Today’s reading is: Amos 1-6
Amos Chapter One
- Amos’ ministry is dated within the reigns of Uzziah (Azariah) (790-739BC), & Jeroboam II (793-753BC).
- Two years before the earthquake would really nail it down, except we don’t know precisely when the earthquake occurred (Am. 1:1; Zech. 14:5).
- Josephus connects this earthquake with the Uzziah’s leprosy (2nd Chr. 26:16-20).
- Archaeology has uncovered evidence of a violent earthquake in Israel about 760BC.
- “The Lord roars from Zion” (Am. 1:2) indicates that Amos’ message is not a happy, peaceful message. It is a message of Divine wrath and judgment, an echo of Joel’s message in the south (cf. Joel 3:16).
- “Thus says the Lord” introduces eight prophecies in chapters 1&2.
- The x & x+1 formula indicates the process by which the recipients of these oracles descended into evil and judgment.
- Damascus is judged for the evil they inflicted upon Gilead (Am. 1:3-5).
- Gaza is judged for their enslavement of people (Jews) and deliverance of them to Edom (Am. 1:6-8).
- Tyre is also judged for assisting in that endeavor (Am. 1:9-10).
- Edom is judged for receiving those captives, and executing them (Am. 1:11-12).
- Ammon is judged for their brutality against Gilead (Am. 1:13-15).
Amos Chapter Two
- Moab is judged for their brutality against Edom (Am. 2:1-3).
- Judah is judged for their rejection of the Word of God (Am. 2:4-5).
- Israel is judged for their abusive & predatory materialism (Am. 2:6-8).
- The judgment upon Israel is then expanded in the following passage and chapters (Am. 2:9-16).
- The Lord reminded Israel that the Amorites were a happy & wealthy people in their day as well.
- The Lord reminded Israel that He was the One Who brought Israel out of the bondage they could not escape, through the wilderness they could not survive, & into the land they could not conquer.
Amos Chapter Three
- The Lord goes beyond the northern kingdom of Israel, to address the entire Nation of Israel (Am. 3:1). The lion’s roar continues with three “Hear this” messages (Am. 3:1; 4:1; 5:1) and a Woe (Am. 6:1).
- Because Israel is the one chosen earthly nation upon the Earth, theirs is the strictest accountability (Am. 3:2; 1st Pet. 4:17).
- Amos delivers a series of common-sense, rhetorical-question proverbs (Am. 3:3-6), to illustrate how obvious it should be that judgment is on the way (Am. 3:7-8).
- The Lord calls the Philistines & Egyptians to bear witness (Am. 3:9-10) to the Divine discipline He inflicts upon the nation of Israel (Am. 3:11-15).
Amos Chapter Four
- The Lord rebukes the cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria (Am. 4:1).
- He is once again addressing the northern kingdom of Israel.
- The Bulls of Bashan are the fallen angels under Satan’s kingship (Ps. 22:12), and Israel has spiritually married themselves to that demonic influence through their incessant idolatry (1st Cor. 10:19-21).
- Israel’s abusive & predatory materialism once again is pictured as the Lord declares His judgment against them (Am. 4:2,3), and invites them to continue in their idolatry (Am. 4:4-5).
- Israel was repeatedly warned, and yet failed to pay heed to the warnings (Am. 4:6-11).
- Israel’s judgment will introduce them to the Lord God of Hosts (Am. 4:12-13).
Amos Chapter Five
- Amos sings a funeral dirge for Israel, prophesying a 90% casualty rate for Israel in their captivity (Am. 5:1-3).
- Israel’s only answer, at this point, is to humble themselves, and seek the Lord in the southern kingdom of Judah (Am. 5:4-15).
- Israel is reminded of the Lord’s sovereign omnipotence (Am. 5:8-9).
- The political and judicial establishment of Israel was growing fat by victimizing the helpless (Am. 5:10-13).
- The Lord was calling them to account (Am. 5:14-15).
- The chapter concludes with another message from the Lord telling Israel that they had no idea what to expect on the Day of the Lord (Am. 5:16-27).
- It will be a day of intense mourning (Am. 5:16-17) (followed only afterwards by rejoicing, Jer. 31:13b).
- The Day of the Lord will be a day of darkness and despair for unbelieving Israel (Am. 5:18-20).
- External religious ritual will be worthless for them (Am. 5:21-24).
- They have been idol worshippers ever since the wilderness wanderings, and are being disciplined according to the conditions of the Mosaic Covenant (Am. 5:25-27).
Amos Chapter Six
- Amos addresses chapter six both to Judah (Zion) and Israel (Samaria) (Am. 6:1a), but focuses directly upon the rulers of the house of Israel (Am. 6:1b).
- God invites Israel to examine past cities that enjoyed economic prosperity through idolatry, and observe what happened to them (Am. 6:2-3).
- The description of Israel’s decadence is again highlighted (Am. 6:4-7).
- The certainty of God’s judgment is guaranteed by the vow He takes (Am. 6:8-11).
- The concluding paragraph includes more rhetorical questions—tinged with sarcasm, and insults (Am. 6:12-14).