(16 verses, 2:30 to read)
What I am about to READ
- If the people listening to Amos thought, after hearing the sermon of chapter one, that they were not on the Lord’s bad list, they were wrong. Amos, in this chapter, announces God’s anger and judgment on Moab, Judah, and then Israel.
MARK & LEARN
- Amos is prophesying and preaching in the year 761 B.C. This is 170 years after the civil war that caused Judah (the southern kingdom) and Israel (the northern kingdom) to split. Amos is preaching in the north, in Israel. 761 B.C. is also only 39 years away from the destruction of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians (who destroy Samaria, the capital of Israel, in 722 B.C.)
- 1-3, in the beginning of this chapter Amos continues the condemnation of the nations around Israel. Here it is Moab, who is being punished for attacking Edom.
- 4-5, a little more close to home, Judah and Jerusalem get it in these verses. Their punishment comes from despising God’s Law and not keeping His commandments.
- 6-16, God’s chastisement comes around to Israel. If the people listening to Amos were rejoicing as God promised punishment on all the nations around Israel, their joy here turns to sorrow as the prophet blasts them with the Law.
- The sins of Israel are listed in verses 6-8 and verse 12. Amos mentions sins against the 7th commandment, 6th commandment, and especially the 2nd commandment (false oaths, and efforts to silence the prophets).
- Notice, though, that in the Lord’s roaring against all the other nations there was a promise of fire (see Amos 1:4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 2:2, and 5), but there is no fire being sent on Israel, not yet. As you read through Amos keep your ears open for this fire to come upon Israel.
- In verse 13 the Lord gives us a picture of His attitude toward Israel, “Behold, I am weighed down by you, As a cart full of sheaves is weighed down.” We see the picture of a wagon stacked high with wheat that is so heavy it can barely move. Israel’s sins have piled up, and they have become stuck in their unbelief.
- The key condemnation of Israel is in 2:12, “You… commanded the prophets saying, ‘Do not prophesy!'” They were refusing to hear God’s Word, and this refusal cut them off from the possibility of repentance and faith. Amos the prophet, then, stands as a beacon of repentance (and of God’s continued love for Israel, even as He warns them of the coming destruction), but insofar as they refuse to hear Amos, they, too, will be visited by God’s anger.
- Prayer: O Lord, give to me Your Holy Spirit so that I would gladly hear the preaching of Your prophets and apostles. Grant me repentance and faith that I would not come into condemnation, but come under the protection and kindness of Your Son. Forgive my sins. Give me joy in Your promise of forgiveness. Establish me in the hope of life everlasting and the resurrection of the body. And keep me and all Your church by the atoning blood of Christ. Amen.
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Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller
Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO (www.hope-aurora.org)