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Form 3 CRE Notes On Amos
Grade/Class: Form 3
Term: Select Term
Document Type: PDF
BACKGROUND OF AMOS
2 KINGS 14:23-29
-Amos was a herdsman and was called to be God’s prophet during the reign of King Jeroboam II in Israel (78c bc to 746BC) and King Uzziah in Judah (799 BC to 740BC)
- He prophesied at time when there was political stability and peace.
- There was widespread corruption. The political rulers were bribed by the rich to let them exploit the poor. The political structure re did not serve the poor majority.
- The law courts as cases were judged to favor the rich. The poor were unfairly charged.
- The religious leaders did not play any political role instead of advising the rulers they protected them.
- Majority of the people were peasant who practiced subsistence farming.
- There was plantation farming in large vineyards owned by rich.
- Local trade existed and international trade between Israel and the neighboring countries
- International trade led to the emergence of rich merchants who dominated social structure and the economies.
- The poor were exploited as their farm produce was brought out for low prices during the International trade.
- The traders used false scales that allowed them to exploit the poor.
-Social classes emerged with the gap widening between the rich and the poor.
- The rich lived in Samaria in luxury compared to the poor who lived in the countryside.
- The poor who could not pay their debts, were enslaved and evicted from their land. Their property was also confiscated by force. Some became squatters in their own land.
- There was sexual immorality in the form of temple prostitution, where a man and his son could have sexual relations with the same woman.
- There was idol worship which involved worship of several gods.
- There was hypocrisy in the religious careers where despite preserving elaborate religious practices such as giving tithes and offering sacrifices, people did not care about the poor.
- At this time there were several false prophets and priests who were trained on what to prophesy. They were paid by the Kings to tell them what they wanted to hear. There were very few true prophets and they were mistreated.
- Instead of the religious leaders protecting the poor by condemning evils, they kept quiet.
THE CALL OF AMOS
- Amos was a shepherd from a village of Tekoa in Judah.
- He also tended sycamore trees.
- The call of Amos in 755BC years before the earthquake was in the form of a vision.
- Amos was not trained or professional prophet like others who existed during his time.
- Amos responded to Gods call in faith and obedience.
- God sent Amos to go and proclaim his message to the people of Israel (Northern Kingdom).
-He preached st the shrine in Bethel which was the centre of worship for Kings and the people of Northern Kingdom.
(i) Public worship in Bethel because it was false.
(ii) Condemned social and economic injustice committed by a few land owners who evicted the poor.
(iii) Idolatry and Syncretism.
- As a result of these evils, Amos pronounced severe punishment from God on both the King and the nation of Israel. He said that King Jeroboam II would die by the sword and the nation of Israel would be sent to exile in Syrian.
- Amos preaching about God’s judgment on Israel and the King led to a sharp confrontation between him and Arnaziah, the high priest .Amos 7:12-13
-He felt that Amos was interfering with the established order and was inciting the people against King.
- He sent a message to Amos ordering him to leave Israel and go back to Judah his birth place (Amos 7:12-13)
-The prophet responded to Amasiah’s by stating that he was not professional prophet, neither was he the son of one. He was a shepherd and a tender of sycamore trees and that God had called and commanded him to prophesy to the Northern Kingdom.
-God had decided to use a shepherd because true prophets could not be found in Israel.
-They had all gone astray and failed to return the people to the covenant way of life.
-The call of Amos who was person shows that God can use anybody regardless of their status to carry out his will.
THE VISION OF AMOS.
(Amos 7:1-9 8:1-3, 9:1-4
What is a vision?
-Refers to power of seeing.
-Also refers to the ability to plan the future with wisdom.
-From religious view, a vision is an ecstatic experience and a medium of revelation.
-A vision is experienced powerfully in the imagination of the mind concerning the future.
-God revealed himself to the prophets of Israel in the form of visions in which he communicated his divine plan for the people of Israel.
-A vision takes place when a person is awake while a dream occurs during sleep.
Prophet Amos received five Visions .All the five visions were linked to his call.
1. The vision of the Locusts. (Amos 7:1-3)
-Amos saw a swarm of locusts sent by God destroying all the crops and greenery in the land of Israel.
-The visions refers to the disaster which God was going to send to the Israel.
