Vs. 2, “When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” Despite Israel’s lack of repentance, Amos boldly calls out to the LORD to forgive. We see three visions that Amos experiences: locusts (vs. 1-3), fire (vs. 4-6) and the plumb tree (vs. 7-9). It’s interesting to note how the prayer of Amos brought a change in God’s original plan in the first two visions. However, the plumb tree/line gives a historical picture of Egyptian engineering. They would use the plumb line rope and use an actual plumb to hang from a wall to determine if it was built correctly. God was measuring His people and something wasn’t right. Amos finally pushed too many buttons and Amaziah the priest finally went to report King Jeroboam II about these prophecies (vs. 10-11). But Amos was quick to respond back at Amaziah’s threats (vs. 12-17). Sadly, there would be consequences to such unrepentant hearts like Amaziah (vs. 17) and the rest of Israel.
Regarding application…Out of God’s Will. Vs. 8, “And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” “A plumb line,” I replied. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.” God was measuring Israel and they were not lining up. By doing this, God was showing the people through Amos that he checked their hearts and they were turned away. Question: Are you in God’s will? How would we measure up with the plumb line? Not only was God unable to bless His people, He would have to bring judgment upon the nation. So many chances were extended to Israel and we have the benefit of reading this and knowing the outcome of God’s faithfulness. But the story is still being lived out to this day. We too are God’s chosen. Amos did his part in interceding in prayer for his people. When we or others we see are out of God’s will, let us pray. I know that the four years of selfish living in my teen years, I had others praying for me and God’s grace was extended to me. Let’s be ready to pray for each other. Let’s be ready to exhort each other in our churches. Let’s turn back to the will of God!
Vs. 1 “Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.” Question: What is going on here? The example of Hosea’s relationship with Gomer is now coming to light with Israel. Israel is being charged by God as if they were in a court of law. The increase of sin is bringing a breakdown of morality over the land. Notice also how the LORD’s charge gets more specific and directed towards the supposed leaders of Isarel; the priests (vs. 4-14). The spiritual leaders have a huge impact. But Israel’s leaders were leading the charge towards immorality. This was a time in Israel where there was relative peace. King Jeroboam II was reigning and the priesthood was increasing. However, just like in Jesus’ day, there was corruption in the sacrificial system and priests were profiting (vs. 7-11). As the prophecies of judgment came forth by Hosea, all he saw was the continued stubborn responses of hardened hearts (vs. 16).
Regarding application…Knowing God. Vs. 6a, “…my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge…” There is much talk of the declining education system in America these days. But I would contend there is a much steeper decline in the church education system. I commend the church for we are doing a wonderful job in sharing the Gospel and bringing people to church. But it seems we stop at the point of salvation. John Mitchell, founder of Multnomah Bible College, coined his famous question, “Don’t you folks ever read your Bibles?” Just like in Hosea’s time, we are in a period where we lack the knowledge of God. We know more about Algebra, English Lit, Entertainment, sports, technology, cars, etc…than we do about the Living Word of God! Brothers & Sisters, this should not be. That is why I try to encourage each of you daily the importance of growing in your knowledge of God! Question: How can you live out a genuine faith if you are not spending time knowing God? It would be like me never spending time with my wife, but telling others I really do have one. Open your heart and let God’s word change and renew you to a deeper walk with Him!