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
8:1-14 Summer Fruit
:1 Thus the Lord God
showed me: Behold, a basket of summer fruit.
:1 summer fruit
Remember that one of Amos’ occupations was that of a fig cultivator.
(Am 7:14 NKJV) …But I was a sheepbreeder And a tender
of sycamore fruit.
The word for “tender” is a technical term used to describe the process of
carefully slashing each fruit to make it ripen quicker.
Summer fruit is the last fruit of the season.
Amos’ basket has fully ripe fruit, and the shelf life isn’t
going to be too long.
We don’t think about such things today because
even if we want certain kinds of fresh fruit, it seems to always be available
in the market. All the grocery store
chain has to do is fly the fruit in from another part of the world where the
fruit is still in season.
For Amos’ day, the idea is that the “season” of fruit is about to come to a close.
:2 And He said, “Amos, what do you see?” So I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lord said to me: “The end has come upon
My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore.
summer fruit … end has come
There is a play on words here. Both
words are similar in appearance as well as sounding similar.
The “summer fruit” (qayits)
is a reminder that the “end” (qets) has come.
Israel, like a basket of summer fruit, is at the end of its fruitfulness.
:3 And the songs of the temple Shall be wailing in
that day,” Says the Lord God—
“Many dead bodies everywhere, They shall be thrown out in silence.”
:4 Hear this, you who swallow up the needy, And
make the poor of the land fail,
:5 Saying: “When will the New Moon be past, That
we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, That we may trade
wheat? Making the ephah small and the shekel large, Falsifying the scales by deceit,
:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, And the
needy for a pair of sandals— Even sell the bad wheat?”
small… shekel large
The ephah was the container they measured the
The shekel was the weight that they would use to measure the customer’s
silver (their money) with.
In ancient days, there were no official standards for capacity and weight.
If the going rate for selling wheat was one ephah
of wheat for two shekels, then a cheating merchant would be able to doubly
cheat his customers by giving them less than they asked for and asking them to
pay more than they should.
:5 When will the New Moon be past
These people were religious. They
celebrated all the right holidays, including the “New Moon”, the beginning of
But instead of the holy-days being a chance to
honor God, the holy days just got in the way of their business of taking
advantage of the poor.
you mix the grain you sell with chaff swept from the floor.
:7 The Lord
has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their
The pride of Israel testifies to his face;Therefore Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity;Judah also stumbles with them.
The Lord God
has sworn by Himself,“I abhor the pride of Jacob,
:8 Shall the land not tremble for this, And
everyone mourn who dwells in it? All of it shall swell like the River, Heave
and subside Like the River of Egypt.
:8 swell like the River
Every year the Nile River would overflow its banks and flood the land.
It was kind of like a Tsunami, rising to wipe out everything and then
receding to leave destruction in its place.
:9 “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says
the Lord God, “That I will make
the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;
Amos could be describing a solar eclipse.
:10 I will turn your feasts into mourning, And all
your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist, And
baldness on every head; I will make it like mourning for an only son,
And its end like a bitter day.
:11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the
land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words
of the Lord.
shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and
fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it.
:11 famine … the words of the Lord
For Israel, part of God’s judgment would be His silence. He would not speak
Those within the land of Israel will search for a word from God (“from sea
to sea”) but won’t find it.
Those that will be scattered among the nations will not have prophets to
speak to them.
When Saul disobeyed the Lord, God was silent.
(1 Sa 28:5–6 NKJV) —5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart
trembled greatly. 6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord,
the Lord did not answer him,
either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets.
Sometimes God’s Word is not too pleasant.
Sometimes God’s Word tends to point out our flaws and reminds us we need to
And sometimes we can get kind of tired of it.
(2 Ti 4:3–4 NKJV) —3 For the time
will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own
desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap
up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be
turned aside to fables.
The problem comes when we decide that we don’t like what God has to say.
It’s an easy fix – we can find a
church that will tell us things that don’t make us uncomfortable. They might have a good band, or they might
have candles or incense. We feel like we’ve done our “religion” thing and we can stay comfortable.
