Morning Bible Study
:1 The words of Amos, who was among the sheepbreeders
of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days
of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
:1 Amos = “burden”
:1 among the sheepbreeders
Play Tekoa Bethel map clip
Amos’ home was in Tekoa, a town in Judah about 10
miles south of Jerusalem.
He’s going to be speaking at Bethel, which belongs to the northern tribe of
Israel, about 10 miles north of Jerusalem.
– noqed – sheep-raiser, sheep-dealer,
Amos is a sheep rancher.
Amos also has a side job – he’s a fig picker (Am. 7:14)
God can use anyone
We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that God can only use certain
people in certain situations.
We might think that God can only use people with advanced educational
degrees – and don’t get me wrong, education is a good thing.
The truth is God can use anyone.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
(1 Co 1:26–27
NLT) —26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in
the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead,
God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think
they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are
God sometimes prefers to use the “foolish” so that the
wise will be in awe of the God that is working through them.
In the beginning days of the church, God used two fishermen in a huge way.
(Ac 4:13 NKJV) Now when
they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated
and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with
In the early days of the Jesus movement, God used young people. Greg Laurie was 19 years old when he pastored
his first church.
God will be using a sheep ranching fig-picker.
He can use you too.
:1 Uzziah … Jeroboam
Uzziah in the south and Jeroboam II in the north were two of the longest
:1 two years before the earthquake
The Jewish historian Josephus links this earthquake with the time when Uzziah
tried to enter the Temple and became a leper (2Chr. 26:16-20)
For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal.Yes, you shall fleeAnd
This puts Amos’ prophecy in the year 762 BC
Though there are other nations addressed, the book is primarily aimed at
the northern kingdom of Israel, and may have been completely given to King
Jeroboam II at the king’s chapel in the city of Bethel (Am 7:12-13)
And there prophesy.
:2 And he said: “The Lord roars from Zion, And utters His voice from Jerusalem;
The pastures of the shepherds mourn, And the top of Carmel withers.”
:2 The Lord
roars from Zion
Shepherd were used to hearing a lion roar, but this isn’t
a lion, it’s the Lord.
A lion’s roar can travel a great distance, up to 5 miles away.
Amos may be speaking to Jeroboam at Bethel, but it’s really God who is
speaking, from Jerusalem
:2 pastures mourn… Carmel withers
Even though Amos is living in a time of prosperity, he is painting a
picture of drought and disaster.
Play Israel’s Enemies map clip
Amos will launch into a series of prophecies against the nations that
surround the northern kingdom of Israel whose capital is Samaria.
Amos’ prophecies will start with the Syrians in Damascus, then the
Philistines in Gaza, the Phoenicians in Tyre, and then
the Edomites, Ammonites, and Moabites.
I’m sure King Jeroboam enjoyed hearing bad news about his enemies …
:3 Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron.
:4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, Which shall devour the palaces of Ben-Hadad.
:5 I will also break the gate bar of
Damascus, And cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven,
And the one who holds the scepter from Beth Eden. The people of Syria shall go
captive to Kir,” Says the Lord.
:3 For three transgressions …and for
Amos will use this phrase through the next couple of chapters as a way of
saying, “God has LOTS of reasons” for things to happen.
The cities mentioned with each nation are the chief cities of that nation.
:3 threshed Gilead
Gilead is the northeastern part of Israel.
The Syrians of Damascus literally threshed and mangled the bodies of
prisoners under heavily studded threshing sledges.
:6 Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they took captive the whole captivity To deliver them up to
:7 But I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza,
Which shall devour its palaces.
:8 I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, And
the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon; I will turn My hand against Ekron, And the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,”
Says the Lord God.
:6 they took captive … To deliver
The Philistines would take entire communities captive and sell them to the
slave markets in Edom.
There have been a lot of headlines lately about the tragedy of “human
trafficking”. Last week a young gal from
Yorba Linda was found murdered, and to the shock of her parents they have found
out that she had been forced into prostitution.
:9 Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four, I
will not turn away its punishment, Because they delivered up the whole
captivity to Edom, And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
:10 But I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre, Which shall devour its palaces.”
:9 they delivered up the whole captivity
The Phoenicians (Tyre) lived to the north of
Israel. Like the Philistines, the Phoenicians also were involved in the slave
:11 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will
not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the
sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath
:12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.”
:11 he pursued his brother with the
The Edomites were descendants of Esau, the twin brother to Israel (Jacob). They had no pity on Israel.
:13 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and
for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they ripped open
the women with child in Gilead, That they might enlarge their territory.
:14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, And it shall devour its palaces, Amid shouting in
the day of battle, And a tempest in the day of the whirlwind.
:15 Their king shall go into captivity, He and his
princes together,” Says the Lord.
:13 they ripped open the women with
It’s hard to imagine this kind of brutality.
:1 Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment,
Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.
:2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, And it shall
devour the palaces of Kerioth; Moab shall die with
tumult, With shouting and trumpet sound.
:3 And I will cut off the judge from its midst,
And slay all its princes with him,” Says the Lord.
:1 he burned the bones of the king of
In ancient times, it was considered a great offense to disturb or desecrate
a man’s burial site. Many tombs came engraved with violent curses for anyone
who would disturb the man’s bones.
