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An Argument of the Book of Amos

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MESSAGE STATEMENT:

Because of Israel’s false worship and abuse of the poor, needy, and upright in the land, the lord their god promises to judge the people and Jeroboam their king, as he will the nations around them, by leading his people into captivity; and yet he vows to also restore them some day to a time of permanent blessing in the land under a revitalized Davidic dynasty

I. Introduction: Amos presents himself as a sheepherder who was stirred through visions by God to speak judgment to Israel during the reigns of Uzziah in Judah and Jeroboam in Israel 1:1

A. These are the words of Amos 1:1a

B. Amos was from among the sheepherders from Tekoa (south of Bethlehem) 1:1b

C. Amos had visions which became these prophecies concerning Israel two years before the great earth quake during the reigns of Uzziah in Judah and Jeroboam II in Israel 1:1c

II. After promising to judge the nations around Israel for their abusive treatment of others, the LORD promises to judged the combined nations of Israel for their disobedience to the Law and abuses to His/their own people 1:2--2:16

A. Lion: Through the imagery of a lion who attacks his prey, Amos speaks with the authority of the Lord from Jerusalem of upcoming judgment for Israel 1:2

B. Arameans: The LORD promises to judge the Arameans for their abusive treatment of those in Gilead 1:3-5

1. Damascus as the capital of Syria will receive certain judgment because of their abusive treatment of those of Gilead 1:3

2. The centers of power and pagan worship will be destroyed as the Arameans are taken into captivity under Tiglath-pleaser III 1:4-5

C. Philistines: The LORD promises to judge the Philistines because of their abusive treatment of captives sold to Edom in slavery 1:6-8

1. Gaza as a city of Philistia will receive certain judgment because of their abusive treatment of people as slaves to Edom 1:6

2. The LORD vows to destroy the centers of power for the Philistines with no surviving remnant 1:7-8

D. Tyre: The LORD promises to judge Tyre because of their abusive treatment of Israeli captives sold to Edom in slavery 1:9-10

1. Tyre will receive certain judgment because of their abusive treatment of Israeli captives as slaves to Edom 1:9

2. The LORD vows to destroy the walls and strongholds of Tyre 1:10

E. Edom: The LORD promises to judge Edom because of their abusive treatment of their Israeli brothers 1:11-12

1. Edom will receive certain judgment because of their abusive treatment of their Israeli brothers 1:11

2. The LORD vows to destroy the central cities of Edom 1:12

F. Ammon: The LORD promises to judge the people of Ammon because of their treatment of the people of Gilead (territory of Israel) 1:13-15

1. The people of Ammon will receive certain judgment because of their abusive treatment of the people of Gilead 1:13

2. The LORD vows to destroy the capital city and strongholds of the Ammonites, and to take her into captivity 1:14-15

G. Moab: The LORD promises to judge the people of Moab because of their treatment of the King of Edom 2:1-3

1. Moab will receive certain judgment because of their abusive treatment of the King of Edom 2:1

2. The LORD vows to completely destroy the capital strongholds and leaders of Moab 2:2-3

H. Judah & Israel: The Lord promises to judge the combined nations of Israel because of their departure from the Law and thus their abuse of His/their own people 2:4-16

1. The LORD promises to judge Judah because of their rejection of the Law of the LORD 2:4-5

a. Judah will receive certain judgment because of their rejection of the Law of the LORD 2:4

b. The LORD vows to completely destroy Judah and the strongholds of Jerusalem 2:5

2. The LORD promises to Judge Israel because of her rebellion against Him through the abuse of His/their own people 2:6-16

a. Israel will receive certain judgment because of their abusive treatment of the righteous, needy, helpless, humble, women, and debtors 2:6-8

b. Israel rebelled against the LORD even though he brought them into the land 2:9-10

c. Israel abused the spiritual leaders whom the LORD raised up in the nation 2:11-12

d. Israel’s sin is so great upon God that He will prevent any of strength to escape His judgment 2:13-16

III. Through oracles and a dirge the LORD proclaims to Israel that they should repent, but their coming judgment will certainly occur because of their arrogant sin against the weak and upright 3:1--6:14

A. Through an oracle the LORD God exhorts the nations to witness His coming judgment upon His chosen people Israel because of their sin after being in a special relation with Him 3:1-15

1. The LORD exhorts everyone in Israel to hear what He has to say 3:1

2. The LORD vows to punish them for their sin because of their special relationship with Him 3:2

3. Through a series of proverbs the LORD proclaims that the coming judgment is certain and must be proclaimed by His prophet 3:3-8

4. The LORD God of Hosts exhorts the Gentile nations to come and witness the coming judgment of Israel for her sins: idolatry, materialism, and abuse of power 3:9-15

B. Through an oracle the LORD proclaims a sever judgment on the women and men of Israel who continue in evil toward others and in worship in spite of discipline from the Lord 4:1-13

1. The LORD exhorts the “great (women)” of Israel who enter into evil with their husbands against the poor and needy to hear what He has to say-- the women will be brutally taken away into captivity with the men 4:1-3

2. Because of Israel’s continued choice to enter into profane worship in the face of God’s discipline, the Lord of Hosts will bring about even more sever judgment 4:4-13

a. Sarcastically, the LORD exhorts the sons of Israel to continue with their profane worship in the shrines of Israel 4:4-5

b. The LORD worked through many calamities (famine, drought, scorching wind, mildew, pestilence, plagues, defeat in war) and gracious deliverance to cause Israel to repent, but they would not 4:6-11

c. Israel is exhorted to repent because they are going to experience even more severe judgment of the Lord of Hosts 4:12-3

C. In a dirge the Lord exhorts Israel to repent, but necessarily proclaims a coming judgment and exile at the hands of another nation for their arrogant and abusive sin against their own people 5:1--6:14