But we might just find that God
Himself is actually silent.
Do you have a “hunger” for the things of God?
There is one thing that satisfies spiritual hunger is God’s Word.
When Paul was saying goodbye to the elders of Ephesus, he gave them the
best advice he could to help their spiritual hunger:
20:32 NKJV) “So now, brethren, I commend you
to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you
an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
We don’t live in a land where there is a “famine”
of hearing God’s words.
There are many good churches that
are teaching God’s Word right here in Orange County.
The bigger issue is this – am I willing to listen to all that God has to say to me, or am I going to get offended
when God pokes at something that needs to change?
:13 “In that day the fair virgins And strong young
men Shall faint from thirst.
:14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria, Who
say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan!’ And, ‘As the way of
Beersheba lives!’ They shall fall and never rise again.”
:14 the sin of Samaria
The sin of the northern kingdom was in all the other “gods” that the people
followed instead of worshipping the One True God in Jerusalem.
Those who worship these other “gods” will be scattered in the coming
9:1-10 Israel’s Destruction
:1 I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and He
said: “Strike the doorposts, that the thresholds may shake, And break them on
the heads of them all. I will slay the last of them with the sword. He who
flees from them shall not get away, And he who escapes
from them shall not be delivered.
:2 “Though they dig into hell, From there My hand
shall take them; Though they climb up to heaven, From there I will bring them
:3 And though they hide themselves on top of Carmel, From there I will
search and take them; Though they hide from My sight at the bottom of the sea,
From there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them;
:4 Though they go into captivity before their
enemies, From there I will command the sword, And it shall slay them. I will
set My eyes on them for harm and not for good.”
:4 I will set My eyes on them for harm
Even when the northern kingdom is taken away into
captivity to distant lands, God is still watching them.
Even in captivity they will not be able to escape
the judgment of God.
The motto of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is “They always get their
You can’t hide from God.
The poet Francis Thompson wrote a famous poem where he called God “The
Hound of Heaven”.
His point was that you can’t escape God.
Hound of Heaven
King David wrote,
(Ps 139:7–12 NKJV) —7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can
I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are
there; If I make
my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take
the wings of the morning, And dwell in
the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say,
“Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the
night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
So why would you try to run from Him?
You may see Him as being “out to get you”.
You may see Him only interested in punishing you for your
And to be honest, that’s exactly
what He will do if you don’t stop running and turn to Him for help.
But God’s desire isn’t to punish
you, it’s to save you.
(Jn 3:16–19 NKJV) —16 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. 17 For God
did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world
through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not
condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not
believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is
the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved
darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, wanted
to play a practical joke on twelve of his friends, he sent a note to each of
them that simply read, “Flee at once. All is discovered.” Within twenty-four
hours, all twelve friends had left the country. That’s
what you call a guilty conscience.
Is God serious about your sin?
Does God want you to stop your sin?
Does God want to forgive you and give you eternal life?
:5 The Lord God of hosts, He
who touches the earth and it melts, And all who dwell there mourn; All of it
shall swell like the River, And subside like the River of Egypt.
:6 He who builds His layers in the sky, And has founded His strata in the
earth; Who calls for the waters of the sea, And pours them out on the face of
the earth— The Lord is His
:7 “Are you not like the people of Ethiopia
to Me, O children of Israel?” says the Lord.
“Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, The Philistines from Caphtor, And the Syrians from Kir?
Play Ethiopia to Kir map clip
Ethiopia was a large Gentile nation south of Egypt.
God had indeed brought Israel out of the land of Egypt into their own land.
The Philistine people came originally from Caphtor,
another name for the island of Crete.
The Syrians came from Kir in Mesopotamia.
you not like…
Even though God did bring Israel out of the land of Egypt, the fact that
God had worked in their nation didn’t mean that God
wasn’t working other places as well.
They may be God’s chosen people, but God’s work is much bigger than the
geographical area of Israel.
God is simply to letting the people of Israel know that even though they
have a special place in God’s sight, He will treat them like any other nation.
:8 “Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom,
And I will destroy it from the face of the earth; Yet I will not utterly
destroy the house of Jacob,” Says the Lord.
