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by Charles Box
Transgressions Bring God's Judgment
Amos was a farmer and a herdmen. God sent him with a message of judgment for Israel and for surrounding nations. In his preaching Amos is reminiscent of John the Baptist. "Not a sob is to be found in his book for the nation of wicked apostates, and there is only a sigh for the poor." Amos writes at a time when Israel had reached a low point in her righteousness and in her devotion to God. Greed, violence, a lack of honesty and much false religion marked the nation of Israel as doomed for judgment.
The majority of Amos' message was against the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel. Amos also had messages of God's judgment against other nation that surrounded Israel because of their transgressions: (1) Damascus, the capital of Syria, (2) the Philistines, (3) Tyre, (4) the Edomites, (5) the Ammonites, (6) the Moabites, (7) Judah, and finally, (8) Israel. Amos was not a "professional" prophet, but a common man utilized by the Lord to deliver His Word to His people. God sent an unpopular message through him to Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom. The message was that the nation would face God's judgment because of sin. This punishment would come through a foreign nation.
God's people were made to understand the coming judgment with the expression "the Day of the Lord." God's judgment would come because of the sins or transgressions of the people. In Amos one the prophet writes about the sins of the nations surrounding Israel. The people's disobedience brought upon them the judgment of the Almighty. We learn that God judges all nations and that Israel and Judah will not be exempt. Amos set forth the great truth that God must be exalted by His people. He expects His people to be moral and benevolent. People are expected to live by the teachings of the Almighty and we are accountable to God to do exactly that.
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29