-Amos intervened and pleaded with God to forgive Israel and God forgave them( Amos 7:2-3)
2. The vision of fire (Amos 7:4-6)
-God showed Amos a supernatural fire consuming all the creation on earth.
-Amos again pleaded for the people and God spread them (Amos 7:4_6)
3. The vision of the plumb line (Amos 7:7-9)
-A plumb line is a cord with a weight attached to one end by building constructors to test whether a wall is straight or not during construction.
- Amos saw crooked wall being checked with plumb line by God. Just like a crooked wall must be destroyed, God was going to punish Israel by destroying high places of worship and Jeroboam II Kingdom.
- In the vision Amos was silent while God’s judgement on Israel had remained pronounced. This meant that punishment is inventible because Israel had remained obstinate in her sins. Single had refused to repent and avert God’s punishment.
4. The vision of a basket of summer fruits (Amos 8:1-3)
- Amos was shown a basket full of ripe summer fruits at the end of the fruit harvest.
-Yahweh told Israel that Israel was ripe for destruction.
- Just as one waits for time to harvest fruits, God had waited for the Israelites to repent
- Since they had not, time had come for them to be punished. God’s judgment would not be delayed and longer.
- Amos was silent and did not plead for God’s mercy.
- Punishment was therefore inevitable.
5. The vision of the destruction of the Altar. (Amos 9:1-4)
-Amos saw the Lord standing by the Altar.
- God commanding an angel to strike the altar and destroy it completely.
- All the worshippers were being struck down.
- This meant that God would destroy everyone. No one would escape for God would follow them into their hiding until they were destroyed.
THE TEACHING OF THE PROPHET AMOS.
The following are the major teachings hat prophet Amos addressed: 26
i. Social justice and responsibility.
ii. Judgment against Israel and other nations (punishment and repentance).
iii. Israel’s election.
iv. The day of the Lord.
v. The remnant and restoration.
vi. Hypocritical religion in Israel.
1. Social Justice and Responsibility (Amos 2:6-8,3:9-12,4:1-3,5:10-15,6:1-8,8:4-6)
Social Justice- Refers to fair dealings in our interaction with people
-showing concern for the needs of others.
Responsibility: - Means being accountable for our actions towards others.
- Our actions affect the people we interact with.
-God gave the Israelites the law to guide them in their relationship with him and their fellow human beings.
- They were to realize that every per son was created in God’s image and is equal in his eyes. No Israelite was to despise or oppress his or her neighbor.
-Amos condemned social injustice that existed in Israel. These social injustices were committed by a cross-section of the powerful people in Israel.
These evils that Amos condemned include:
1. Slavery. Amos 2:6, 4:1
The righteous, the needy and the afflicted were subdued by the rich and made slaves.
The poor got into debt which they could not repay the merchants and landowners therefore made them work like slaves and treated them harshly y,(Amos 2:6) In so doing they were breaking God’s law which guided them on how to treat their fellow Israelites. The Law of Moses did not bring into the sanctuary of Yahweh. This was a sign of unfaithfulness to Yahweh.
2. Sexual immorality and temple prostitution/cultic prostitution. Amos 2:7-8
-A father and a son sharing the same temple prostitution or a servant taken as a concubine Amos 2:7b
- Temple prostitution was forbidden among the Israelites by Yahweh (Deut 23:17). It was a grave sin for the Israelites to copy the pagan practice of their neighboring nations and bring into the sanctuary of Yahweh. This was a sign of unfaithfulness to Yahweh.
3. Breaking God’s Law on garment secure red as pledges.
- God gave the Israelites a law which placed restrictions to items that were to be given out to the creditor as a guarantee for goods borrowed e.g.
- Millstone were not to be take n since they were needed for grinding grain thus essential to sustain life (Deut 24:6)
- The garment of a poor man was not to be taken in pledge overnight. (Deut 24:10-13)
- The widows was not to be taken in pledge at all (Deut 24:17) If take n for debt, they were to be returned to the debtor at sunset.
Yet Amos observed that the creditors failed to return the garments as per the law. Instead they used them openly and shamelessly.
4. Robbery and Violence Amos 5:10
Great oppression and disorder was taking place in the capital city of Samaria e.g
-Disintegration of the rule of law.
-Oppression of the poor.
-The rich had acquired a lot of wealth through unfair means such as exploiting the poor through threats and actual violence against them.
