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.
We believe this book was probably given at a one-time event when Amos
traveled north to the city of Bethel and gave this message in the king’s chapel
The message was given in 762 BC, forty years before the Assyrian army would
conquer the northern kingdom and haul the nation into captivity.
3:1-8 Amos’ motivation
:1 Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against
the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying:
:2 “You only have I known of all the families of
the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
:3 two walk together
It’s hard for two individuals to go very far down a path together if they
are not going to have some sort of agreement between the two of them.
They are going to have to agree on what the destination is going to be.
They’re going to have to agree on the route to the destination.
Agreeing with God
How can God and His people walk together if they don’t walk in agreement?
If you are going to claim that Yahweh is the God you worship, then you will
learn to care about the things that Yahweh cares about.
The obstacle in the path
In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid
himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the
king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.
Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did
anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along
carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid
down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much
pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load
of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.
The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that
the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.
This peasant had a heart for the same thing that the king
It pays to be in “agreement” with the king.
Do I have the same heart about things that God does?
(1 Jn 1:5–7 NKJV) —5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you,
that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say
that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not
practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us
from all sin.
God is light. There
is nothing impure or “dark” about God.
If I claim to hang out (fellowship) with God, then I will
be in the “light” as well, wanting to do “light” things.
But if I am secretly living a life of “darkness”, it only
shows me that I’m really not in the light.
There’s even an added benefit of being “in the light” – even
when I do stumble and screw up, there is forgiveness and cleansing.
:4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no
prey? Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing?
:4 a lion roar
A lion’s roar can be heard for 5 miles if the conditions are right.
Maybe that’s not the right lion.
One of the reasons a lion will roar is to simply let you know that they are
A lion’s roar will terrify everyone who hears it.
They are “king” of their territory and you had better stay away.
A lion doesn’t roar while it’s hunting, but will roar afterwards to tell
the other animals to stay away from his kill.
Amos’ point is that if a lion has roared, then the hunt is over. He has already caught his prey.
:5 Will a bird fall into a snare on the earth,
where there is no trap for it? Will a snare spring up from the earth, if it has
caught nothing at all?
:6 If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the
people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
:5-6 bird … trumpet
A bird (Israel) has been snared. A trumpet
(Amos the prophet) has been blown.
:7 Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His
servants the prophets.
:7 He reveals His secret to His servants
God always warns His people.
God’s people can’t ever say, “I never saw it coming” when it comes to God’s
judgment. There is always plenty of warning.
Note: If judgment came because God
hates you, why would He warn you? He
warns you because He loves you and wants you to change.
A couple of pastors from local churches were standing by the road, pounding
a sign into the ground that read:
The End is Near! Turn Yourself Around Now Before It’s Too Late!
As a car sped past them, the driver yelled, “Leave us alone, you religious
nuts!” From the curve they heard … (screeching tires) and a big splash. One
pastor turns to the other and asks, “Do you think the sign should just say ‘Bridge
Some people are just fearful of everything.
They’re going to hear what I’m saying and think that there’s a bridge
out around every corner and never even start the car.
God doesn’t want you afraid of everything.
God just wants me afraid when I openly rebel against what He has said.
:8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?
:8 A lion has roared!
Amos started off his book by telling us:
(Am 1:2 NKJV) And he
said: “The Lord roars from Zion, And utters
His voice from Jerusalem”
If the lion (God) has roared, then the hunt is over.
Amos might be speaking of things in the future, but they are so certain
they are as good as done. Israel will be judged.
3:9-15 Israel’s sins
:9 “Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod, And in the
palaces in the land of Egypt, and say: ‘Assemble on the mountains of Samaria;
See great tumults in her midst, And the oppressed within her.
:9 Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod
The Gentile kingdoms are called to witness the judgment that’s coming on
:10 For they do not know to do right,’ Says the Lord, ‘Who store up violence and
robbery in their palaces.’ ”
:10 they do not know to do right
Israel is acting like the gal that’s been told to add a quart of oil to her
Actually it sounds a lot like us.
We have too many men of science, too few men of God. We have grasped the
mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. ... Ours is a world
of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know
about peace, more about killing than we know about living.
-- Gen. Omar N. Bradley in a 1948 Armstice Day address.
:11 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “An adversary shall be all
around the land; He shall sap your strength from you, And your palaces shall be
:12 Thus says the Lord: “As a
shepherd takes from the mouth of a lion Two legs or a piece of an ear, So shall
the children of Israel be taken out Who dwell in Samaria— In the corner of a
bed and on the edge of a couch!
:12 Two legs or a piece of an ear
If a shepherd catches up to the lion that has attacked his flock, he might
only be able to retrieve bits and pieces of a sheep.
The Assyrians were going devour Israel.
There will be little left.
Yet despite these warnings, the leaders of the kingdom continue to live
unmoved, asleep in their Lazy Boys…
:13 Hear and testify against the house of Jacob,”
Says the Lord God, the God of
:14 “That in the day I punish Israel for their
transgressions, I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel;
And the horns of the altar shall be cut off And fall to the ground.
:14 the altars of Bethel
Bethel was the center of the northern kingdom’s idolatrous worship.
:15 I will destroy the winter house along with the
summer house; The houses of ivory shall perish, And the great houses shall have
an end,” Says the Lord.
