Amos Lesson 1



KEY VERSE: Amos 4:12 “Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.”

THEME: Judgment – His pronouncement of judgment fell upon those who were dishonest in commerce, oppressed the poor, indulged selfishly, and worshipped idols. This judgment, Amos predicted, would result in the captivity of Israel and the rejection by God of His chosen people.

DATE: About 760 B.C. (About thirty years before the fall of Israel) Amos also gave His prophecy about two years before the great earthquake (1:1). This was during the reign of Uzziah, King of Judah (787-735 B.C.) and Jeroboam II, King of Israel (790-749).

WRITER: Amos – The name “Amos” means “burden.” He was from the little town of Tekoa, five miles from Bethlehem, in Judea, and only twelve miles south of Jerusalem. Amos was a herdsman (1:1; 7:14, 15) and a gatherer of sycamore fruit (7:14). He did not graduate from the school of prophets, but he was called by God to become a layman evangelist. He was sent to the Northern Kingdom in Samaria, at the city of Bethel, where the golden calf had been set up by Jeroboam I. There he prophesied at the main sanctuary at Bethel (7:10).

WRITTEN: The book was written during the time of great prosperity in Israel, which had resulted in great evil. The rich lived in luxury, drank and feasted to excess amid delicate perfumes and soft strains of varied music (6:4-6). All of this was obtained through violence and robbery (3:10). The poor and needy were sold as slaves, and the false weights and measures were used (2:6). The judges were corrupt (5:7). To be upright was to be unpopular and to be hated (5:10). During these days Amos thundered away on the subjects of sin, separation, and sanctification. His blazing message was not well accepted.

THE BOOK: Number in Bible: 30th of 66 books of the Bible. Number of chapters: 9. Number of verses: 146. Number in order of writing: 3rd of 12 books of minor prophecy.

PURPOSE: To foretell the punishment that would come upon the foreign nations around Israel and to condemn Israel for her idolatry and oppression.

DIVISIONS: The divisions of Amos fall into three basic scenes: Scene One Amos 1-2: Judgment against the nations. Scene Two: Amos 3-6: Judgment against Israel. Scene Three: Amos 7-9: Visions regarding the future.

FACTS: All together, eight nations were denounced (Amos 1-6). Amos tells who the nations were, what their crimes had been, and what their punishment would be. The five visions that were announced in Amos 7-9: The locust plague (7:1-3); The great fire (7:4-6); The plumb line (7:7-16); The basket of summer fruit (8:1-4); and God at the altar (9:1-15).

OUTLINE: I. The verdict by the prophet (1-2): Woes against Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah, and Israel. II. The voice of the Prophet (3-6): As to the past, as to the present, and as to the prospect. III. The visions of the prophet (7-9): Vision of locust, fire, plumb line, over-ripe fruit, and Lord at the altar.

MISCELLANEOUS: Amos preached his stern message to Israel thirty years before she was invaded by the Assyrians. His message was given to Jeroboam II, who had established the golden calf worship centers in Dan and Bethel. He illustrated the destruction of Israel as a man fleeing from a lion, only to be met by a bear. Amos was a contemporary of Hosea, and possibly knew Jonah and Elisha as a boy. Even though he was born in Judah, his ministry was in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The invasion by the Assyrians, and also by the Babylonians, fulfilled the prophecy of Amos toward Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah, and Israel.

THERE WILL BE A FUTURE FULFILLMENT: Someday the nations of the earth will be aligned in battle against the Son of God at Armageddon (Revelation 16:14-16). These same people will join together and share in the crushing defeat and the subsequent judgment of nations (Joel 3:1-8; Matthew 25:31-46). Israel and Judah then will be restored to their lands, reunited, and there will be a great time of prosperity and abundance. This period is referred to as the Millennium. The prophecies and promises of Amos can be divided into: 1. Prophecies against surrounding nations (1:2, 3). 2. Prophecies against Israel and Judah (2:4-6:9). 3. Prophecies of the times previous to and during the Messiah’s reign (7-9).

The greatest reason for the prophets’ condemnation of Israel was that the people were “at ease.” They were indolent, sinful, and indifferent to the Lord.

ISRAEL’S UNRIGHTEOUSNESS WAS CHARACTERIZED BY: 1. A dependence upon natural things (6:1). 2. A false optimism (To them the evil day was far off) (6:3). 3. They lived in luxury (They were self-sufficient and had forgotten their need for God) (6:4). 4. They were absorbed in the culture of music (6:5).

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