-They no longer bothered to do what was right and just (Amos 3:10) for this reason, God was going to punish Israel by sending a foreign nation to destroy her.
5. Bribery and corruption. Amos 5:7, 10:1
- Prophet Amos observed the kind of legal injustices that were taking place in the law courts in Israel.
- Law courts are places where one expects to find justice.
- In Israel the elders were unjust and corrupt.
- They took bribes and grew from heavy fines which they imposed on the innocent.
- It was the duty of these elders to hear the cases of the needy without payments. However they demanded the bribes from them and those who could not offer bribes had no chance of having their cases heard.
- The elders hated any righteous judge who condemned their injustice Amos 5:7, 10-15
- They were breaking the covenant law that condemned bribery (Ex 23:8)
6. Greed and excessive luxury Amos 4:1-3, 5:11-15
-Amos condemned the rich and the selfish women of Samaria for oppressing the poor and drinking too much wine. He compared them to the “cows of Bashan” (a breed of cattle famous for being fat and good for beef because of being well fed in the fertile valley of Bashan).
-Amos accused this rich men of Samaria .They insisted that they husbands continually supplied them with intoxicating drinks. In so doing it was possible for these husbands who could not meet their demands to turn dishonest means in order to meet them.
-The rich built expensive houses for summer and winter residence, slept in luxurious coaches and feasted on delicacies. Amos 4:1-3, 5:11-15. Amos 6:4-6.
7. Self-indulgence and false sense of security Amos 6:1-8
Amos attacked on false confidence of the powerful leaders of Israel who sat “at ease” in their homes and felt secure.
They expected the common people to come to them for help or advice.
Amos condemned the leaders who thought that God could not punish them because they were the chosen people of God. They also thought that Samaria, the capital city, could not be attacked from outside because it had strong wall built around it.
Whoever Amos warned that God’s punishment would be upon the city and it would be destroyed (Amos 6:1-8)
8. Cheating in Business.
-Amos condemned cheating in business among the traders in Israel.
-The wealthy merchants hurried through the religious festivals so that they could get back to their business.
-They were impatient because of the interruption caused by the monthly feast of new moon and weekly observance of the Sabbath. (Amos 5:8)
-The business people tampered with the standards weighing scale so that customers get less than what they paid for.
-They over changed the prices of the good they sold.
NB: This practice was a clear violation of the covenant law that advised the business people not to be dishonest in their business (Lev.1:35-36)
-Merchants sold goods of low quality to the poor. They mixed good and bad grains together with chaff and then sold it at exorbitant prices in order to make profits.
NB: By selling goods unfit for human consumption, the merchants did not regard the poor’s as human beings.
-The poor people who got into debt were sold as slaves even as little as the price of a pair of scandals.
-This merchants charged high interest rates on the wheat that they sold. They broke the Law of Moses that forbade the Israelites to charge any interest.
9. Those who spoke the truth were hated.
10. The Israelites indulged in wine drinking and forced even those not supposed to drink
How the church is promoting social justice in Kenya today.
i. Providing education to the public on social justice/ civic education.
ii. By respecting and following the laws of the country as laid down by the government.
iii. By providing shelter to the needy.
iv. It preaches on social justice.
v. The church prayers for the social justice in the country.
vi. The church gives food and clothing to the affected/alms/money.
vii. I t advises the government on the need for the practice of justice in the society.
viii. The church is preaching against/condemns/points out social injustice I n the society.
Ways in which the rich oppressed the poor during time of Amos.
i. Merchants robbed the poor by over charging them.
ii. Selling the poor for the piece of silver or pair of shoes showing that they were worthless.
iii. The rich owed the land from the poor.
iv. The rich cheating the poor in business deals by using false scales.
v. Selling the goods to the poor that were unfit for human consumption.
vi. Making the poor work on land owned by the rich for every little pay.
vii. Selling the poor into slavery for payment of debts to the rich.
viii. Denying the poor justice in law courts because they could not bribe judges.
ix. Cases taken to court by the poor were being thrown out.
x. The poor being prosecuted for challenging injustice and speaking the truth.
xi. Temple prostitutes being drawn from the poor families.
