(Amos 1:1) The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
(Amos 1:5) I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD.
(Amos 1:6) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:
(Amos 1:8) And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
(Amos 1:9) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:
(Amos 1:11) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:
(Amos 1:13) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:
(Amos 2:4) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:
(Amos 2:6) Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
We can't walk in fellowship with God unless we have given over our will to his. God doesn't agree with us; we must agree with him. Christianity is a religion based on submission; submission to God's law.
(Amos 3:9) Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.
(Amos 3:12) Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.
(Amos 4:7) And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.
There seems to be an assumption that hardship should motivate people to return to the Lord, but it sometimes doesn't. This kind of thinking which figures so prominently in the Old Testament is what prompted me to come up with my view of hell which I write about at length.
Here's the full cycle of events...
Later in the Old Testament a new pattern emerges in which hardship comes to people who do obey God's law and this confuses them as they wonder why God would allow such a thing. Anyway, this whole way of thinking seems superstitious to us today; this direct correspondence between blessing and obedience to God's law. But some Christian groups such as those having word-faith and various self-help teachings still emphasize this same thing — that you can draw God's blessings to you by following God's law or through the power of God's law. In fact, I think it is fair to say that the entire charismatic movement has this as its basis; the calling down of God's blessings through being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Ultimately we do require God's blessing as his response to our obedience to his law; every true Christian hopes to spend eternity in the new heavens and new earthas God's reward for a life lived in faith directed to Jesus, the savior of the world.
Notice in this verse that people who are missing something required to sustain life go somewhere else to get it. This is our basic human condition, that we must get our basic survival needs met. Yet how often do selfish and unscrupulous political leaders exploit others to gain and maintain power? This is a significant feature of world history, that one group prospers at the expense of another group who they exploit. For this reason, it is my opinion that God never commanded people to unjustly conquer others; that they did this outside of God's will and apart from his direction.
(Amos 4:9) I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
(Amos 4:10) I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
(Amos 4:13) For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.
(Amos 5:8) Seek him that maketh the seven stars [Pleiades] and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:
Various examples of the power of God as creator and sustainer. He created the various significant stars and star patterns in the night sky. He causes day to follow night and night to follow day. He somehow causes the water of the ocean to lift up into the sky as clouds and fall upon the land as rain.
We are to seek the God who does such things. This seems like such a simple concept but is largely rejected by our modern world. Atheists deny that such a creator-God even exists; those influenced by the New Age movement deny that God is a separate entity outside of ourselves, preferring to believe that we are somehow God (as if we can create and control the physical universe and its workings!)
(Amos 5:11) Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.
(Amos 5:16) Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.
(Amos 6:2) Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?
(Amos 6:10) And a man's uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the LORD.
(Amos 6:14) But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the LORD the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.
(Amos 7:1) Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings.
(Amos 7:8) And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the LORD, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:
(Amos 7:10) Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.
Amos was busy about his humble livelihood when God called him to go off to the northern kingdom of Israel to prophesy the word of the Lord against them. I wonder who looked after his animals and trees while he was gone? I suppose God hoped that those hearing Amos's prophecies would turn back to the Lord, but they apparently didn't. This is all-too-common. Why would God bother to send someone to preach to people who will reject his words? And why is God ineffective at bringing people back to him? The real question behind these questions is why would God allow Satan to corrupt the human race in the first place?
The Catholic Church claims that only ordained priests can preach. Apparently God doesn't share their view in choosing to send Amos to preach.
(Amos 7:17) Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.
(Amos 8:5) Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
(Amos 8:10) And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
(Amos 9:1) I saw the LORD standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.
(Amos 9:3) And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:
(Amos 9:5) And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.
(Amos 9:6) It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.
(Amos 9:7) Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?
(Amos 9:8) Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.
(Amos 9:13) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt [flow with it].
(Amos 9:14) And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
King James Version