A Message of Judgement
Amos was a shepherd and farmer when the Lord called him to declare the divinely given message of judgement and righteousness.
Although Amos spoke primarily to Israel and Judah, he also announced the universal judgement of God. The opening part of his prophecy is directed to the surrounding foreign nations: Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon and Moab. (see Amos 1 and 2)
Then, he turned to his own people. Uzziah was king in Judah and Jereboam was king in Israel.
Even if Amos was a country preacher, he was not unlearned. He was highly intelligent and spoke and wrote with exceptional skill. Notice the literary flair with which he addressed the sins of the nations.
While divine judgement is sure for all people, the emphasis in the message of Amos was to Judah and Israel. They were the ones who God had selected out of all nations to be the heralds of truth. They were the people who professed to love God. “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth, therefore I will punish you for all your iniquity.” (Amos 3:2)
Just as a loving father will be more careful to discipline his own children more than the children who look to other parents, so God will first be attentive to discipline God’s special children.
The message of Amos was a forerunner to the warning in 1 Peter 4:17, “For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God.”
—Rev. Jean Richardson
- What was one reason for the punishment of Judah? What was the consequence of that sin?
- Name four sins of Israel. What were the consequence of those sins?
- What is the purpose of God’s judgement?
- What might God’s judgement be on our world today if Amos where alive to speak to us?
How Do I Act?
- List and discuss ways in which “The law of the Lord is rejected” in our country. In your church. How about your life? Pray a prayer of repentance for your rejection and that of the church and country.
- Judgement can be both positive and negative. Reflect on examples of both.
- Identify one particular area in your own life in which you will make a commitment today to amend your ways. Covenant with another church member so they can help you remember and keep that commitment.
- Run a check list on your own stewardship of judgement toward others. Think of some ways that you can stop the cycle of the judgement of others.