xii. The poor being robbed of their food and belongings
1. State the differences between prophets in the O.T. and T.A.C (2008)
2. State the teaching of prophet Amos on social justice and responsibility (2008)
3. State the similarities between prophets in O.T and T.A.C. (2009)
4. State the teaching of prophet Amos on the remnant and restoration of the Israelites (Amos 9:8-15) (2009)
5. Explain the relevance of prophet Amos teaching on election of Israel to Christians in Kenya today (2009)
6. Outline the characteristics of the prophets in O.T. (2010)
7. State ways in which the rich oppressed the poor during the times of prophet Amos (2010)
8. Describe the call of Amos to become a prophet in Israel (2011)
9. Outline the 5 visions of prophet Amos (2011)
10. Give the reasons why Amos was against the worship of God in Israel (2012)
11. State ways in which God would punish Israel for her evils according to prophet Amos (2012)
12. Outline the characteristics of false prophets in O.T. (2013)
13. State the teaching of prophet Amos on Israel’s election (20130
14. How is the church promoting social justice in Kenya today (2008)
15. Give reasons why Christians find it difficult to help the needy in Kenya today (2010)
16. Explain how the church punishes errant members (2012)
17. Outline the factors that hinders Christians from practicing their faith in God. (2013)
HYPOCRITAL RELIGION IN ISRAEL
Amos 4:4-5; 5:4-5; 21-27
Hypocrisy is pretending to have admirable principles, beliefs or moral standards.
A person who pretends s is a hypocrite.
Amos concentrated on what true and false religion was. He condemned the following practices.
1. Empty Sacrifices. Amos 4:4-5
Bethel and Gilgal were the most important places of worship in the Northern Kingdom. Many of the Israelites thought that by going to these high places and making elaborate offerings and sacrifices (to show off)
They would please God. For Amos true worship of God would mean living a life in accordance with God’s law and offering him the true worship of praise and obedience.
2. Insincere worship Amos 5:4-15
The Israelites engaged themselves in a lot of religious rites at the temple of Bethel. However; majority of the people who took part in the rites were unjust, corrupt and always oppressed the poor. As result God was s going to punish them by exiling them because they did not live according to the covenant way of life.
This is the act of uniting or reconciling diverse practices or ideas especially in religion. During the reign of King Jeroboam II, the Israelites combined the worship of Yahweh and idolatry. Owing to this, prophet Amos warned the Israelites that they would fall and never rise again.
This the worship of human made gods and goddesses. Idols can be made in the form of images, symbols, and objects. Due to the Israelite adoption of idolatry, God was going to punish them. They would be taken into exile (Amos 5:26-27)
The relevance of the teaching of Amos against hypocritical/religion for Christians
Christians should face the danger of giving more importance to outward religious practices than to inward piety and a life of obedience to God’s will.
1. Worshipping in humility. Amos 4:13 .He is the creator of heavens and earth and is able to read people’s hearts. If they realize his fact then they will not think to highly of themselves nor of their prayers and offerings. Instead concentrate on what God offers in their worship –the word of God.
2. The Christians way of worship God should be directly related to their way of life. Religion cannot be divorced from life. Christians should not think of worship as feasts. Holy days and visiting places of worship.
3. All Christians worship God in the name of Jesus Christ. Christians should study the Bible more in order to understand how to live according to the teaching of Jesus which stresses the worship of God in truth and spirit.
4. Christians learn that Worship is achieved when justice and righteousness are upheld they learn to fight insincerity in the churches.
5. Christians learn to deny themselves material possession, power and money in order to help the less fortunate.
6. Church leaders are encouraged to be at the force in fighting h hypocrisy in the church.
7. Any external form of worship a Christian engages in should be a reflection of the inner heart/self.
8. The private life of a Christian should match his/her public life. They should reflect each other.
9. The worship is achieved when justice and righteousness is upheld.
10. Christians should fight insincerity in churches/fight hypocrisy in churches.
Evils that Amos could have condemned in Kenya today
i. Oppression of the poor by the rich.
ii. Cheating in business.
iv. Pride in material possessions.
v. Corruption and bribery.
vi. Sexual immorality.
vii. Profaning the name of God.
JUDGEMENT AGAINST ISRAEL AND OTHER NATIONS
-Judgment to other nations.
- Judgment means making decisions on certain issues after careful consideration
- In the history of Israel, God found and punished Israel for going against the covenant way of life.
