Who wrote it?
Amos 1:1 identifies the author as the Prophet Amos.
When(ish) was it written?
The book of Amos was likely written between 760 and 753 BC.
Why was it written?
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 his neighbor to the north, Israel. His messages of impending doom and captivity for the nation because of her sins are largely unpopular and unheeded, however, because not since the days of Solomon have times been so good in Israel. Amos’ ministry takes place while Jeroboam II reigns over Israel, and Uzziah reigns over Judah.
Some Key Verses
[quote] 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 2:4 [/quote]
[quote] For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.
– Amos 3:7 [/quote]
[quote] 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.
– Amos 9:14 [/quote]
A Quick 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.
The book of Amos ends with a glorious promise for the future. “‘I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,’ says the Lord your God” (Amos 9:15). The ultimate fulfillment of God’s land promise to Abraham (Genesis 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.
What does this mean?
Sometimes we think we are a “just-a.” We are just-a student, employee, boss, professor, parent, or child. Amos would be considered a “just-a.” He wasn’t a prophet or priest or the son of either. He was just a shepherd, a small businessman in Judah. Who would listen to him? Instead of making excuses, Amos obeyed and became God’s powerful voice for change.
God has used “just-a’s” such as shepherds, carpenters, and fishermen all through the Bible. Whatever you are in this life, God can use you. Amos wasn’t much. He was a “just-a.” “Just-a” servant for God. It is good to be God’s “just-a.”
[expand title=”Holt Venue”]
- Take a few minutes to read aloud the Scripture from Amos 2 & 9. What verses or ideas stand out to you from these passages? What questions do you have? What “next step” are you considering as a result of your interaction with God’s Word?
- Read, and review the scripture from this weekend’s message. What characteristics would you use to describe the Israelites?
- Have you ever felt entitled or deserving in your work, family, or personal happiness? What causes you to feel that you deserve those things or feelings?
- How does our entitlement interact with the promises God has made for us?
- How can the group be praying for you?
[expand title=”REO Town/MSU Venues”]
- Take a few minutes to read aloud the Scripture from Joel 1:1-16, 2:12-14, 2:26-32, Acts 2:1-4, 2:14-21. What verses or ideas stand out to you from these passages? What questions do you have? What “next step” are you considering as a result of your interaction with God’s Word?
- The Church is the bride of Christ and is made up of people – messy people. What are some sins that you have seen exist within the Church that look no different than the world? What are some ways we can be part of removing these sins from the Church?
- We have a tendency to only view God as a kind and compassionate God and completely neglect that He has a wrathful side that is rooted in justice and righteousness. Why is having this “wholistic” view of God important to our faith? What are the dangers of leaning towards one end of the spectrum or the other?
- God communicates with us through His Word. Do you struggle to hear from God through His Word? If so, what about it is so difficult with hearing from God through the Bible? What are some ways you can constantly come back to the Word?