:8 I will destroy it
The sinful kingdom is Israel, and its government will be
:8 I will not utterly destroy the house
God will destroy the government of the northern kingdom, but he will not
destroy all the people.
I will bring back the captives of My
:9 “For surely I will command, And will sift the
house of Israel among all nations, As grain is sifted in a sieve; Yet
not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.
:9 sifted in a sieve
God will sift the nation and the righteous will be caught in the sieve and won’t fall to the ground.
:10 All the sinners of My people shall die by the
sword, Who say, ‘The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us.’
:10 All the sinners of My people shall
die by the sword
A very sobering statement.
It wasn’t enough to claim that you were a
descendant of Israel. Or
If you were an unforgiven sinner, you were going to die, even if you didn’t think it would.
:11 “On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of
David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its
ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old;
:11 raise up the tabernacle of David
The tent of David, the house of David would one day be
restored as king over all of Israel.
When David was king, all the tribes of Israel followed David.
When the kingdom divided, only the southern tribes followed the house of
There will be a day when there will be one nation, ruled by the house of
Jesus was a “son of David”.
One day He will return and rule.
:12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, And
all the Gentiles who are called by My name,” Says the Lord who does this thing.
:12 all the Gentiles who are called by
There will be Gentiles who will be saved.
The early church had trouble conceiving of a Gentile becoming
Once Gentiles began to be saved, the church had to
rethink their ideas.
The early church decided they
need to hold a meeting to discuss the issue of what to do with the
Gentiles. Did the Gentiles need to become circumcised and follow the Law of Moses in order to
James stood up to give the deciding argument, and he quoted from our
passage in Amos (Acts 15:15-17)
“Known to God from eternity are all His works.
The church decided that God had planned all along for Gentiles to be saved, and they decided that salvation was through faith
in Jesus, not the keeping of the Law of Moses.
‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the
How many of you here today are believers who are not Jewish?
This verse is one of the Scriptures that showed that you could
:13 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “When the plowman shall overtake
the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows
seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with
the plowman shall overtake the reaper
When Jesus returns and establishes His kingdom on the earth, there will be such
a great harvest in the fields that before the reaper can finish reaping the
fields, it will be time to plant the next crop.
This is prosperity.
:14 I will bring back the captives of My people
Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; They shall
plant vineyards and drink wine from them; They shall also make gardens and eat
fruit from them.
:14 I will bring back the captives
This has been happening over the last century as Jews from around the world
immigrate to Israel.
:14 build the waste cities
When I make my Google maps of Israel for you, the coordinates of the
ancient cities are often right next to a modern city that goes by the same
Like Tekoa and Beth Shemesh.
:15 I will plant them in their land, And no longer
shall they be pulled up From the land I have given them,” Says the Lord your God.
:15 no longer shall they be pulled up
Ultimately this is speaking of the kingdom that
Jesus sets up after He returns.
Peace and prosperity
The story goes that there once was a daughter of a
fashionable couple from a large eastern city who went to Africa
as a Peace corps volunteer. She had been to finishing school and her
parents had made every effort to see that she was properly prepared to occupy a
place in their social strata. When the young woman’s term on the field was over she sent a telegram announcing that she would be
bringing her new husband home with her. Her mother and father waited with
excited anticipation at the airport gate. Their daughter emerged from the plane
on the arm of a man about seven feet tall who was adorned in feathers, beads,
skulls, tigers’ teeth, and assorted pouches of magical potions around his neck.
He even had a bone through his nose and rings in his ears! The mother fainted.
As the father held his now unconscious wife, he shouted to his daughter, “No,
no, dear. We said we wanted you to marry a rich doctor.”
Some folks make it their life’s goal to become wealthy and prosperous.
Money isn’t a bad thing, except the love of money will get you into
There will be a day when we will live in prosperity. But the promise of God is for when Jesus
Don’t get too disappointed if you don’t see prosperity in this life.
Jesus told His disciples:
(Jn 16:33 NKJV) These
things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you
will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The peace we are looking for is the peace that comes from knowing
Do you know Him?