Summary: If you are being mistreated and taken advantage of by those who think themselves superior, then Amos is the prophet that you want in your corner. He is known as the "Champion of the Poor."
A. Do you ever read the “TOP TEN WORST” lists?
The TOP TEN WORST DRESSED at the Academy Awards. The TOP TEN WORST MOVIES of the year. The TOP TEN WORST VACATION SPOTS in America.
1. We find these LISTS somewhat AMUSING, but what if there were a “TOP TEN WORST LIST” of
which you could POTENTIALLY be on?
The TOP TEN WORST NEIGHBORS on your STREET. The TOP TEN WORST EMPLOYEES at your PLACE of WORK. . . .The TOP TEN WORST MEMBERS of Garfield Christian Church. (That list will be in the bulletin next week.)
2. Obviously, we don’t want our NAMES to APPEAR on any TOP TEN WORST LIST, but imagine what it would be like to APPEAR on a LIST that God put together.
a. God compiles a sort of WORST LIST of NATIONS and CITIES on which He is going to bring JUDGMENT, and He uses the prophet Amos to present that LIST.
b. Now, there aren’t 10 listed, but there are 8. And two of the NATIONS on that LIST are Israel and Judah.
B. Amos prophesies during a time when there was much CORRUPTION among the NATIONS.
1. He prophesied around 760-750 BC.
2. Amos was a RESIDENT of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
a. He lived in the hill country of Tekoa located about 12 miles south of Jerusalem.
b. The surrounding terrain was RUGGED and UNINVITING.
3. Amos’ occupation was that of a SHEPHERD and care-taker of SYCAMORE trees, a type of FIG tree.
Because of his OCCUPATION, Amos lived a RUGGED and HARD LIFE. He was not a shepherd for DOMESTIC sheep that we see in our PASTURES today, but a type of MOUNTAIN
sheep that ran FREELY in the HILLS. The work of a SHEPHERD constituted that of the POOR, which undoubtedly intensified his MESSAGE against Israel for their GREED and MISTREATMENT of the POOR.
4. Amos’ name means “BURDEN-BEARER”.
C. Politically, it was a GOOD TIME for Israel and Judah.
1. None of the surrounding NATIONS had sufficient STRENGTH to give them any TROUBLE.
They had fortified their cities, increased their armies, and won one battle after another reaping the REWARDS of their VICTORIES. It was a time of EXPANSION, PROSPERITY, and PEACE.
2. But little did the Northern Kingdom of Israel know that within a short 30 years they would be completely annihilated and carried off into CAPTIVITY by the Assyrians—with Judah soon to follow.
I. JUDGEMENT AGAINST THE NATIONS- chapters 1-2
1. Even as a LION startles his PREY with a ROAR, so does God startle the NATIONS with His voice as an ECHOING THUNDER.
a. God can no longer tolerate their WICKEDNESS.
b. He is the JUDGE, JURY, and EXECUTIONER.
The other prophets we studied presented a message to REPENT and be SPARED, but not this time. The NATIONS have been found GUILTY and their SENTENCE has been SET—they are DOOMED.
2. Before pronouncing JUDGMENT upon Israel, God begins with her NEIGHBORS.
a. Three of these, “Damascus, Gaza, and Tyre” were not related to Judah and Israel.
b. The nations of “Edom, Ammon, and Moab” were. (You may recall that we discussed the sins