Last week we heard about the woes upon Israel and the simple advice to seek the Lord and live. In this final section of the Book of Amos we are hear of different Visions of how Israel will be punished. We begin with a vision of locusts but Amos say “Forgive O Lord God! How can Jacob stand? He is so small.” The Lord repents of this idea. Next the Lord shows a vision of fire, Amos again spoke up and basically said the same thing “Cease…” and the Lord repented yet again. A third time the Lord shows Amos a vision the Lord was standing by a wall with some lead (a sword) to tear it down with, the Lord continued saying that he will tear it all down including attacking the house of Jeroboam with the sword.
Here we have a little aside story about who Amos is. Amaziah, the priest at Bethel has heard of this vision from Amos and Amaziah relays it onto King Jeroboam. Amaziah confronts Amos saying he should leave Bethel for it is the king’s sanctuary and prophecy in Judah instead of here. Amos give a wonderful reply ” I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The Lord took me from following the flock and said to me, “Go prophecy to my people Israel”” This is what we need today more people who are willing to speak truth to society and have society listen to them. The next part is rather out of touch with the sentiment but it make me laugh. Amos offers another prophecy from the Lord and since Amaziah asked it not to be about Israel or the house of Jacob Amos delivers some harsh words for Amaziah his wife will be a harlot in the city, his son and daughter will be killed by the sword, his land will be taken, he himself will die in an unclean land and the people of Israel will be exiled.
We return to some more visions the Lord show Amos a fruit basket saying that the time is ripe for punishment to be enacted. Then the Lord goes into the reasons why Israel need to be punished starting with Greed. This last vision is the Lord standing at an altar and bringing down the house, the temple at Bethel, this is that earthquake in Bethel that Amos tells us about in the beginning of this book. However the Lord adds at the house of Jacob will not be completely destroyed it will be like a sieve and the evil will be killed but the good shall remain from which someday one will rise up from this nut of David and that will be the Messiah. So the Lord will scatter the people but from the remains someday a Messiah will rise up from them.