1. The House of Israel is exhorted to hear the word of the LORD which He takes up for her as a dirge 5:1

2. The LORD God proclaims that the Israel will be (90%) destroyed beyond repair 5:2-3

3. Israel is exhorted to repent of their evil and not to flee to their shrines lest they experience the consuming judgment of the great LORD of creation 5:4-9

4. The LORD pronounces judgment upon Israel for their abuse of the weak and righteous 5:10-14

5. Israel is exhorted to repent of their evil so that the Lord might be gracious to them, and yet judgment will be necessary 5:15-17

6. Israel is exhorted to not look for the Day of the Lord when God will go before His people because that time will require that He come to them in judgment 5:18-20

7. The God of Hosts proclaims that the nation Israel will go into captivity beyond Damascus because of her hypocritical actions historically and at this time 5:21-27

8. The LORD proclaims a woe upon the “great” of Israel who do evil with their power because they will be subjected to judgment and exile at the hands of another nation 6:1-14

a. The LORD exhorts the strong of Israel to not be secure because other powers (Calneh, Hamath, and Gath) around them have been (will be) destroyed in judgment 6:1-3

b. The LORD proclaims that the rich and powerful who do not grieve over the corruption of Israel will be lead the procession into captivity 6:4-7

c. The LORD God of Hosts proclaims that the arrogance of Israel in their sin will lead to a devastating destruction of all of Israel by a nation which He will raise up against them 6:8-14

IV. Through a series of three visions which are interrupted by a historical interlude illustrating the rebelliousness of the nation, and the resumption of a forth vision (note the 3 plus one motive from chapters 1--2), Amos proclaims the certain judgment leading to captivity which will come upon Israel for their abusive actions to the poor and needy in the land 7:1--9:6

A. Locust-swarm: In the vision of the locust-swarm which would destroy the crop of the people of Israel, Amos interceded for the nation, and the LORD God changed His mind 7:1-3

1. The LORD God showed Amos a vision of a locust-swarm which destroyed the harvest which went to the people after the King had taken his share 7:1

2. Amos pleaded with the LORD God to not bring the swarm about upon Israel, and He changed His mind 7:2-3

B. Fire: In a vision of fire which would destroy the people of Israel, Amos interceded for the nation and the LORD God again changed His mind 7:4-6

1. The LORD God showed Amos a vision of coming judgment through fire which would destroy the sources of water (or all) and the farm land (or the people) of Israel 7:4

2. Amos pleaded for the LORD God to relent and He changed His mind deciding that this too would not come to pass upon Israel 7:5-6

C. Plumb-line: In a vision of the plumb line which the LORD was holding to measure Israel Amos learns that the LORD is going to judge the nation and especially the house of Jeroboam for their corrupt worship 7:7-9

1. The LORD showed Amos a vision of Him standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand 7:7-8

2. The LORD proclaimed that He was about to measure the nation Israel and judge them and especially the house of Jeroboam with the sword for their corrupt worship 7:9

D. Historical Interlude: After Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, reported to Jeroboam the prophecies of judgment by Amos, and demanded that Amos leave Israel, Amos explained that he is only proclaiming the word of The LORD and thus proclaimed again the coming judgment and exile upon Israel for their rejection of the LORD’s words 7:10-17

1. Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, reported to Jeroboam II the prophecies of Amos concerning judgment by a nation which would destroy the house of Jeroboam and take Israel captive 7:10-11

2. Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, told Amos to return to the land of Judah to proclaim his prophecies since Bethel was king Jeroboam’s residence 7:12-13

3. Amos explained that he was not a prophet by profession, but speaking by The LORD’s appointment 7:14-15

4. Amos proclaims the word of The LORD to Amaziah that in view of his rejection of The LORD’s prophecies great calamity will come upon him and his household as Israel is led into captivity 7:16-17

E. Picked ripe fruit: In a vision of ripe fruit which has been picked, Amos learns that the LORD God is going to bring about a thorough, humbling judgment upon Israel for her prideful abuse of the poor and the needy in the land 8:1-14

1. The LORD God showed Amos a vision of a basked of ripe fruit (ripe and picked) to proclaim that the nation’s iniquity has become ripe and requires that the LORD act in sever judgment 8:1-3

2. Because of Israel’s abuse of the needy and the humble in the land, the LORD God will bring about sever judgment which humble all in the land 8:4-14

a. Israel tramples upon the humble and the needy in the land 8:4-6

b. The LORD God promises to bring about a humbling judgment upon the people physically, spiritually and emotionally 8:7-14

F. LORD’S image by fire: In the image of The LORD standing by the altar, Amos learns that Israel’s judgment will begin at the centers of idolatry and thoroughly reach to all of the land by the hand of the Creator 9:1-6

1. The LORD showed Amos a vision of the LORD standing beside the altar (religious system) of Israel to proclaim that judgment will begin at the center of idolatry 9:1

2. The LORD proclaims that judgment will reach to everyone in the nation, with escape impossible for anyone anywhere 9:2-4

3. The LORD proclaims His ability to judge as the One who handles creation 9:5-6

V. Even through Israel will be judged as any other evil nation for their sin, The LORD their God promises to restore them in bountiful prosperity to the land one day 9:7-15

A. Even through Israel will be judged as any other evil nation will be judged for her sin, The LORD God promises not to totally destroy the house of Jacob 9:7-10

B. The LORD promises to raise up the falling house of David to posses all of those from the nations who will obey the LORD in a future day of restoration 9:11-12

C. The LORD Israel’s God promises for there to be a future day when He will permanently restore the nation Israel to the land which will be abundant in blessing 9:13-15

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines