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Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Judah, and for four,

I will not turn away its punishment, Because they have despised the

law of the LORD, And have not kept His commandments. Their lies

lead them astray, Lies which their fathers followed.” Thus says the

LORD: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn

away its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for silver, And

the poor for a pair of sandals.” (2:4,6)

Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to

His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The

Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy? (3:7-8)

“Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” (4:12)

But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty

stream. (5:24)

“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.” (8:11)

“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.” (9:11)

The above scriptures are from the book of Amos, NKJV.

Amos was a shepherd and a tender of sycamore trees, a man called out of obscurity to reverely rebuke Judah and Israel at a time when they were both materially very prosperous. But God was roaring against them. They were rich but abused the poor; they held lavish feasts but lived as the pagans around them; they made many sacrifices and observed feasts, but God was revolted by their offerings. They were proud and arrogant, and God hated their pride. Judgment must surely come; justice demanded it.

He prophesied judgment on other nations and cities: Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon,

and Moab. But his harshest words for God’s chosen people, who had become ruined by sin

from the greatest to the least. There was social, moral, and religious corruption...the nation

was beyond repair.

Amos himself was, of course, not very popular. His message was not welcomed by the “cows of Bashan.” A false prophet, Amaziah, threatened him to go home and prophesy inBethel no more. But Amos was faithful to his mournful task.

However, the book does close with a hopeful promise of rebuilding David’s tabernacle or tent.

This is a promise of Jesus the Messiah coming to rebuild and be seated on the throne of David, to restore it in righteousness and justice.

The book should be a strong warning to us who claim to wear His Name that God is not mocked or appeased by offerings from corrupt hearts. He calls for true righteousness

and justice—these should be the defining characteristics of any society. They must be

the defining characteristics of His Son’s Bride, the church of Christ.

Amos’ message raises the great question for each of us: Are we prepared to meet our God? If you are unprepared, we urge you to listen to God—as He spoke then, so He speaks now: “Seek Me and live!” (Amos 5:4).

—John Ostic

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