Morning Bible Study
Amos was not your typical prophet.
He was a man who made his living raising sheep and cultivating fig trees.
Amos was from the southern kingdom of Judah.
The message is primarily aimed at the northern kingdom of Israel.
The message was given in 762 BC, forty years before the Assyrian army would
conquer the northern kingdom and haul them into captivity.
6:1-14 Jacob’s Pride
:1 Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, And
trust in Mount Samaria, Notable persons in the chief nation, To whom the house
of Israel comes!
:1 Woe to … Zion … Samaria
Amos mentions the capital cities of both the northern and southern kingdom.
The chief men from both capitals were in trouble.
:2 Go over to Calneh and
see; And from there go to Hamath the great; Then go
down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or
is their territory greater than your territory?
:2 Calneh … Hamath … Gath
Play Gath and Hamath map clip
Gath is pretty close to Jerusalem and Samaria.
Hamath and Calneh are a
couple hundred miles to the north in modern Syria.
These were all important cities, once thought to be unconquerable.
Calneh and Hamath had
been overrun by the Assyrians 108 years before Amos.
not Calno like Carchemish?Is not Samaria like Damascus?
Gath of the Philistines had been conquered by Aram 77 years before Amos
king of Syria went up and fought against Gath, and took it;
then Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem.
:3 Woe to you who put far off the day of
doom, Who cause the seat of violence to come near;
:4 Who lie on beds of ivory, Stretch out on your
couches, Eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall;
:5 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed
instruments, And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David;
:6 Who drink wine from bowls, And anoint
yourselves with the best ointments, But are not grieved for the affliction of
These are all pictures of prosperity.
The good life.
:7 Therefore they shall now go captive as the
first of the captives, And those who recline at banquets shall be removed.
:8 The Lord God
has sworn by Himself, The Lord
God of hosts says: “I abhor the pride of Jacob, And hate his palaces; Therefore
I will deliver up the city And all that is in it.”
:9 Then it shall come to pass, that if ten men
remain in one house, they shall die.
If ten men from the same family don’t die in the battle, they will die of
:10 And when a relative of the dead, with one who will burn the
bodies, picks up the bodies to take them out of the house, he will say to
one inside the house, “Are there any more with you?” Then someone will
say, “None.” And he will say, “Hold your tongue! For we dare
not mention the name of the Lord.”
:11 For behold, the Lord gives a command: He will break the great house into
bits, And the little house into pieces.
:10 Hold your tongue!
In those days, bodies tended to be cremated only if there was some sort of
The picture is of people picking up dead bodies to cremate them, but being
afraid to mention God’s name, lest they offend Him.
They will know that God is behind this disaster.
:12 Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow there
with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into gall, And
the fruit of righteousness into wormwood,
:12 Do horses run on rocks?
It would be stupid to make your horse run on rocks.
The nation is just as stupid by twisting the justice system – letting
criminals go free and throwing good people in jail.
:13 You who rejoice over Lo Debar, Who say, “Have
we not taken Karnaim for ourselves By our own
:14 “But, behold, I will raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel,”
Says the Lord God of hosts; “And
they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath To
the Valley of the Arabah.”
:13 Lo Debar … Karnaim
Play Lo-Debar and Karnaim map clip
Both cities are up north on the other side of the Jordan River.
Under King Jeroboam II, the northern kingdom had won great victories and
expanded their territory.
The people were feeling kind of cocky, thinking they were invincible.
:14 from … Hamath
to … Arabah
Play Hamath to Arabah
Hamath is in the north, the Arabah
is in the south. The entire nation will
be afflicted by the coming war with Assyria.
:8 I abhor the pride of Jacob
When our lives are filled with pride, God is not too happy. There are some interesting characteristics of
pride in this chapter.
(Am 6:2 NKJV) Go over to
Calneh and see; And from there go to Hamath the great; Then go
down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory?
The nation was unable to learn by watching how other cities were being
Are you able to see when there are
lessons you need to be learning?
