Although Israel may have been enjoying a period of expansion and national advancements, this did not mean they were free of abandoning their religious obligations. In this article, you will learn more about the Book of Amos, which describes the contribution and significance of the prophet Amos, who ministered during a prosperous yet spiritually bankrupt time in Israel.
Who is Amos?
Amos was a farmer who turned into a prophet that spoke out against the sin of the people. He is responsible for writing the 30th Book of the Old Testament ”“ most likely penned between 760 and 753 BC. This is the only time that Amos will appear in the Old Testament. He spread the word to the people ”“ warning them that a judgment was coming if they continued to turn their back on God. When Amos ministered, he preached during the reign of Jeroboam II (in Israel) and Uzziah (in Judah).
Amos was a prophet in Bethel around 755 BC. He came from Tekoa in Judah, which was situated 12 miles south of Jerusalem. When Amos was alive, Israel was prosperous and they enjoyed some of the best times with their military and economy. At the time, they didn’t have many opponents to deal with, as Assyria, Babylon, Syria, and Egypt were not threats. However, as the Book of Amos suggests ”“ Israel will fall to Assyria because the people were full of sin. They indulged in deceit, callousness, self righteousness, greed, arrogance, and the rich oppressing the poor.
But still, God showed mercy and love to the people even though they repeatedly ignored. He allowed Amos to warn the people of their fate if they failed to repent for their sins. Amos sends this message to the people with empathy. He simply wants them to know that judgment in near. In the Book of Amos, God says, “I will send fire” seven times. These warnings are ignored.
Passages that highlight the themes of the Book of Judah include:
Interestingly, when Amos wrote Amos 8:9 (“And it shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord God, That I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight.” Astronomical calculations have shown that a solar eclipse occurred in Israel on June 15, 763 B.C.
“This is what the LORD says: ‘For three sins of Judah, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because they have rejected the law of the LORD and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed.” (Amos 2:4)
“Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
“I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.” (Amos 9:14)