Author = BRAINS



T R E A S U R E... S E E K E R S ... I N ... T H E ... O L D ... T E S T A M E N T - AMOS

'Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path......Where your treasure is

there is your heart also'




Amos was from Tekoa, a small town about twelve miles south of Jerusalem.

He was neither a prophet nor a priest, nor came from a family of prophets or priests. He was a small-businessman when he was called by God, earning his living from his flocks of sheep and groves of sycamore-figs.

He prophesied during the reign of Uzziah in Judah (767-739 BC) and Jeroboam II in Israel (782-753). Thirty years after he preached, Israel fell to the Assyrians (722).

His contemporaries would have been Jonah, Elisha and Hosea. As his work was coming to a close, Isaiah and Micah were beginning their ministries.


Part 1: Judgement on the nations (1:12-2:16)

Part 2: Three prophetic sermons (3:1-6:14)

Part 3: The visions of Amos (7:1-8:8)

Part 4: Epilogue (8:9-9:15)

The 50 years before Amos was called were a time of relative peace and prosperity. Trade routes had been re-established, business was booming and people were getting rich.

Unfortunately, corruption had become a way of life; the poor and the weak were being oppressed and intimidated. Justice was not served, and religion was only given lip-service. After all, people were thriving, so why should they fear God?

Into this situation came Amos, calling on the people to change their ways. As you can imagine, this did not endear him to them, and he was eventually run out of the country!

One of my commentaries describes Amos as a man who “feared God so much that he feared no one else at all.” I love that!!!

So many of us (myself included) spend far too much of our lives as “people pleasers” afraid to step out for fear of being ridiculed or hated. Some people are even willing to compromise their own integrity to “fit in”.

But not Amos!! He held God in such reverential awe that there was absolutely no way he was prepared to put the opinions of others first.

Amos reminded the people of all that God had done for them, but he also gave them a whole long list of the sins they had committed against Him.

His ministry started in Bethel where he got the people’s attention by proclaiming God’s impending judgement on the six neighbouring nations. No doubt the people were feeling quite smug until Amos got ever closer to home, finally pronounced His judgement against Judah, Israel and the whole nation!

A classic example of: Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?’ You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Much of Amos’ message was speaking out against hypocrisy. In the midst of their prosperity, the people were still keen to be seen “doing Church”. They went to the temple, and they even made their sacrifices, but this did not impress God:

(5:21-24) “I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring Me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

Can you hear God speaking this same message to our Churches of today? I can! I have first-hand experience of a Church which excelled in worship and outward displays of holiness.

Unfortunately I was also there to witness a homeless addict come through the door to ask for help, only for the minister to send the caretaker to deal with her and send her away!!!!

This Church would whip its members into a frenzy of religiosity every week, but there was no fruit, no victory in people’s lives!

How dare we think highly of our tithes and our worship when the hungry are not being fed, the sick are not being healed and the captives are not being freed??

There is a time for everything, and it is absolutely right that we bring our tithes and sacrifices before the Lord, but that is only one part of our duty before Him.

Amos warned of Israel’s coming judgement in five visions:

1. The devouring locusts (7:1-3);

2. The consuming fire (7:4-6);

After both of these visions, Amos pleads with God to withhold His punishment, and God relents.

3. The searching plumb line (7:7-11). In this vision God reveals how far out of line Israel was, and Amos doesn’t even have the heart to pray! God’s judgement was certain: “I will spare them no longer.”

4. The basket of ripe fruit (8:1-14) symbolising how outwardly, the fruit looked delicious but was inwardly rotten, and was ripe for judgement;

5. The Lord at the altar (9:1-10). God stands at the altar and bids Amos to break the doorposts and shower the fragments over the heads of the people, symbolising the scattering of the worshippers by the sword.

The people, and the King, did not want to hear what Amos had to say and so he was forced out of Israel. He returned to Judah and wrote this book so that all people could read and understand it.

The final verses of Amos speak of the future glory of Israel, when God will finally restore His land. The Jewish people who have been scattered all over the world will be gathered back to their promised land.

So what can we learn from Amos? How to be uncompromising, even in the face of hatred from those we are trying to reach. And that God cannot abide hypocrisy.