The Book of Amos
James J. Barker
SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
- Amos 1 &
2 deal with God’s judgment upon the nations, including Israel and Judah.
- From 2:6
till the end of the book of Amos, the focus is on Israel.
punishment was certain because God’s special favor aggravated rather than
exempted her from impending judgment (3:1, 2).
- “It is noteworthy that Jehovah’s controversy
with the Gentile cities which hated Israel is brief: ‘I will send a fire.’ But
Israel had been brought into the place of privilege and so of responsibility,
and the Lord’s indictment is detailed and unsparing (cf. Matthew
11:23; Luke 12:47, 48)” (Scofield Study Bible).
- “And thou, Capernaum, which art
exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works,
which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained
until this day” (Matt. 11:23).
- “And that
servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did
according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit
things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever
much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed
much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:47, 48).
light brings greater responsibility.
- God judged
Israel more severely than the other nations because of her privileged position -
- Starting in
verse 3, the LORD asks Israel several questions, meant to awaken
CAN TWO WALK TOGETHER, EXCEPT THEY BE
- This is an
important Bible principle.
Corinthians 6:15 says, “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part
hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with
was walking one way, and God was walking another way.
WILL A LION ROAR IN THE FOREST WHEN HE
HATH NO PREY? (3:4)
- The idea
here is that the Lord already had Israel in His grasp. The lion moves quietly
until he has his prey, then he gives his triumphant roar.
- Isaiah 5:29
says, “Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions:
yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe,
and none shall deliver it.”
- Israeli jet fighter planes are called “kafirs” (Hebrew for “small lions”).
They are similar to the American F-15 Eagle.
CAN A BIRD FALL IN A SNARE UPON THE
EARTH, WHERE NO GIN IS FOR HIM? (3:5)
- Amos was an herdman (7:14) and was using illustrations drawn from his
experiences out in the wilds.
- In the realm
of nature, nothing happens by accident or by chance. It is the same way in the spiritual
realm. In the sphere of God’s
dealings with man there is always a cause for every effect.
- “Can a bird fall in a snare…” (3:5). The Lord
had already set a trap for Israel but they didn’t see it.
- Amos wanted
Israel to know that these were not empty threats.
SHALL A TRUMPET BE BLOWN IN THE CITY,
AND THE PEOPLE NOT BE AFRAID? (3:6)
- Like most
Americans today, the people of Israel did not hear God’s warnings.
- God wanted
the people to repent (cf. 4:6-12).
- The word
“evil” here (3:6) does not mean moral evil but calamity or judgment (cf. Ex.
32:14; Isa. 45:7). God is the one who brings (or allows) trials and calamities.
For the Christian there are no accidents.
- The Lord did
not move in judgment without first giving His message to His prophets (3:7,
- Examples of
this: Noah and the flood, Abraham and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah,
- Amos told
Israel that God was going to send the Assyrians as a judgment upon Israel, but
the people were not receptive to Amos’ preaching (cf. 7:10-13).
- “The Lord
GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8b).
- “Then I
said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his
word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary
with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Jeremiah 20:9).
- “For though
I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me;
yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (I Cor. 9:16).
- Amos had to
obey God no matter what response (or lack of response) he would receive from the
- Likewise, so must we.