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Summary: A shepherd and gatherer of sycamore fruit called by God to prophesy - Am 7:14-15 b. Who proclaimed God’s message concerning eight nations, with an emphasis on the northern kingdom of Israel

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"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"

Amos - The Country Prophet (1:1-2:16)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our survey of "The Minor Prophets", we have already considered...

a. Obadiah, who prophesied of the judgment to befall Edom

b. Joel, who proclaimed a locust plague as a harbinger of "the day

of the Lord"

c. Jonah, God’s messenger to the Assyrian city of Nineveh

2. Our next prophet is Amos...

a. A shepherd and gatherer of sycamore fruit called by God to

prophesy - Am 7:14-15

b. Who proclaimed God’s message concerning eight nations, with an

emphasis on the northern kingdom of Israel

3. His book is divided into three sections...

a. A series of "oracles" concerning sin and judgment of eight

nations (ch. 1-2)

b. A series of "sermons" concerning the sin and judgment of Israel

(ch. 3-6)

c. A series of "visions" regarding the sin and judgment of Israel

(ch. 7-9)

[This lesson will examine the first section, with a look at the

"oracles" Amos proclaimed against eight nations. We begin with a

reading of Am 1:1-2, which serves as an...]

I. INTRODUCTION (1:1-2)

A. THE MAN...

1. NAME - Amos means "burden-bearer"

2. HOME - The village of Tekoa

a. 12 miles south of Jerusalem, 18 miles west of the Dead Sea

b. Near the wilderness of Judea, a very rugged area

-- So while he was Judah, he primarily prophesied against

Israel in the north

3. OCCUPATION - "a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit."

(Am 7:14)

a. An outdoorsman, accustomed to the wilds of nature, and of

hard, honest toil

b. It would be easy for him to have little sympathy for the

lazy and materialistic conduct of his northern kinsman

4. CHARACTER

a. Not known for his sympathy or warmth, but for his sense of

justice and right

b. "Not a sob is to be found in his book for the nation of

wicked apostates, and there is only a sigh for the poor"

(Hailey)

c. He is reminiscent of John the Baptist

B. THE DATE...

1. He prophesied in the days of:

a. Uzziah, king of Judah

b. Jeroboam II of Israel

2. Two years before an earthquake

3. While the actual date is unknown, 755 B.C. is often suggested

C. THE PEOPLE...

1. His audience is primarily the northern kingdom of Israel

2. Conditions which characterized them at this time:

a. Wealthy, enjoying great luxury

b. Morally, religiously, and politically corrupt

D. HIS MESSAGE...

1. In Am 1:2, we see a vivid picture of the Lord as a lion

whose roar to the north reaches all the way to Mt. Carmel

2. This describes what God is doing through Amos, proclaiming a

fiery message of condemnation and judgment against Israel and

the surrounding nations

3. "The people of Israel were now at the summit of worldly

prosperity, but were rapidly filling up the measure of their

sins. The mission of Amos was, therefore, rather to threaten

than to console. He rebukes, among other things, the

corruption of their manners, which kept pace with their

prosperity; he charges the great men with partiality as

judges, and violence towards the poor; and he foretells, as a

punishment from God, the captivity of the ten tribes in a

foreign country..." - The Bible Handbook, Angus and Green

[With verse 2 as a good preview of the nature of Amos’ prophecy, let’s

now survey the first main section of the book of Amos...]

II. THE "ORACLES" OF SIN AND JUDGMENT UPON THE NATIONS (1:3-2:16)

A. DAMASCUS - Am 1:3-5

1. SIN - cruelty toward the inhabitants of Gilead (the tribes of

Gad and Reuben)

2. JUDGMENT - destruction and captivity

a. Hazael was the murderer of Ben-Hadad I, and usurper of his

throne - 2Ki 8:7-15

b. Ben-Hadad II was the son of Hazel - cf. 2Ki 13:3,22-25

3. FULFILLMENT - by the Assyrians - cf. 2Ki 16:1-9

B. GAZA (PHILISTIA) - Am 1:6-8

1. SIN - engaging in slave traffic

2. JUDGMENT - total devastation

3. FULFILLMENT - by the Assyrians

C. TYRE - Am 1:9-10

1. SIN - slave traffic; did not remember the covenant of

"brotherhood" (between Solomon and Hiram? - cf. 1Ki 5:12)

2. JUDGMENT - destruction

3. FULFILLMENT - started by Nebuchadnezzar; finished by Alexander

the Great

D. EDOM - Am 1:11-12

1. SIN - cruelty to brethren - cf. Ob 1:10-12

2. JUDGMENT - destruction upon Teman (capital) and Bozrah

(another chief city)

3. FULFILLMENT - by the Nabateans, ca 400 B.C.

E. AMMON - Am 1:13-15

1. SIN - murder of pregnant women in Gilead (the tribes of Gad

and Reuben)

2. JUDGMENT - destruction of Rabbah (capital) and captivity

3. FULFILLMENT - by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon

F. MOAB - Am 2:1-3

1. SIN - burned the king of Edom’s bones to lime

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