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Getting to Know the Bible: Amos Overview

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.


Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on Amos. But before we get to Amos 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of Amos. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.


And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of Amos, as we prepare to behold and discern Amos, beginning with Amos 1 in our next installment of this series.




Book Type: The third book of the Minor Prophets; the thirtieth book of the Old Testament


Author: Amos


Date of Writing: ~760–750 BC.


Audience: Primarily the idolatrous and indulgent people of the northern kingdom.


Theme: Piety; a return to righteousness and justice


Original Language: Hebrew

Genre: Prophecy


Purpose of Writing:

Amos is a shepherd and a fruit picker from the Judean village of Tekoa when God calls him, even though he lacks an education or a priestly background. Amos' mission is directed to Israel. His messages of impending doom and captivity for the nation because of her sins are largely unpopular, scoffed at, and ignored. Amos' ministry takes place while Jeroboam II reigns over Israel, and Uzziah reigns over Judah.


Summary:

Amos can see that beneath Israel's external prosperity and power, internally the nation is corrupt to the core. The sins for which Amos chastens the people are extensive: neglect of God's Word, idolatry, pagan worship, greed, corrupted leadership, and oppression of the poor. Amos begins by pronouncing a judgment upon all the surrounding nations, then upon his own nation of Judah, and finally the harshest judgment is given to Israel. His visions from God reveal the same emphatic message: judgment is near. The book ends with God's promise to Amos of future restoration of the remnant.


Overview:

Amos includes nine chapters with three main sections.


The first section (Amos 1—2) emphasizes the Lord's judgments against various nations. These include Israel's enemies (Amos 1:3—2:3), but also Judah (Amos 2:4—5), and Israel (Amos 2:6—16).


The second section provides further accusations against Israel for various sins (Amos 3—6). Chapter 3 addresses Israel's guilt and punishment. Amos 4:6–13 condemns Israel for not returning to the Lord despite all that had occurred to them. Amos calls the Israelites to seek the Lord so they could live and prosper once more (Amos 5).


The third section includes a variety of visions given to Amos (Amos 7—9). The first two visions include locusts and fire (Amos 7:1¬–6). A third is of a plumb line (Amos 7:7–9). There is then a narrative break describing Amaziah, a priest of Bethel, accusing Amos (Amos 7:10–17). Two additional visions are then given: a fruit basket (Amos 8:1–14) and an altar (Amos 9:1–10). The Lord concludes with the promise to restore Israel in the future (Amos 9:11–15).


Foreshadowing:

The Book of Amos ends with a glorious promise for the future. “’I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the LORD your God” (9:15). The ultimate fulfillment of God’s land promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:7; 15:7; 17:8) will occur during Christ’s millennial reign on earth (see Joel 2:26,27). Revelation 20 describes the thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth, a time of peace and joy under the perfect government of the Savior Himself. At that time, believing Israel and the Gentile Christians will be combined in the Church and will live and reign with Christ.


Application:

Amos wasn't a prophet or priest or the son of either. He was just a shepherd in Judah, but he obeyed and became God's powerful & impactful voice for change.


Key Verses (ESV):


Amos 2:4: "Thus says the Lord: 'For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have rejected the law of the LORD, and have not kept his statutes, but their lies have led them astray, those after which their fathers walked.'" Amos 3:7: "For the LORD GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets." Amos 9:14: "I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit."


*Note: More than almost any other book of Scripture, the book of Amos holds God’s people accountable for their ill-treatment of others. It repeatedly points out the failure of the people to fully embrace God’s idea of justice. They were selling off needy people for goods, taking advantage of the helpless, oppressing the poor, and the men were using women immorally (Amos 2:6–8; 3:10; 4:1; 5:11–12; 8:4–6). Drunk on their own economic success and intent on strengthening their financial position, the people had lost the concept of caring for one another; Amos rebuked them because he saw in that lifestyle evidence that Israel had forgotten God.


I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.


May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.


Love you much.


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!


-Humble Servant


P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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