Book of Amos: Part Two (Chapters 3-6)

Last week we read that the Lord has pledged destruction upon all people, especially the Israelites. In these chapters the Lord goes into detail declaring words and woe for Israel. Chapter 3 begins with the Lord furious with the people saying “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; there I will punish you for all your iniquities” this is followed by rhetorical questions  like do people walk together if not for an appointment or does evil exist because of the Lord this last one is kind of answered “The Lord does nothing without revealing his secrets to his servants the prophets.” It then turns as The Lord says to the Egyptians and Assyrians to come to Samaria and look upon the land as a place to conquer. In the next chapter it focuses on the women or “cows of Bashan” (since the cows of Bashan were spoiled) who oppress the poor and crush the needy. It continues with the Lord being disappointed with the people saying sure you tithe and offer sacrifices but you continue to sin. The Lord has given the people many chances and “yet you have not returned to me.” The tone changes in Chapter 5 as The Lord offer a way out of this “Seek the Lord and live”. We then are treated with some Social Justice information which can be summarized as seek good, not evil and you will survive. This also begins as lists of woes of what the people of Israel have done  Amos compares it to “It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.” The people of Israel have made themselves into people who have become complacent and the Lord abhors this, we could say this about the world today as well.

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