(17 verses, 3:30 to read)
What I am about to READ
God reveals his plans of destruction for Israel and Amos is kicked out of the land for preaching God’s word.
MARK and LEARN
God reveals to Amos that he will destroy the crops of Israel by locusts. But Amos intercedes, like Moses, on behalf of the people and pleads for mercy. Again the Lord reveals that he will burn up the land by fire, a fire that would be so intense it would dry up even the wells and underground waters (vs. 4) and again, Amos pleads for mercy from the Lord. Both times the Lord relents in response to the petitions of Amos.
The third and final woe which God pronounces to Amos regarding Israel, he will not relent from however.
The Lord appears in bodily form standing next to a wall and holding a plumb line, which was a line with a weight at the bottom used in construction to determine whether a structure was true and straight vertically. We use “plumb-bobs” even to this day. The wall represents Israel, that which the Lord had built, but it had become crooked and warped in sin. Here in a very visual way the Lord announces to Amos that he will hold Israel to the holy standard, the “line”, his law and commandments and bring judgement upon the house of Jeroboam. This would come to pass with the invasion of the Assyrians.
Amoziah the priest hears of the woes that Amos is preaching in Israel and orders him to leave the land. Amoziah, a priest of God should have heeded the word of the Lord as spoken by the prophet, but he willingly shuns God and his prophet by not listening to him. For this rebuff, Amos utters a terrifying pronouncement to Amoziah, that his wife will be a prostitute in the city, that his children will die by the sword and that his land will be divided up by a conquering army (vs. 17).
We ought to hear the words of the Lord that he utters at all times. When we turn a deaf ear to his law and promises, even from the mouth of his lowly preachers, that can only mean that we have found another god from whom we seek the highest good. The law is set about to terrify us with our sins that we would receive the promises of Jesus, who urges all to come to him who are heavy laden with sin and brokenness, that he would give them rest.
Lord Jesus, you have sent your word out into all the world. You have appointed my pastor to speak faithfully your words of Law and Gospel. Let me hear this word faithfully that in hearing I would be accused and comforted as your Spirit sees fit. In your Name, Amen.