Her disgust was vocal and overt.
My friend and I had both received Christmas cards from a third friend. Over the course of the preceding year, we had walked through some significant and painful territory in the life of our mutual friend: a miscarried pregnancy, a grave illness in her extended family, and an arduous household move. Yet the Christmas greeting that arrived in our mailboxes mentioned none of these; rather it was graced with a smiling family photo and written sentiments that noted only pleasurable travel experiences, milestones achieved by children, and professional successes. My friend was visibly agitated by the dissonance between what we had observed in person and what was recorded on paper. Continue reading
Chapter nine opens with Amos’ fifth and final vision. It is equally fraught with destruction as the others. This time God appears alongside what is presumably the altar at Bethel. Up close and personal. He brings down the pillars and thresholds upon the heads of those worshipping there, sending survivors scurrying for cover in the depths, heights, seas and far-reaches of the world. But they flee fruitlessly: God is omnipresent and His judgment is complete. Continue reading
Is an eight letter word twice as bad as a four letter word? You know the one: p*tience.
Amos’ love for God and earnest desire to see Israel return to Him has been an exceptional example to me this week. God always seems to make the lesson personal — especially so in the last few days with some parenting challenges under my roof. Did your week require patience?
Patience and grace
Two visions of destruction (7:1-6) bring Amos to his knees on behalf of Israel. His heart of brokenness over the potential starvation and images of an ash-covered Israel drive him to beseech God to spare them. Continue reading
Posted in Amos, Bible Study, Parenting, Prayer
Tagged 2 Peter 3, Amos 7, Confidence, Humility, James 3, Parenting, Patience, Proverbs 12, Proverbs 19, Serving God
I’m not so different from the Israelites.
It’s easy to sit in my comfortable, upholstered chair, reading how Israel rejected God’s law, and puzzle over their disobedience. Yet I have much more in common with them than I care to admit. Continue reading
It would be easier to choose a different book to study.
Amos’ message is difficult. After several weeks of a consistent theme, I confess I feel tempted to gloss over it, eager for a new, cheery topic. Do his words feel dreary or depressing to you? Did Amos tire of preaching it? Let us not give up: justice depends on it. Continue reading
Whether you’re studying Amos with us or not, you’ll find some relevance in his words from chapter four. Feel free to join the dialog in the comments, too!
Are you calling me a cow?
Amos’ opening line in chapter four initially pulled me up short, much as I expect it did his hearers way back when.
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria,
you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy
and say to your husbands, “Bring us some drinks!”
– Amos 4:1 NIV
But he’s got our attention now, doesn’t he? Continue reading
Posted in Amos, Bible Study, Giving, Sacrifice, Worship
Tagged Amos 4, Deuteronomy 27, Deuteronomy 28, Genesis 28, Giving, Joshua 4, Leviticus 26, Sacrifice, Worship
Our choices communicate our values. God’s choices do, too.
Chapter three of Amos highlights this truth with a lesson in how choices affect relationships. There’s definitely a message here for modern readers, as much as there was for Amos’ hearers. Continue reading
Posted in Amos, Bible Study, Giving, Gratitude, Justice, Reliance, Trust
Tagged Amos 3, Blessing, Hoarding, Security, Trust
We’re tuning our ears to hear God’s words as spoken through the prophet Amos this fall. It’s not too late to jump in — join us!
Having exposed all of their neighbors for their sin (including the southern kingdom of Judah), Amos now squarely levies God’s charges against Israel to them in the balance of chapter two (verses 6-16).
For three things, and more
Israel’s neighbors had been found guilty of gross mistreatment of humankind, as we saw in the previous chapter of Amos. Judah was indicted for a more grievous sin: rejecting God’s laws and disregarding His decrees. Amos turns the mirror to Israel, allowing God’s light to reflect back to them their sin, not at all unlike that of their neighbors. Continue reading
Can you hear them cheering?
Amos circumnavigates Israel in this first chapter of his book, exposing the sin of her neighbors and the judgment that would ensue. The approval of his Israelite hearers is almost audible to us — they would have agreed vehemently that God’s judgment of their neighbors was well-deserved. Continue reading