The Prophetic Books • The prophetic books are divided into the minor prophets and the major prophets • The minor prophetic books are also called TheTwelve Books • The book of Amos is a minor prophetic book
Major Prophetic Books • Isaiah • Jeremiah • Ezekiel • Daniel
Who Was Amos? • Amos means “burden” or “borne” • Layman, shepherd, and tended to fig trees • From Tekoa in Judah (Southern Kingdom) • About ten miles south of Jerusalem
Who Was Amos? (cont.) • Amos wrote this book probably about 760- 750 B.C., time during which he served as a prophet to Israel • This was the time during the reigns of Jeroboam II king of Israel and Uzziah (Azariah) king of Judah
Who Was Amos? (cont.) • God gave him a vision of the future • Told him to take His message to Israel (Northern Kingdom)
God’s Temperament in Amos • In Amos God is portrayed as a ferocious lion and a consuming fire • But even in anger God is merciful. He always warned his people before inflicting punishment upon them
God’s Judgment • God proclaims: “For three sins of _______, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath].” • Sins of… • Damascus (Aram) • Gaza (Philistia) • Tyre (Phoenicia) • Edom • Ammon • Moab • Judah • Israel
God’s Reasons for Judgment • Because of God’s blessings, Israel had become rich and prosperous- they became self-sufficient, greedy, corrupt, and unjust • 2 Kings 14:23-28 • They were cruel to and were oppressing the poor, even selling them into slavery • They also had a hypocritical religion- had turned away from God but still carried on religious traditions and worshiped idols
Amos’ Visions of Judgment • Swarm of locusts (7:1-3) • God was preparing punishment upon Israel but he delayed it because Amos prayed that He have pity them • Fire (7:4-6) • God was preparing to devour Israel with fire but Amos intervened again • Amos would pray saying: “Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”(7:2,5)
Amos’ Visions of Judgment (cont.) • Wall and plumb line (7:7-17) • God would see if his people were crooked and, if they were, He would punish them • Basket of ripe fruit (8:1-14) • The people were ripe for punishment; they were once beautiful but now they are rotten • God standing by the altar (9:1-10) • Judgment would begin and punishment executed
Amos Gets Rejected • Amaziah, priest of Bethel, sent this message to Jeroboam: (7:10-11) • “Amos is sending a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel against you in the very heart of Israel.” • Amaziah said to Amos: (7:12-13) • “Get out you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy anymore in Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”
Israel’s Restoration • Because Israel was a chosen people (3:2) God punished them for their sins and destroyed them. But God promised that he would not blot out their name completely. Some, the true believers, were saved • God’s covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 stated that one of David’s descendants would always sit on his throne
Israel’s Restoration (cont.) • The promise was not to be fulfilled by an earthly political leader, but by the Messiah, who would renew the spiritual kingdom and rule forever • 9:11,12 • “In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the Lord, who will do these things.
Israel’s Restoration (cont.) • 9:15 • “They will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have give them,” says the Lord your God.
Themes • Everyone answers to God • God is in supreme control of all the nations • Everyone is accountable to him • Complacency and not acknowledging God • Do not congratulate yourself for present blessings- they all come from God • A complacent present may lead to a disastrous future • A self-sufficient attitude may be your downfall
Themes (cont.) • Oppressing the poor • God made all people, therefore to ignore the poor is to ignore those whom God loves and whom Christ came to save • God wants us to help those in need, therefore we must act compassionately, and stop injustice • Superficial Religion • Simply participating in ceremony or rituals does not satisfy God • God wants heartfelt obedience and commitment