DATE: circa 7:30-760 B.C.
Amos was a shepherd and a fig farmer (Amos 7:14) in the southern village of Tekoa in Judah (a village 10 mi, or 16 km, S of Jerusalem). God called Amos (7:15) and sent him to Bethel to prophesy of His coming judgment on the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The Northern Kingdom had set up two idolatrous religious centers, Dan in the north and Bethel in the south. Bethel was on the southernmost border of Israel, 10 1/2 miles north of Jerusalem. His prophesying was met with great opposition and defiance and he returned to Judah where he penned God’s message.
Amos prophesied in the times of Uzziah, king of Judah (791-740 BC Israel was a prosperous and powerful nation, under the influence of King Jeroboam Il 793-753). However, he was idolatrous and corrupt (cf. 2 Kings 14:24-25). Material prosperity and social evils further characterized the times (2:6-8; 3:10; 4:1; 5:10-12; 8:4-6).
The theme of the book is God convicting the people of their sins of paganized worship, self-sufficiency, and selfishness. Amos prophesies of God’s impending judgment by proclaiming God’s words of “I will…” [do something] 52 times.
- Amos issued an urgent call to repentance as the only escape from coming judgment.
- Amos spoke to a people of unrivaled economic success, the wealthiest nation of its time, and it should have made them thankful. Instead, it made them materialistic.
- Amos spoke to the nation with the strongest military, no other nation could stand against their army. It should have made them responsible, but it made them arrogant.
- Amos spoke to a people proud of their religious heritage, but who had somehow lost their connection with the Lord. They couldn’t figure out how to get it back and didn’t care very much.
- Amos spoke to a people where religion had become easy, convenient, and politically correct. It left them far from God and starving for something real.
Amos declared that Israel’s privileged position should have been an incentive to righteous living, not an excuse for satisfying sinful desires. The book of Amos was written 3,000 years ago, but this book remains relevant for today.
Some favorite and important verses include Amos 3:2, 3; Amos 3:7, Amos 4:12, Amos 5:6, Amos 5:24; Amos 9:11.
OUTLINE OF AMOS
I. The Author and Theme of the Book, 1:1-2
II. The Prophecies of Amos, 1:3-2:16
A. Concerning Damascus, 1:3-5
B. Concerning Philistia, 1:6-8
C. Concerning Tyre, 1:9-10
D. Concerning Edom, 1:11-12
E. Concerning Ammon, 1:13-15
F. Concerning Moab, 2:1-3
G. Concerning Judah, 2:4-5
H. Concerning Israel, 2:6-16
III. The Sermons of Amos, 3:1-6:14
A. The Doom of Israel, 3:1-15
B. The Depravity of Israel, 4:1-13
C. A Dirge over Israel, 5:1-6:14
1. The ruin of Israel in coming judgment, 5:1-17
2. The rebuke of religious people, 5:18-27
3. The reprimand of the entire nation, 6:1-14
IV. The Visions of Amos, 7:1-9:15
A. A Vision of Devouring Locusts, 7:1-3
B. A Vision of Fire, 7:4-6
C. A Vision of a Plumb Line, 7:7-9
D. A Historical Interlude: Opposition from the Priest of Bethel, 7:10-17
E. A Vision of a Basket of Summer Fruit, 8:1-14
F. A Vision of the Lord Judging, 9:1-10
G. A Vision of Future Blessing, 9:11-15
In the Bible, Amos the prophet saw the Day of Judgment fast approaching for Israel. He warned the people to prepare to meet God. Truth is, the word preparedness should be a key word for everyone. It is strange that we prepare for everything except meeting God. We prepare for marriage. We prepare for a career. We prepare for education. But we do not prepare to meet God. Even though most Americans see the storm clouds gathering on the horizon, by and large, we are making few preparations to meet God. This is a time for repentance and faith. It is a time for soul-searching, to see if our anchor holds. — Billy Graham
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