Things had never been better. Israel was at the pinnacle of her national power. Trade and commerce were at an all time high. For the first time in many generations there was no threat of war. Merchants began to pile up profits. The people had luxuries they had only heard of. New homes were springing up everywhere. Beautiful ivory laid furniture was in the homes of the affluent. Meat, wine, body lotions were all common place in every home. 

Then one lone voice rose above the din of pleasure. From the southern kingdom a lone prophet had come to town with a new message. Amos first two sermons ingratiated him with the rich elite socialites of Jerusalem. Everything was going well. Then, Amos’ third sermon exploded their carefully constructed lives. Amos called these expensively coiffured socialites a bunch of cows. The priest challenged the Prophet and judgment fell quickly. 

Amos was no professional prophet. He was a herdsman from lowly Tekoa in the south. He addressed a religious group of people who were regular church goers. They were comfortable and looking forward to the Day of the Lord. Suddenly a prophet was bringing bad news. God said “I hate, I despise your religious festivals”. God wanted justice. Amos focuses on the injustice of Israelite society. 

The rich were abusing the poor to get luxuries. They paraded their devotion to God like future Pharisees. They wanted God to fit neatly into their lives. Amos informed them God must be master over all of life, even business.

Amos was rough and unpolished. He did not fit in their cultured, opulent life style. His language is coarse and plain. His allusions are from the country. He speaks of baskets of fruit and plumb lines. The simplest person in society could understand his plain language. All men understand the language of cruelty and inhumanity. Amos predicted coming judgment. From the moment he spoke these words, Israel began to spiral downward. In the next thirteen years five Kings took the throne. Three were assassinated. Within thirty years Israel had been dismantled by Assyria. 

Amos again illustrates that God used Prophets as His direct mouthpiece to the people because the priesthood had failed in its function. 

Thanks for reading today…

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