:15 houses of ivory shall perish
The wealth of the northern kingdom will be destroyed.
4:1-5 Spoiled and unrepentant
:1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are
on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, Who crush the needy, Who say
to your husbands, “Bring wine, let us drink!”
:1 cows of Bashan
Bashan is the land of northeastern Israel, known for well fed cattle.
Amos is calling the well-fed women of Samaria the cows of Bashan.
BTW gentlemen, don’t ever call your wife a “cow”.
Play Tim Hawkins “Wife
Even the women were oppressing others.
:2 The Lord God
has sworn by His holiness: “Behold, the days shall come upon you When He will
take you away with fishhooks, And your posterity with fishhooks.
These proud, arrogant women will be led away captive by the Assyrians.
:3 You will go out through broken walls,
Each one straight ahead of her, And you will be cast into Harmon,” Says the Lord.
:3 cast into Harmon
Harmon – “high fortress”
We don’t know where this is.
:4 “Come to Bethel and transgress, At Gilgal multiply transgression; Bring your sacrifices every
morning, Your tithes every three days.
“You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that
the field produces year by year.
“At the end of every third year you shall bring out
the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your
:5 Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,
Proclaim and announce the freewill offerings; For this you love, You
children of Israel!” Says the Lord God.
:5 Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving
Leaven is a picture in the Bible of sin.
When God gave instructions to Moses about sacrifices, He said that no
sacrifice was to be made with leaven (Lev. 2:11)
Amos is describing the people of the northern kingdom performing bad
sacrifices, their sin being mixed with it.
:4 Come to Bethel and transgress
Normally a priest would say, “Come to Bethel to worship”. But instead he says, “Come to Bethel and
Amos is mocking them, almost like after Detective Harry Calahan
has shot all the armed bandits except one …
God is taunting the hypocrites, the people who are living lives of open
disobedience to God, and then thinking they can just offer extra sacrifices to
make it all right.
Repentance vs. Hypocrisy
Do you want to change?
Are you sincerely grieved over your own rebellious sin?
Or do you think that going to church is just about a “quick fix”.
I say the magic words, “forgive me”, and God is obligated to pay for what I
think amounts to a little parking ticket?
(1 Jn 1:9 NKJV) If we
confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
confess – homologeo – to say the same thing as another, to agree with
Do you say the same thing about your sin that God says?
God thinks your sin is pretty serious.
6:23 NKJV) For the wages of sin is death…
God thinks your sin deserves the death penalty. That’s why
Jesus “died” for us.
Do you agree with Him enough to want to turn around? If so, you will be forgiven.
The people of the northern kingdom looked quite religious with their many sacrifices,
but they had no intention of turning from their sin.
4:6-13 You Have Not Returned
:6 “Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your
cities. And lack of bread in all your places; Yet you
have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
:6 cleanness of teeth
This is not talking about good dental hygiene.
It’s talking about a lack of food.
There is no food to “dirty” your teeth.
:7 “I also withheld rain from you, When there
were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained
upon, And where it did not rain the part withered.
:8 So two or three cities wandered to
another city to drink water, But they were not satisfied; Yet you have not
returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
:7 I also withheld rain from you
Drought is one of the ways that God promised to bring judgment on the
nation if they should wander from Him.
It was meant to get their attention.
BTW – we are in a drought. Do you
think God has our attention?
:9 “I blasted you with blight and mildew. When
your gardens increased, Your vineyards, Your fig
trees, And your olive trees, The locust devoured them; Yet you have not
returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
:10 “I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt; Your young men I
killed with a sword, Along with your captive horses; I made the stench of your
camps come up into your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
:11 “I overthrew some of you, As God
overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand plucked from the
burning; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
:11 Yet you have not returned to Me
There is a progression in vs. 6-11 of things going from bad to worse.
It’s just like God warns in both Leviticus and Deuteronomy. God promises that if His people are
rebellious, things will go from bad to worse.
(Le 26:18 NKJV) ‘And after
all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish
you seven times more for your sins.
The difficulties aren’t intended to punish them, they are meant to get
their attention to turn around.
The last difficulty would be the scattering of the nation:
26:38 NKJV) You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies
shall eat you up.
It’s been 640 years since Moses gave this warning, and now
the northern kingdom is just 40 years away from being scattered.
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
:12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel;
Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
:13 For behold, He who forms mountains, And creates the wind, Who declares
to man what his thought is, And makes the morning darkness, Who treads
the high places of the earth— The Lord
God of hosts is His name.
:12 Prepare to meet your God
Are you ready?
(Lk 12:16–21 NKJV) —16 Then He
spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded
And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I
have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build
greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will
say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your
ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This
night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which
you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for
himself, and is not rich toward God.”
We tend to think like that success is having lots of money.
But not in God’s eyes.
There is a way to become successful in God’s eyes. It comes from putting your life in Jesus’
hands. It comes from learning to trust
Him to pay for your sins. And when you
truly trust your life into Jesus’ hands, this is what God does…
Co 5:21 NLT) For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be
the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through
Being “right with God” is what true, eternal success is
Are you prepared to meet your God?
When a person is ready to meet God, they don’t tremble in fear over what
might happen, but they look forward to that day.
(Is 25:9 NKJV) And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He
will save us. This is
the Lord; We have
waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”