- In Old Testament the word judgment is used to refer to the punishment that God would subject individuals and whole nations with a view to performing them.
- Punishment was always as a result of people committing certain evils, both social and religious.
- Punishment- The act of making a person suffer because of a crime one has committed.
- Repentance- Being remorseful/sorry for the wrongs one has committed.
- Amos prophesied God judgment on Israel and other nations. This shows that God is universal.
-The nations referred to were Israel’s neighbors and were her enemies.
For……. I will not revoke the punishment……….., to indicate indefinite quality of the sins committed ( Amos 1:6)
God’s judgment is pronounced against Damascus which was the capital city of Syria or Aram.
The people of Syria were very wicked and committed the following evils:
1. They were accused of excessive cruelty in times of war.
2. They brutally murdered their prisoners of war by running over them with sledges which had iron teeth. This was a very harsh treatment to be meted out to fellow human beings.
3. Syria had ill-treated the pregnant women of Gilead during their war with Israel.
-They had committed a war crime because expectant mothers were not supposed to be attacked by enemy during war.
-The Syrian soldiers failed to show any compassion to such prisoners and Syria was to face God’s punishment.
1. God would send divine fire upon them.
2. God would send them to exile to Kir.
TYRE (PHOENICA ) (AMOS 1:9-10)
- The King of Tyre sold Israelites to Edom as slaves, hence breaking the covenant of brotherhood. This pact had been sealed by Tyre and Israel for political purposes. The marriage between Ahab and Jezebel, prince of Tyre.
- God would send fire to destroy Tyre.
Edom had plundered Jerusalem, killed citizens and carried some into slavery (Obadiah 1:10-13) Theedomites were the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s brother and were therefore Israelites Kinsfolk. They were not supposed to wage war against the Israelites.
- God was going to destroy the entire nation of Edom by fire.
The people of Moab had fight the nation of Edom. Therefore raided the royal graves and burnt the bones of the dead kings. This was meat to signify the complete destruction of the royal family. It was believed that when the bones of the dead are burnt their spirits are destroyed as well.
This was rebellion against the sovereign Lord of the universe. It was an assault against God’s image in human beings.
1. The Kings and princes would be exiled.
2. God would destroy them divine fire.
AMMON (AMOS 1:13-15)
- The Amorites were cruel to the pregnant women of Gilead during war with Israel.
- attacked and killed their neighbors in Gilead brutally.
1. God would send the divine fire to destroy the city wall.
2. The King, his princess and his subjects would be sent to exile.
ISRAEL AND JUDAH
Amos 2:4-16, 3:12
-After Yahweh passed judgment over the nations surrounding Israel, he then turned to Judah and Israel.
-Being God’s chosen people the Israelites least expected that they would be judged and punished like the other nations.
- Nevertheless, because of the sins committed during the reign of Jeroboam II, Israel would be judged and punished as well.
-God wanted to show the Israelites that all nations are the same to him and he makes moral claims on all of the irrespective of race, religion in nationality.
- Amos pronounced judgment on the people of Israel because of the social injustices and religious sins they had committed. The people of God had broken their covenant with God. The sins of Israel included:
- They practiced idolatry which annoyed God.
- They practiced insincere religion based on the external observances at the expense of the inner piety.
- Sexual immorality was rampant especially at the temple.
- The rich sold the poor to slavery.
- The rich lived luxurious life at the expense of the poor.
- There was cheating in business where the poor were exploited.
- There was robbery with violence.
- There was bribery and corruption in the courts of law.
- Political leaders put their trust in alliances with other than with God.
- They had pride caused by self – sense of security.
NB: Because of their special relationship with God, Israel would get a heavier punishment than the other nations.
1. Before Amos pronounced God judgment on Israel, he reminded the people of Israel of the events of their sacred history. Yahweh had brought them out of the land of Egypt.
2. He guided them in the wilderness.
3. He enabled them to conquer and possess the Promised Land and
4. Had raised up prophets and Nazarenes to keep his people faithful to their God. Amos 2:1-11
Punishment for Israel and Judah
God was going to punish Israel and Judah in the following ways:
1. God was going to use Assyrians to attack and destroy the market places where public assemblies were held.
-Even the rural areas would not be spared (farmers would share the sorrow)
There would be wailing and cries of anguish throughout the cities and the fields so many would be dead such that there would be no professional mourners to wail.
