Saturday, December 10, 2016

Amos

Amos was a shepherd in Judah who God called to deliver a message to his nation, its sister nation Israel and the surrounding countries. His tenure as a prophet occurred during the reigns of Uzziah in Judah and Jeroboam in Israel. His message had three components: an indictment of the nations for their sins, a warning of the oppression to come from occupying nations and a hopeful vision of the kingdom to come.

Amos warned the people, and particularly called out the leaders of the nations, that God saw their sins and He would not tolerate them forever. In particular, greed was rampant. People used dishonesty and force to gain wealth, especially to exploit those who were already poor. The leaders of the nations were complicit and expanded their own wealth by these means.

The luxurious lifestyles of these aristocrats was not to last. Amos warned them of the judgment to come in the form of subjugation to a foreign empire. That empire would be Babylon.

Like many of his contemporaries, Amos had a vision of a future restoration. Israel would be restored to nationhood for a while after the end of its occupation by Babylon (and later Persia), but these prophetic visions also extended the unending kingdom of Christ.

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Amos. The Holy Bible. New King James Version. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1982.