For an introduction to this series, click here.
Nov. 9, 2006
Amos finishes his book with more pronouncements of God's judgment, but ends his prophecy on a high note, as he promises that one day Israel will be restored.
In Chapter 6 Amos prophesies against "those who are at ease in Zion." The Jews were content with their material possessions, and did not care that their own brothers, their fellow Jews, were starving and were oppressed by corrupt leaders.
In Chapter 7 God gives Amos visions of locusts and fire that He was planning to send upon Israel, and Amos intercedes, apparently, and stops the judgment from coming. Then a "priest of Bethel-" I don't know if this priest was a godly priest or one of the priests of the idol that Jeroboam set up in Bethel, the text doesn't say (or if it does I didn't notice it)- tells Amos to go south into Judah. The priest says the king is going to kill Amos. Amos responds, "I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, 'Go, prophesy against my people Israel'" (7:14-15, ESV)
I really like Amos' response to the king's threat. He admits that the calling of God was not something he planned on or even wanted, but now that he was given this responsibility, he is going to see it through to the end. Most, and possibly all, of the pastors and leaders who have made an impact on my life have a similar testimony.
Then in Chapter 8 and most of Chapter 9 Amos predicts the destruction of the Northern Kingdom. But the last five verses of the book predict a future glory for Israel, a land that is so bountiful that the sowers of fruit will have to wait to plant in the spring because the harvest from the last fall has not all been taken in yet.