save themselves.
15 The archers will not stand their ground.
The swiftest runners won’t be fast enough to escape.
    Even those riding horses won’t be able to save themselves.
16 On that day the most courageous of your fighting men
    will drop their weapons and run for their lives,”
    says the Lord.

Amos 2 NLT

Idolatry Against God and Injustice Against People

This quote from Pastor Sandy Adams explains this…

They wanted to reduce the Nazirites to background noise by getting them to compromise their holiness. When men, like Nazirites (or pastors today), who God intends to stand out, end up blending in by living a compromised lifestyle, God’s cause loses in society. If you’ve been a Christian for long, I’m sure you’ve discovered that people who don’t want to live for God, don’t want you to live for Him either. It makes them feel uncomfortable – it convicts them of their own sin. And they’ll go to great extremes to encourage you to compromise. That’s why we need to stand strong!

Sandy Adams

What all of these nations had in common was paganism. They were aware of God, yet, they still worshiped worthless idols. Israel’s sin was that they were copycats. They didn’t see God as enough and they adopted the paganism from the surrounding countries. This is very much like what Constantine did when he brought pagan rituals into the 4th century church to get the Romans to feel comfortable worshiping Christ. Unfortunately, that literally gave Satan a foothold and little by little, the devil corrupted the church from the inside out. Read about where the church went wrong in this series.

Sin Has Consequences

They sinned again and again. When something is repeated in the Bible several times, it means that God want’s us to PAY ATTENTION! It’s IMPORTANT! We’re supposed to remember it.

Jesus says 19 times in the New Testament some variation of this phrase …

15 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

Matthew 11:15 NLT

Guilty!

Like Hosea, Amos was the prosecutor and God was the Judge. Subsequntly, just as God judged the nations back then, He judges the world today. What’s different is what happened about 2000 years ago. God sent His Only Son, Jesus, to be our redeemer. When God pronounced the death sentence for our sin and sentenced us to eternal damnation in hell, Jesus steped up and said, “I’ll sacrifice myself in their place!” We didn’t ask Him to do it. He volunteered. He willingly went to the cross and suffered that torture to take away our sins FOREVER. Then, He died, but He rose after 3 days. Later, he ascended into Heaven where He’s preparing a place for each and every person who repents of their sin and surrenders their lives to Him. That’s today’s GOOD NEWS of Jesus’ true Salvation.

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

The Golan Heights – Israel and the Great Tribulation – with Amir Tsarfati


The Book of Amos Explained – BibleProject


Middle East Update – the Gaza War


TV7 Times Observer – New Leader in Iran, Lebanon’s Crisis and the Ezekiel War



Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

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