If a Dog were your teacher, you would learn stuff like.....
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
When it’s in your best interest—practice obedience.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Never pretend to be something you’re not.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and
nuzzle them gently.
The problem is that most of us seem to learn most from cats…
What are you learning?
Are you teachable?
Some people would say they were “self-medicating”
Though “doom” was close (vs. 3), they “put it off” by having fancy beds,
couches, fine meals. fine music, and …
(Am 6:6 NKJV) Who drink
wine from bowls, And anoint yourselves with the best
ointments, But are
not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
Real comfort comes when we turn from our sins and turn to God.
He is called the “God of all comfort”
(2 Co 1:3–4 NKJV)
—3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who
comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who
are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by
We get ourselves into trouble when in our pride we don’t turn to God for
comfort and we settle for something less – whether it’s
things like alcohol or drugs, or innocent things like the “creature comforts”.
(Am 6:13 NKJV) You who
rejoice over Lo Debar, Who say, “Have we not taken Karnaim for
ourselves By our own strength?”
Since they had won some pretty serious battles, they didn’t see the need to
trust God for the threats in the future.
(Lk 18:9–14 NKJV) —9 Also He
spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous,
and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the
other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners,
unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast
twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the
tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to
heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell
you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself
will be exalted.”
All the Pharisee could see was his “strengths” and none of his weakness.
The tax collector was very aware of his weakness, and he was the one that
God listened to.
(1 Pe 5:5 NKJV) …be clothed
with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
When your pride keeps you from trusting God’s strength,
you just might find God resisting you.
Wouldn’t you rather find His grace?
:1 Thus the Lord God
showed me: Behold, He formed locust swarms at the beginning of the late crop;
indeed it was the late crop after the king’s mowings.
:1 after the king’s mowings
The king had the right to claim the first batch of grain “mowed” from the harvest.
The people would get their portion from the “late crop”. Amos sees a swarm of
locusts coming after the king gets his portion, but before the people got their
:2 And so it was, when they had finished eating
the grass of the land, that I said: “O Lord God,
forgive, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, For he is
:3 So the Lord
relented concerning this. “It shall not be,” said the Lord.
God responded to Amos’ prayers and stopped the locusts.
:4 Thus the Lord God
showed me: Behold, the Lord God
called for conflict by fire, and it consumed the great deep and devoured the
:5 Then I said: “O Lord God, cease, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, For he is small!”
:6 So the Lord
relented concerning this. “This also shall not be,” said the Lord God.
:5 O Lord God, cease, I pray!
God is responding to Amos’ prayers for the nation.
Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into
the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people.
So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people.
Henry Blackaby writes,
Ivah Bates was a widow who had lived on a farm
and was retired. She was one of the greatest pray-ers
I have ever known. Our church was the body of Christ, and we called Ivah a knee. God put her in the body as a powerful pray-er.
When we had new believers, I would send them over to Ivah
and let her talk to them about how to pray. She equipped many pray-ers. When we began our ministry to the university campus, Ivah didn’t know how to function in the body concerning the
campus. Who was to equip her to function in the body in this new ministry?
Well, our campus minister was. He shared with Ivah
how she could pray regarding the campus. She did not change her role in the
body. She just learned how to be the “knee” (pray-er)
for the campus. The students were told, “Whenever you are going to witness to
somebody or you have a particular assignment in our ministry, go to Ivah and tell her about it. She will pray.”
So a student named Wayne said to Ivah, “Next
Tuesday I will be witnessing to Doug, would you pray for me?” Ivah agreed. She dropped everything and began to pray over
the noon hour while Wayne was witnessing. She did that every time the students
told her what they were doing. Only the “hand” was touching the campus, but the
whole body was fitly joined together. Each part functioned where God put it, so
that the hand could be effective.
