Issue Number: 358
Amos 5:14, 15 says,
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, just as you have said! 15 Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the Lord God of hosts may be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
This is the third and final admonition where the prophet tells Israel to seek God. The three are:
Verse 4, “Seek Me that you may live.”
Verse 6, “Seek the Lord that you may live.”
Verse 14, “Seek good and not evil.&r
Issue Number: 357
Amos 5:1, 2 says,
1 Hear this word which I take up for you as a dirge, O house of Israel. 2 She has fallen, she will not rise again—the virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; there is none to raise her up.
This funeral dirge (qinah) is a song of lamentation. Ferrar Fenton renders it as a 2-line lament in this way:
Listen to this message that I bring to you—
The Lament for the House of Israel
Israel’s daughter has fallen and cannot arise!
She lies stretched on the ground without help!
Issue Number: 356
Amos 4:6 says,
6 “But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities and lack of bread in all your places, yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
Most people today would like to maintain clean teeth. But in biblical times, having clean teeth meant that they had not eaten in a long time. The prophet was speaking of a “lack of bread in all your places.”
It appears that Israel had recently experienced a drought and a shortage of food. He attributed this to the judgment of God, whose purpose was
Issue Number: 355
The trumpet had sounded its warning, and the lion had roared while springing upon its prey. Israel was doomed, said Amos, not only because they had persisted in sin, but because they had rejected the warning from God through Amos to repent.
So God then calls two witnesses from neighboring nations in Amos 3:9, 10,
9 Proclaim on the citadels in Ashdod and on the citadels in the land of Egypt and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria and see the great tumults within her and
Issue Number: 354
In Amos 3:3-6 Amos asks a series of rhetorical questions whose answers are obvious and need not be answered. His first question in verse 3 is, “Do two men go out to meet each other without first making an appointment?” The answer is obvious. NO.
Verse 4 asks two more rhetorical questions:
4 Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has captured something?
No, lions are silent when they get hungry, because if they roar in the forest, they scare
Issue Number: 353
Amos’ indictment against the House of Israel came after first indicting Israel’s neighbors, including Judah. Hence, the audience could not accuse Amos of being partial or of singling out Israel. The message was that Israel was just as bad as her neighbors, and that God would not overlook her sin and rebellion.
God then appealed history, where He had taken the land from the Amorites and had given it to Israel on account of the sin of the Amorites. Amos 2:9, 10 says,
9 Yet it was I who d
Issue Number: 352
After proclaiming judgment against Israel’s neighboring nations—which, no doubt, all the people applauded—Amos 2:4, 5 then prophesies against Judah, saying,
4 Thus says the Lord, “For three transgressions of Judah and for four, I will not revoke its punish-ment, because they rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept His statutes; their lies also have led them astray, those after which their fathers walked. 5 So I will send fire upon Judah, and it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem.
Issue Number: 351
Amos 1:9, 10 prophesies against Tyre, saying,
9 Thus says the Lord, “For three transgressions of Tyre and for four, I will not revoke its punishment, because they delivered up an entire population to Edom and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood. 10 So I will send fire upon the wall of Tyre, and it will consume her citadels.”
The cause for divine judgment is the same as we saw earlier with Gaza, the Philistine city (Amos 1:6). Just as Gaza had engaged in slave traffic in the south, so also Tyre had engage
Issue Number: 350
Amos 1:2 introduces his message to Israel, saying,
2 And he said, “The Lord roars from Zion, and from Jerusalem He utters His voice; and the shepherds’ pasture grounds mourn, and the summit of Carmel dries up.”
This establishes that Yahweh is the source of his revelation. In this case it is the voice of divine judgment “from Zion and from Jerusalem,” the place where He had placed His name at that time. The roaring depicts Yahweh as a lion.
It is known that when lions roar, it is too
Issue Number: 349
Bible scholars often link Amos with Hosea, because they were contemporaries, and both of them were missionaries from Judah to Israel. Hosea prophesied during the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam II, king of Israel (Hos. 1:1). Amos prophesied “in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam, son of Joash, king of Israel” (Amos 1:1).
Uzziah is also known as Azariah.
2 Kings 15:1 says,
1 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah son of Amaziah king of Ju
Issue Number: 348
The people of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. Judgment upon the city was averted, and the prophet was angry with God for saving His enemies.
His anger stemmed from his pride that was pricked, because he had put his reputation on the line. He had openly predicted the fall of Nineveh in forty days—a message in which he, as an Israelite nationalist, took some delight—and then his prophecy seemed to fail. No doubt this embarrassed Jonah, for to those who did not understand the ways of God, it m
Issue Number: 347
After Jonah’s deliverance from the great fish, God called him a second time. Jonah 3:1, 2 says,
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.”
This begins the word that prophesies about the second work of Christ, which is relevant after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. On a personal level, it relates directly to the second dove in Lev. 14:4 and the second goat in L