About Jesus Steve Sweetman
in verse 7, verse 1, we note that the Sovereign Lord showed Amos a
vision. Note the word
see this word associated with God and the Lord all the way through most
of the Old Testament prophets. It
simply means that God is the supreme authority over all that there is,
and He will do what He wants to do, and no one will change his mind.
That being said, we note here that Amos does change the mind of
God. This only happens a few
times in the Bible, so we cannot suggest that we as mere humans can
change God's mind on a whim. You
and I will never be able to change God's mind when it comes to judging a
nation, or so I think.
appears to be some textual difficulties with translating verse one and
other parts of this chapter. The
NIV reads, "He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king's
share had been harvested and just as the second crop was coming".
The NIV suggests that a devastating swarm of locust would attack
the crops of the king. The
Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, written a
few centuries B. C., says it differently. Part
of verse 1 reads, "one of the devastating locust was gog the
king". If the
Septuagint was right, we see the word "gog" here which we know
of from other parts of the Bible, like Ezekiel 38.
The point then would be that this swarm of locust whether real or
symbolic is demonic, and the Lord uses these demons to judge
verses 2 and 3 we see these locust destroyed the land and so Amos pleads
with the Lord since Israel
is so small. Note that Amos
starts his intercession with the word "forgive".
Amos is asking for forgiveness by God, and here is where God
changes His mind. The vision
of the swarm of locust will not take place.
God relented, as the NIV puts it.
He changed His mind.
is just a thought, and I'm not saying it's right.
If the Septuagint is right when suggesting that the head locust
is "gog the king", and when we see god in Ezekiel 38, this
might suggest that God simply put this judgment off to the end of this
age. He might not have
relented from this judgment for good.
This would apply to the next judgments as well that He relents
vision takes place in verse 4 to 6. This judgment came with fire and
burnt the land and the water in Israel. Again, Amos begged God not
to send this judgment and once again, God changed his mind.
third vision goes from verses 7 to 13.
God does not change His mind when it comes to this vision.
He sets a plumb-line down, as if to say, "cross this line,
and you are history". That
was exactly the case. Israel
crossed the line and they were judged and destroyed by the Assyrians.
way to view this plumb-line is that the whole of Israeli society is
crooked. Plumb-lines are
used in the construction process to make things straight. God was
placing His plumb-line down and showing how crooked the northern kingdom
in verse 9 that the Jewish sanctuaries will be destroyed.
These places of worship had become places of pagan worship.
I believe that God is now destroying many of the Christian
sanctuaries today. Many
Christian churches can no longer exist for many reasons
and their buildings are being sold or demolished.
the words "my sword" in verse 9.
was overthrown by the swords of the Assyrians, although here in verse 9
God uses the words "my sword".
As is often the case, God will use secular and pagan nations to
bring judgment on His people. Therefore,
the pagan swords are seen in the eyes of God as being His swords since
they are used to fulfill His purpose.
sword of the Lord is against the "house of Jeroboam".
He was the king of the northern kingdom.
message of a prophet isn't usually well accepted by people, whether
religious or non religious. In
this section there is a priest in
verse 10 Amaziah tells king Jeroboam that Amos is mounting a conspiracy
against Israel. Of course Amos is
preaching the destruction of
verse 11 Amaziah tells Jeroboam that Amos says Israel
will go into exile and that Jeroboam will die by the sword.
Amaziah knew that such talk wouldn't sit well with the leader of Israel, but for that reason Amaziah spoke these things to Jeroboam.
You might call Amos' words treason against the state.
verse 12 Amaziah basically tells Amos to get lost.
Go back home and prophesy there.
A real prophet of God isn't well liked.
He is viewed as a doom and gloom preacher.
He is seen as being way to negative, and no one, especially these
days, wants to hear a negative word.
verse 13 Amaziah tells Amos not to prophesy in Bethel
because this is the home of the kings sanctuary and the temple of the
kingdom. Note the temple
belongs to the kingdom and not the Lord.
Note also that the state, the king, takes preeminence over the
Lord and His prophet. It's
not much different today.
learn something about Amos in verses 14 and 15.
Amos responds to Amaziah by saying that he was not a prophet or
even the son of a prophet. The
point here is that Amos wasn't a full time man of religion.
He wasn't a priest, prophet, or anything like that.
He was a owner of flocks and fig trees.
He didn't ask to be a prophet.
God just picked him to speak His word.
Amos, like the apostle Paul, felt that he had no choice in the
matter. He was compelled to
speak the Word of the Lord.
verse 16 to the end of this chapter, Amos prophesies some very negative
things against Amaziah. Amaziah's
wife will become a prostitute, his sons and daughters will die by the
is a very personal prophecy directed towards Amaziah.
I believe that personal prophecies are still valid today in New
Testament times, although there seem to be more false personal
prophecies than true ones.
that the nature of God's judgment against Amaziah concerned the things
he would have held close to his heart; his wife; his children, and even
himself. When God
judges, His judgment is severe. All
that Amos prophesied to Amaziah came true.