2. Attack by a pestilence (epidemic) Amos 6:9-10)
Those who would escape the destroying crimes of Assyria would be struck by a plague in which only a single person would survive when infected. Even this survival would be haunted by silence. Amos 6:9-10
3. Earthquake Amos 4:11, 6:11
-God would use an earthquake to destroy the houses of both the rich and the poor.
The relevance of Amos’ message on judgment for Christians
1. God is universal and expects his people to be morally and spiritually upright by obeying his commandments. Leaders in every nation are expected to recognize the supremacy of God. They are not above the law of God.
2. The behavior of God’s people should match their religious piety e.g. Christians should visit the sick, the orphans and the widows.
3. Evil will be judged and eventually be destroyed. Christians are reminded to shun evil and live according to God’s will. When they sin they should repent and seek forgiveness in order to escape God’s judgment.
4. The exiles in Assyria and Babylon were in hopeless situation and no hope for future. Christians today may find themselves in helpless and hopeless situations such as civil wars, famine, displacement and violence. They should face such situations with courage remembering God is in control of their lives.
5. Today we have religious leaders and people who claim to be Christians yet take part in evils. In private they do things which are contrary to God’s law. God will definitely punish such people for they are hypocrites.
6. Some people today perform religious duties to enrich themselves and not to serve God. They mislead Christians and God will hold them responsible for the actions.
7. God hates sin. He condemns the Israelites and other nations for being sinful.
REPENTANCE AND HOPE
Amos 5:14-15, 9:11-15
- Although Amos pronounced judgment and punishment to the people of Israel, he gave them a message of encouragement to the people of Israel by inviting them to repent their sins. (Amos 5:14-15).
- God does not want the death of a wicked person but wants a person to change and live. Amos predicted a glorious future for Israel after exile. The people of Israel would return to their homeland after the period of exile. It would be a time of ideal prosperity for God’s people. Amos 5:14-15, 9:11-15.
The following is the message of hope Prophet Amos gave to Israel if they turned to God:
i. Both Israel and Judah will be reunited.
ii. Israel will defeat her enemies.
iii. The towns will be rebuilt.
iv. A descendant of King David will rule God’s people.
v. Those in exile will be brought home.
vi. Their farms shall be productive.
vii. The people of Israel will have a close relationship with God.
viii. The people will settle in the Promised Land permanently.
ix. All would not perish during punishment. There would be restoration of a remnant.
x. All nations would recognize Yahweh’s supremacy.
Why Christians repent their sins
i. It is obedience to Christ’s teachings.
ii. So as to lead holy lives.
iii. To be a good example to others.
iv. To be able to prepare for the kingdom of God.
v. For their faith to be strengthened.
vi. In order to receive God’s blessings.
vii. To renew their relationship with God.
Amos 2:9-11, 3:1-9:7
-Israel’s election refers to the act where God chose the Israelites out of the entire humankind to fulfill his purpose for the human race.
- God chose the Israelites, Abraham’s descendants and made a covenant with them at Mount Sinai,
- If they obeyed God’s commandments, they would be His people and He would be their God.
- Israel’s election was due to Yahweh’s love for her forefathers and not because she merited it.
- They were a holy nation and had the obligation and responsibility of recognizing only Yahweh as God, by keeping his commandments.
- Failure to meet this responsibility would bring a more severe punishment on Israel.
- The Israelites misunderstood the concept of divine election and became proud and had unfounded assurance in Yahweh’s protection.
- God could have chosen any nation for his self-revelation.
- God is active in the history of the nations even though they are not aware that he leads and judges t hem. He is the God of all nations.
- Israelites were called to serve Yahweh rather than to manipulate him to serve them.
The relevance of the teachings of Amos on election for Christians
-Christians are the people of God, the new Israel. ”A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and God’s own people”(1 peter 2:9)
- They are chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God.
- They should not presume on God’s election as a guarantee of getting into the kingdom of God like the Israelites during Amos’ time did.
- They should understand that they have entered into a special covenant relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ.
- As disciple of Jesus they should implement Jesus commands through teaching, healing and doing other works.
THE DAY OF THE LORD
Amos 5:18-20, 8:7-13
- The concept of the day of the lord originated from Israel’s political suffering. To them I t was a day when God would intervene and restore them back to the lost glory.
