how is the book of amos relevant today
the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. 9:11). Amos was sent to denounce the social and religious corruption, and warn of God’s impending judgement. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: And after showing Amos a basket of mature summer fruit He sternly stated: "The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer" (Amos 8:2 Amos 8:2And he said, Amos, what see you? But why was our Creator so concerned about Israel's bad behavior? Israel Finkelstein, The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archeology and History of Northern Israel (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2013). (Amos 3:2-3 Amos 3:2-3 [2] You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. While Israel was prosperous at the time, it was also a time marked by social injustice - a time similar to our own! Why do you say that certain statements by Amos, which are clearly meant to be addressing the people before the exile, were written after the exile. 15 And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD. The Lord asks Amos what he sees. the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. In the next verse we are told that this cosmic darkening will be linked with mourning that is “like the mourning for an only son” (Amos 8:10). There is recent debate among scholars as to whether the reverse is the case. Your email address will not be published. Before we seek to learn from the examples of the prophets, it must be understood that there are significant differences between the prophetic ministry in the Old Testament and the prophetic ministry today. 16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: As for those in the pulpit or parishes who abuse and exploit their sheep without producing fruit, judgment has been rendered. So it is of extreme importance that ministry leaders understand that, or else we will be caught doing the egregious act of using scriptures to defend a political cause just because the name of the cause sounds godly, not taking into account the evil that governs it. Because asserts justice in the social and political causes he listed, and at least half of the country, many who are Christians disagree that those causes has any righteous intent. But rather, let us become a nation full of Christians, who obey God in righteousness, operating in a justice system that is not determined by a political or social group, but by God, in which he tells us to seek the wellbeing of others and to love our enemy; to seek the lost and pray for those who persecute us. So the prophecies of Amos can easily be dual, foretelling not only God's judgment on the ancient house of Israel, but also His hand of discipline on the modern descendants today. But from the time of Amos we have prophets who not only spoke to particular situations, but who also wrote prophetically to the wider social order in which they lived. . Plumb line: A weight attached to a string a builder uses to measure how straight a wall is. Yet God pleads: “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; so the LORD God of hosts will be with you. Israel’s misuse of prosperity. This is not to pick on Britain exclusively, because manifold similar problems and difficulties are replicated daily in most other nations of our Western world. He will deal in perfect justice with those who claim his love and compassion but fail to extend that love and compassion in concrete ways to others. The Book of Amos is the earliest of the Book of the Twelve Prophets, and is relevant today, as it addresses social injustice, so prevalent in our world. The priests and kings had little or no regard for society’s underclass. to Babylonia and the fourfold return migrations in 538, 520, 458, and 445–30 B.C.E. The message of Amos lands on the global church today with as much force and necessity as it landed on the people of God 2,700 years ago. Chapters 7 to 9: Five visions of judgment; final restoration. 8:9; compare 2 Cor. Judah looked to Egypt for the protection of its sovereignty. 10:22) and is appropriately earned by those who work diligently and wisely (Prov. By nature God is slow to anger and reluctant to punish His people. He was a shepherd and tended to sycamore fig trees. Then it was to my great disappointment that the comments section seems to want to label you as some abuser of biblical text to . 10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. 11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. Amos … paints a terrible and dramatic picture of the inevitable result of such blindness” (Collins Bible Companion, p. 192). James Nogalski, Literary Precursors of the Book of the Twelve. America is not in a covenant with God, but we Christians are. And we must never forget that Amos is speaking to us, the church of God, the Israel of God! The true interpretation of this parable is given an eschatological context by Jesus himself in verses 36-43. After futilely pleading with nations to change their depraved ways, God will finally intervene in the affairs of this world to humble its citizens in order to bring them to genuine repentance. As those who have been shown mercy, may we as the church universal love our neighbors, both near and far, with the radical, self-giving love shown to us in the gospel. Thus when his people “trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end” (Amos 8:4), God will certainly not exempt them from the judgment that such selfishness deserves. 13 Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts, . 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: 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. God forbid that while there is sin in the hearts of men that we would become a Christian Nation, and that we would exercise God’s justice upon the this nation, for we might as well kill ourselves because non of us are worthy of Grace. Then said the LORD unto me, The way in which an interpreter reads Amos’s occupation as either a poor shepherd/day laborer or a very wealthy influential trader of sheep and/or figs—the two major sectors of Judah’s economy—has diverging implications, but the message that Amos preaches does not change. The meaning is obscure, but it may refer to the pagan altar and chief religious sanctuary in Bethel (4:4), thus indicating punishment for false religious worship. It is darkness, and not light. King Ahab was the beneficiary of his father, Omri, who had built up Samaria and created the rare four-fold generation of succession in the north: Omri, Ahab, Ahaziah, Joram, and Queen Athaliah. The Relevance of the Prophet Amos Today. How Should a Christian Deal With the Coronavirus Pandemic? Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update. 12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. 3 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron: Also, "there were more than 1,000 other swear words—all used gratuitously." 13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, We’ll keep going though and show exactly how it applies to that same region of the world, to the headlines of today, to issues that are impacting all of us in our world that we wonder about. Amos’ warnings were not meant only for his day, but also for today. For other articles in this series, click here. The world is not getting better. My wife and I decided to start reading amos, sort of on a whim, and I had the thought to come here and see if I could get a contextual understanding of the book so we had an idea what we were reading. Just within the past five days of this writing, one local pub was closed down and its license temporarily revoked for failing to control violent customers, my favorite bookshop was broken into and robbed of 10 days' income, many shop windows have been damaged, etc. 5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem. 14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground. Dr. John Ahn, Ph.D. (Yale), is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Howard University School of Divinity (Washington, D.C.). To prosperous nations around the world today, and particularly prosperous Christians in those nations, the prophecy of Amos is a clear call for active engagement with the poor and afflicted, especially among God’s people. The Oracle of Delphi—Was She Really Stoned. That was part of the prophetic ministry of Amos that is still relevant for us today. The meaning is unclear, but this phrase is found in other Semitic literature. The house of Israel was clearly out of step with God—foolishly going in a completely different direction, a path that could only lead to further untold sufferings and misery. Amos probably traveled to Bethel to give these prophecies around 760-754 B.C., a few years before Jeroboam II’s death.


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