The Moabites had dug up the bones of an Edomite
king and burned them.
Note: We think of Judah as the “good
guys”, but as Jeroboam II is listening, they are his enemies just like Moab and
:4 Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they have despised the law of the Lord,
And have not kept His commandments. Their lies lead them astray, Lies which their fathers followed.
:5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, And it shall
devour the palaces of Jerusalem.”
:5 I will send a fire upon Judah
Judah was the nation of “good guys”. But they too would face judgment.
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and
then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
:4 they have despised the law
Ignoring the Word
The Jews had been entrusted with a most precious treasure, God’s Word.
And yet many in Judah didn’t care about God’s ways any more.
Three men went deer hunting, and as they crossed the field going to the
woods, a huge buck jumped up in their path. All three fired at the same time.
The buck dropped, and as they came up on the buck, they realized they had a
problem. Which one of them shot the deer? As they discussed the problem, a game
warden came along to check for hunting licenses. He offered to sort out the
problem, examined the deer, and said, “One of you guys is a preacher, right?” And
sure enough, one of them was. “Well, preacher, your shot is the one that got
the buck.” Amazed, the guys asked how he knew one of them was a preacher and
that the preacher’s shot was the one that scored. “Simple,” the game warden
said, “It went in one ear and out the other.”
My friends, I hope what I’m saying isn’t going in one ear
and out the other.
Jesus gave some great advice on how to survive the tough times in life:
(Mt 7:24–27 NKJV)
—24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I
will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the
rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and
it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these
sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a
foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods
came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its
Everybody is going to face storms – difficult times. You can’t avoid the storms, but you can survive
Don’t pick and choose which parts of the Bible you want to
pay attention to. Learn to do what the
Bible says. Don’t ignore it.
:4 Their lies lead them astray
They had followed the lies of their fathers, perhaps like…
“All roads lead to heaven”
And yet Jesus said,
(Jn 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said
to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through Me.
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself, God could never love you.”
And yet Jesus said,
(Jn 3:16 NKJV) For God so
loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in
Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
“You’ll never change”
(Php 4:13 NKJV) I can do
all things through Christ who strengthens me.
You can change.
Learning to grow up is all about learning truth with love.
(Eph 4:15 NKJV) but,
speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
It’s good to speak the truth in love…
Play Skit Guys’ Tell Her
:6 Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they sell the righteous for silver, And the poor for a pair of sandals.
:6 transgressions of Israel
Up to this point, King Jeroboam II would be pretty happy to hear that all
his enemies (including Judah) were facing judgment. But now things start hitting close to home.
Amos is now “meddlin”
Let me read vs. 7-10 in an easier translation:
(Am 2:7–10 The Message) —7 They grind the
penniless into the dirt, shove the luckless into the ditch. Everyone
and his brother sleeps with the ‘sacred whore’— a sacrilege against my Holy Name. 8
Stuff they’ve extorted from the poor is piled up at the shrine of their
god, While they
sit around drinking wine they’ve conned from their victims. 9 “In
contrast, I was always on your side. I destroyed the Amorites who confronted you, Amorites
with the stature of great cedars, tough as thick oaks. I destroyed them from the top branches down. I
destroyed them from the roots up. 10 And yes, I’m the One who delivered you from Egypt, led you
safely through the wilderness for forty years And then handed you the country of
the Amorites like a
piece of cake on a platter.
:11 I raised up some of your sons as prophets, And
some of your young men as Nazirites. Is it not
so, O you children of Israel?” Says the Lord.
This is a person who makes a special commitment to follow God (Numbers 6). This
commitment meant that they did not…
Drink any wine
Touch a dead person.
Cut their hair.
The most famous Nazirite was named … Samson.
:12 “But you gave the Nazirites
wine to drink, And commanded the prophets saying, ‘Do not prophesy!’
They were hindering the very people that God was using.
:13 “Behold, I am weighed down by you, As a cart
full of sheaves is weighed down.
:14 Therefore flight shall perish from the swift,
The strong shall not strengthen his power, Nor shall the mighty deliver
:15 He shall not stand who handles the bow, The
swift of foot shall not escape, Nor shall he who rides a horse deliver himself.
:16 The most courageous men of might Shall flee
naked in that day,” Says the Lord.
:15 The swift of foot shall not escape
There is no escaping from God’s judgment
Not a single nation that Amos mentions avoided the judgment that God warned
Damascus was carried off by the Assyrians. Gaza was wiped out by
Nebuchadnezzar. Tyre was conquered by Alexander the
Great. The Edomites, Ammonites, and Moabites were all decimated by the
Judah was carried off to Babylon.
Israel was conquered and scattered by the Assyrians
Don’t think that you will somehow avoid God’s judgment.
Even if you avoid getting “caught” doing bad things in this life, you will
face God after you die.
(Heb 9:27 NKJV) And as it
is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
No one will get away with anything.
How can we be able to stand before this great Judge?
We have to learn to trust Him to pay for our sins.
(Ro 3:21–25 NLT)
—21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without
keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses
and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.
And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For
everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s
glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous.
He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our
sins. 25 For God
presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when
they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.
Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ?
Are you ready to stand before God?