Duration: 365 days
THE GOD WHO LOVES SHAMELESSLY
God is going to send a swarm of locusts to ravage Israel. But Amos begs God not to—Israel is too small to handle such a catastrophe. God relents. God shows Amos the fire he is planning to send to scorch Israel. But Amos begs for mercy again. Israel is too small to survive such a disaster. And again God relents. God then shows Amos a plumb line that he is setting among his people. Israel doesn’t measure up, and the Lord isn’t going to hold back any longer.
Amaziah, the priest at Bethel’s false-god altar, begs Amos to stop preaching against Israel and go back home to Judah. Amos tells Amaziah that he is a farmer, not a prophet, and he is doing what God told him to do.
God shows Amos a basket of ripe fruit—Israel is ripe for judgment. In the next vision, the Lord is standing by the altar in Jerusalem—the place where people would expect him to deliver a blessing—but Amos watches as he shatters the temple. God is fixing his eyes on Israel for destruction.
But God won’t abandon Israel forever. One day he will restore a Davidic king who will rule the nations. God will plant his people back in their land—and he will never uproot them again.
The King’s Heart
“Stop your sin and turn to God! Repent! Repent! Repent!” declares prophet after prophet, time and time again.
Not only did God give the prophets the same message, he sent prophet after prophet to proclaim that same message. It can seem redundant. But the prophets’ messages, and the prophets themselves, are demonstrations of God’s relentless, beautiful faithfulness. “I will not let you go without a fight,” God was saying to his people. “And I am not too proud to beg over and over for you to come back to me.”
God’s actions could be seen as shameless. But true lovers think nothing of the way they appear—personal pride falls to the wayside when thinking of another. God’s repetitive pleading to his people through the prophets doesn’t show his weakness; it shows the strength of his love.
The people of Edom were ancient and constant enemies of God’s people. They came to represent all people who are enemies of God. So when God says that his people will possess the “remnant of Edom” (Amos 9:12), he’s implying that the new line of King David will bring all rivalry to an end, bringing complete peace on earth.
Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved