The Book of Amos is a series of prophecies by the prophet Amos, who predicted the fall of Judah by the invading Assyrians. He warned the Israelites that destruction was impending, and he described God as angry, crouching, and focused like a lion stalking the sinful, carefree nations.
Amos, one of the minor prophets and the namesake of this book, recorded his prophecies here. Luther said of Amos:
“No prophet, I think, has so little in the way of promises and so much in the way of denunciations and threats. He can well be called Amos, that is, ‘a burden,’ one who is hard to get along with and irritating, particularly because he is a shepherd and not one of the order of prophets” (Luther’s Works, vol. 35, p. 320).
Amos was indeed a shepherd called to deliver a surprising and ominous message for Judah and Israel. Despite his humble calling, he faithfully preached God’s message to His people.
Amos prophesied to warn the Israelites of their sin and the impending wrath of a neighboring nation. These prophecies do not always stand together with clear, logical order, which can make his arguments difficult to follow.
God’s Law is predominantly preached in this book, but there are still glimpses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as there are in all Scripture. Amos demonstrates the character of God’s justice, which punishes sins, but he concludes with a prophecy of the coming Savior and a note of enduring hope.
As you read Amos, consider times in your life when God has used people to confront you with your sin—maybe it was a parent, close friend, spouse, or pastor. Say a prayer of thanksgiving that God used them to reveal your sin to you and to turn you back toward Him.
The prophecies that Amos delivered were heartbreaking and threatening, but he preached God’s message faithfully despite its off-putting message. Ask God to help you share His Gospel in a loving way with those around you.
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
“In that day I will raise up
the booth of David that is fallen
and repair its breaches,
and raise up its ruins
and rebuild it as in days of old,
that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations who are called by My name,”
declares the LORD, who does this.
“I will plant them on their own land,
and they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land that I have given them,”
says the LORD your God.
Quotation from Luther’s Works is from the American Edition: vol. 35 © 1960 by Augsburg Fortress, used by permission of the publisher.
Learn how God used the humble shepherd Amos to proclaim His message.