Amos

Amos Overview for tomorrow

The Book of Amos addresses:

  •  the excessive pursuit of luxury,
  • self-indulgence
  • oppression of the poor which characterized the period of prosperity and success in the Northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam II.

This book is basically a message of judgment: prophecies of judgment on the nations AND  against Israel. Amos begins with a series of indictments against the seven neighbors of Israel, then Israel itself. The rich are condemned because of their oppression of the poor and for their religious hypocrisy.

True religion demands righteous living, and the way people treat others reveals their relationship with God.  (re-read that)

Amos was a prophet from Judah (southern) with a message to Israel(northern) during the reign of Uzziah (south) and Jeroboam (north). Imagine giving a message of doom to the other team? Ugg. Amos was not a prophet before this, a son of a prophet, or even a priest like Samuel. He was just a sheepherder, however, from his writing we can assume he was educated.

The two kingdoms during this time are at an all-time high. Peace with neighbors, Assyria was not as powerful, and prosperity was growing. Listen, God is not against prosperity, God is against sin. Unfortunately usually with increased prosperity comes increased sin. Amos goes to Bethel because Bethel was the capital of the Northern Kingdom. Idolatry was everywhere. As you may recall from reading 2 Kings they were worshipping a golden calf and going through the ‘religious motions’. Since the division of the nation into North and South 200 years has passed. God has already sent Elijah, Elisha, and Jonah. With not a single degree of the nation turning from their sinful ways, God now sends people like Amos and Hosea at the same time to warn them. This time the Lord wants the message delivered courageously and directly, and Amos will do just that.

People who think that God is all about wrath and punishment need to dig into the Prophecy books. He loves His people so much that He is giving them opportunity after opportunity of warning to repent! And He is IGNORED.

I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. (Jonah 4:2)

I sat at the pool today with my earbuds in and did a “listen through” of the book of Amos.  It was an easy read but I will tell you it rocked my world!  I can’t wait for you to read it. (Honestly, I don’t think you will need to read the blog the next 2 days….you got this!)

Isaiah

Isaiah 5-8

If you did not see it, I posted an explanation last night on the captivity.  If you don’t know what the captivity is please go back and read it.  Isaiah will be hard to read if you don’t know what will eventually happen in 586 BC.  Click here or scroll down under this post.


Chapter 5- We begin with a parable.  It may actually sound familiar if you have read the New Testament.

My loved one had a vineyard
    on a fertile hillside.

The vineyard is his chosen people.  God provided all the means for them to prosper (fertile hillside).  But when the crops Israelites grew, they grew bad fruit.

What more could have been done for my vineyard
    than I have done for it?

So what is the consequence?

He takes his hand off of them.  He will not tend to them and he will allow the border to be open.  After the parable is given Isaiah shocks the audience by letting them know he is talking about them!


Verse 8 we add some more “Woes”- Beware.

v8-10-He is calling out those who accumulate- but lets them know that when the captivity happens…their mansions will be empty.

v11-17-He is talking to the “party crowd”, those that ignore God.  He specifically says in verse 13-

Therefore my people will go into exile
for lack of understanding;

v18-19-Those that are hitched to sin.  Not only do they disregard God but the defy Him, they don’t believe His warning and challenge Him to show up!  Verse 19-

“Let God hurry;
let him hasten his work
so we may see it.
The plan of the Holy One of Israel—
let it approach, let it come into view,
so we may know it.”

v20-those who think they are wiser than God

v21-to the corrupt.  He is detailed to tell them exactly what the captivity will look like.  V26-30 He tells them he will rise up nations around them, the enemies will not grow weary.  They will not break a sweat when they capture them.


Chapter 6 Isaiah’s Commission- We change the channel and it is dated for us so we know exactly when this happens.

kings for Isaiah.png

This vision occurs during the reign of Uzziah.  He sees God!

 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Isaiah immediately confesses he is unworthy to be in His presence.   Because of this God forgives him of his unclean lips and purifies Isaiah with the coal.  He then proceeds to tell him that the message you bring will fall on deaf ears.  They will ignore him.  When Isaiah asks “How long will they ignore me”? God tells him until they care put in captivity.  BUT…and don’t miss is…

And though a tenth remains in the land,
    it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
    leave stumps when they are cut down,
    so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

He preserves a remnant of people to survive!


Chapter 7- This is 700 years BEFOE the birth of Christ…Now when you read this you have to use context clues. “The line of David” is the tribe of Judah.  Ephraim is the tribe of Israel.

8:Within sixty-five years
    Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
    and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
    you will not stand at all.’”

The captivity will begin shortly for the northern tribe.  It will happen in waves, but within 65 years it will be complete destruction.

God tell Ahaz to ask for a sign, and Ahaz declines.  God gives him one anyway! (Look at your prophecy list of the Messiah)

The virgin  will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (700 years before Christ this is said)

18-25 Isaiah prophesied that Assyria will be the nation God will use for this first invasion.


In Chapter 8 Isaiah gives a description of the captivity but reminds Isaiah not to follow in Israel’s footsteps either.  It is NOT the enemy nations that will bring destruction on America Israel, it will be at the arm of the Lord to discipline their sins.  We The must not fear other nations, they must fear the Lord and obey his commands.

“Do not call conspiracy
    everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,
    and do not dread it.
13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
    he is the one you are to fear,
    he is the one you are to dread.
14 He will be a holy place;
    for both Israel and Judah he will be
a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
    a trap and a snare.
15 Many of them will stumble;
    they will fall and be broken,
    they will be snared and captured.”


PLEASE ask questions if you are at all confused…this is hard stuff.