- The Israelites were confident that the day of the lord would be:
- A day of Israel’s victory against their enemies.
- A day of rejoicing for all Israelites
- Israel would be exalted.
- Establishment of God’s rule among his chosen race
- Prosperity for Israel.
- When justice would prevail and wickedness defeated.
- A day of light and brightness.
However, Amos reversed the popular belief about the day of the lord.
He declared that it would be a day of:
1. Darkness and not light-Darkness is used to stand for the doom. It would be a day of the suffering for the people of Israel and no one would escape .Amos compared what the Israel would experience with a man who runs away from a lion only to meet a bear. He manages to escape from the bear and runs to his house rests his hand on the wall out of exhaustion and relief, but again meets a poisonous snake that bites him (Amos 5:a18-20
2. It would be a day of terror against the rich landowners and rulers who had developed their economic and political powers. These people had continued to life in excessive luxury at the expense of the poor and yet held false belief that nothing evil would befall them. (Amos 8:7-13)
3. It would be accompanied by cosmic signs such as eclipses. The sun would go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. (Amos 8:7-13)
4. God would sent an earthquake throughout the land of Israel. There would be mourning, wailing and weeping everywhere over their ruined farms and buildings by the earthquake. Many people would die and the loses of life would be so widespread that every family would grieve and every home would observe rites of mourning
God would cause everyone to:
-Wear sackcloth as a sign of mourning.
- Shave their heads as a sign of sorrow.
- The hymns of joy would turn into songs of mourning.
The Israelites would feel the intensity of the grief, which compared to the grief of losing an only son in the family.
5. It will be a day of famine and drought when they would hunger for the word of God.
6. It would be a day of God’s severe judgment on their Israel’s sins.
The relevance of Amos’ Teaching on the day of the Lord for Christians
1. According to Christians the day of the Lord is the second coming of Christ, Parousia, when Jesus is expected to come back at the end of time. He will come back to Lord and judge Christians belief that his world will come to an end.
2. Christians should prepare for the “Day of the Jesus Christ”. They should await, except and hope for it.
3. No one knows the exact day and time when Jesus will come back. Therefore Christians are expected to be ready at all times.
4. On that day everyone will give an account of his or her actions in the light of our Lord’s teaching.
5. It will be a day of judgment.
6. Each person should prepare for this day by living an upright life and establishing a good relationship with God.
THE REMNANT AND RESTORATION
- The word remnant refers to a small number that survives destruction.
- In the teaching of the prophets, the term “remnant” is used to refer to the small number of the faithful Israelites who would survive God’s punishment.
-Although Amos pronounced destruction on Israel due to their sins he, however, felt there was some hope for those who would sincerely repent and turn to God.
-Amos announced that not all the descendants of Jacob would perish but only the sinners (Amos 9:8).
-God would sieve the house of Israel among all the nation the way a person shakes a sieve that holds grain while the chaff is blown away (Amos 9:9).
-The grain represents the faithful Israelites while the chaff represents sinners.
-Through the faithful remnant, the promises of God would be fulfilled and blessings would come to the nations. (Amos 9:14)
Amos gave a message of hope, not all would perish but the remnant would be restored in the following ways.
1. There would be reunion of the kingdom of David.
2. Israel would conquer their enemies.
3. There would be prosperity in agriculture. Vs. 14.
4. The exiles would be restored back to their land.
5. The cities would be rebuilt. Vs. 14
6. They would settle in the Promised Land permanently vs. 15.
7. A descendant of King David would rule Israel forever. Vs. 11
8. All nations would recognize the supremacy of God.
9. There would be a close relationship between God and his people.
The Relevance of Amos’ Teaching on the remnant for Christians
1. For Christians, the remnant is those who have turned to Christ through the grace of God. (Rom. 11:5).
2. Amos’ teaching on the remnant gives Christians hope that only unrepentant sinners will perish but the righteous will be rewarded by God with eternal life.
3. God does not rejoice in the death of a sinner but he would like him or her to change and return to him.
4. God always preserves a faithful remnant through whom he fulfills his promises to humankind.
5. Christians are the remnant through whom God fulfills his purposes for the world.
6. In time when most people are inclined to do wrong things, Christians should always stand for the truth and do the right things.