The book of Amos is a record of the messages of the prophet Amos. As with most prophets, Amos’s message focused on current events for the people of Israel (the Northern Kingdom of Israel), but also had a secondary meaning, anticipating the life of Jesus.
Amos was a preacher, or prophet, in Israel; he lived during the reign of King Jehoash (Joash) of Israel. He spoke of a coming doom for Israel and the surrounding nations, of Israel’s disobedience and coming destruction, and of visions of the future.
Amos is sometimes called a minor prophet. This doesn’t mean he wasn’t important, but merely that the book named after him is shorter. (Compare this to the major prophets, whose books are much longer.)
For the past several months, most of the A Bible A Day posts have been about the minor prophets. Recall that they are called “minor” not because their prophecy is insignificant, but because their books are short!
Do you ever ask yourself, “What is really important?”
If we’re not careful, it’s all too easy to end up doing things that, at best, are secondary, and at worst, don’t matter at all. Such was the case of the people of Israel a few millennia ago.
The prophet Amos states that God is critical of their religious gatherings, their offerings, and their music. He uses phrases like “I hate…,” “I despise…,” “I will not accept…,” “I have no regard for…”, and “I will not listen…”.
What did God want instead? Righteousness and justice.
Although it would be an incorrect conclusion to completely jettison our gatherings, our offerings, and our worship music, it might not be a bad idea to give them a bit lower priority. Certainly, the admirable traits of righteousness (“right living”) and justice need to be elevated.
If that’s what God wanted all those years ago, it might just be want he wants now.
Amos was a shepherd, called by God to be a prophet. His story is found in the book of Amos in the Bible.
Amos says what God tells him, but after a while, the people of Israel — the primary target of his God-given proclamations — get tired of Amos and what he says, telling him to be quiet and go back home. Interestingly, Peter, the disciple of Jesus, is given a similar warning by the authorities. Both Amos and Peter decline, insisting that they must do what God tells them to do.
At first Amos has no qualms about sharing God’s judgments regarding other nations, but he does eventually object. God shows Amos what will happen and Amos protests — and God relents. (Similar things happen when both Moses and Abraham plead with God.)
God then gives Amos another stinging word. Amos protests and God again relents.
Then God gives Amos a third oracle. This time Amos says nothing.
I wonder if Amos gave up too soon. I wonder if we sometimes make the same mistake.