Amos: Introduction

  • Amos was from Tekoa (1:1), a small town about 6 miles south of Bethlehem and 11 miles from Jerusalem.
  • Amos was a prophet sent by God to announce His judgment on the northern kingdom of Israel (the book is addressed also to the southern kingdom).
  • Amos prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah over Judah (792-740 B.C.) and Jeroboam II over Israel (793-753). He was a contemporary of Hosea and Jonah.
  • Both kingdoms were enjoying great prosperity and had reached new political and military heights (2 Kings 14:23-15:7; 2 Chronicles 26). It was also a time of idolatry, extravagant indulgence in luxurious living, immorality, corruption of judicial procedures and oppression of the poor.
  • God sent Amos to announce judgment on the nation of Israel because of the increased religious and moral corruption. They had forgotten God’s past punishments for unfaithfulness.

Theme

  • The dominant theme (clearly stated in 5:24) calls for social justice as the indispensable expression of true piety.
  • Amos was a spokesman for God’s justice and righteousness, whereas Hosea emphasized God’s love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. Amos declared that God was going to judge His unfaithful, disobedient, covenant-breaking people.
  • Israel, God’s chosen people, continually failed to honor and obey Him. They had forgotten His kindness to them during the exodus, conquest, and in the days of David and Solomon.
  • During this time, Israel had developed a worldly view of even the ritual that the Lord Himself had prescribed. They thought performance of the rites was all God required, and, with that done, they could do whatever they please – an essentially pagan nation
  • Israel needed to be reminded of not only God’s covenant commitments to them but also their covenant obligations to Him.
  • God’s imminent judgment on Israel would not be a mere punitive blow to warn (as often before, 4:6-11), but an almost total destruction. The unthinkable was about to happen: Because they had not faithfully consecrated themselves to His lordship, God would uproot His chosen people by the hands of a pagan nation.
  • Even so, if they would repent, there was hope that “the Lord God Almighty (would) have mercy on the remnant” (5:15; 5:4-6, 14).


By Kevin Haag. © New Testament Christian. Website: new-testament-christian.com. Email: admin@new-testament-christian.com.