About three months later, a young man came down the aisle during the
invitation. He was trusting the Lord. I said to the
congregation, “This is Doug. He has just become a Christian.” I looked over at Ivah and she was deeply moved and weeping. She had never
met Doug, but she had prayed for him for three months.
Do you pray for others?
7:7-9 Plumb Line
:7 Thus He showed me: Behold, the Lord stood on a
wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand.
a plumb line
A plumb line is a carpenter’s tool. A weight hangs on a string, giving a
vertical line to help the carpenter tell if something’s not straight.
:8 And the Lord
said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord
said: “Behold, I am setting a plumb line In the midst of My
people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore.
:8 I will not pass by them anymore
When God puts His standards (the plumb line) next to His people, the nation
failed the test.
Israel did not match God’s standards.
:9 The high places of Isaac shall be desolate, And
the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste. I will rise with the sword
against the house of Jeroboam.”
– this is Jeroboam II, the current king. Like all the kings
of the northern kingdom, he was “evil”. But he also was a great military
strategist and had brought the nation great military and economic success. But
they weren’t closer to God.
:9 The high places of Isaac shall be
Judgment is coming
There are limits to intercession.
There are times when a nation has gone too far, and no amount of prayer is
going to stop God from bringing judgment.
Our nation is creeping closer and closer to this. But for now, we pray.
7:10-17 Amos is rebuked
:10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to
Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst
of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words.
:10 the priest of Bethel
The kings of the northern kingdom maintained a “royal chapel” in Bethel. Amaziah is the
priest at this chapel.
:10 sent to Jeroboam king of Israel
This is Jeroboam II, the current king of Israel (not the guy that originally
set up these worship places).
:11 For thus Amos has said: ‘Jeroboam shall die by
the sword, And Israel shall surely be led away captive From their own
Nor pass over to Beersheba;For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity,And Bethel shall come to nothing.
Says the Lord,
whose name is the God of hosts.
And those who recline at banquets shall be removed.
:12 Then Amaziah said to Amos: “Go, you seer! Flee
to the land of Judah. There eat bread, And there
Amaziah is telling Amos to go home to the southern kingdom of Judah.
:13 But never again prophesy at Bethel, For it is
the king’s sanctuary, And it is the royal residence.”
:14 Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah: “I was
no prophet, Nor was I a son of a prophet, But I was a sheepbreeder And a tender of sycamore fruit.
:15 Then the Lord
took me as I followed the flock, And the Lord
said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’
… sycamore fruit
Amos was simply a fig tending sheepbreeder.
He was not a “professional” prophet.
He didn’t ask to be a prophet.
But God chose him and he obeyed.
:16 Now therefore, hear the word of the Lord: You say, ‘Do not prophesy against
Israel, And do not spout against the house of Isaac.’
:17 “Therefore thus says the Lord:
‘Your wife shall be a harlot in the city; Your sons and daughters shall fall by
the sword; Your land shall be divided by survey line; You shall die in a
defiled land; And Israel shall surely be led away captive From his own
:17 And Israel shall surely be led away
Don’t hinder the truth
Amaziah can tell Amos to be quiet about the coming captivity, but that
isn’t going to stop it from happening.
Because Amaziah has been trying to keep Amos from getting God’s warning to
the people, his family will be destroyed.
Amaziah will be judged for trying to keep the truth from the people.
Jeremiah warns about false prophets who say “peace” when there is no peace.
8:11 NLT) They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound.
They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.
This is like the preacher who is good at telling everyone
that God loves them, but never warns people about the judgment that is ahead if
they continue in their sin and never accept Christ.
It’s better to speak the truth, even when it hurts.
If you are living a life that is contrary to the things that God wants you
to do, I have to tell you that you are not in a safe place.
Jesus died in order to pay for your sins, but you must trust Him if you
want to find forgiveness.
If you were to die tonight without Jesus, you will go to hell – not because
God doesn’t love you, but because you have rejected God’s hope for salvation,
God wants you to change.
God wants you to trust Him.
God wants you to follow Him.