10 key texts from the Book of Amos

Amos – Theme of the book (from commentary).

The chief purpose of Amos was to call the attention of God’s people to their sins, and if possible, to bring them to repentance.

As the spirit of apostle Paul was stirred at Athens when he saw how fully the city was given to idolatry, so Amos must have been stirred by the luxury and the sins he so vividly describes in detail. He rebuked the sins that sprang from material prosperity, the extravagances, the revelries, the debauchery of the rich, who were able to do this by oppressing the poor and by perverting judgment, through bribery and extortion.

Amos gives more attention to the details and circumstances of iniquity than does Hosea. He is everywhere graphic, revealing transgression in the events of the daily life of the people. No evil practice seems to have escaped his notice. He counted it his duty to warn Israel, Judah, and the surrounding nations of the divine judgments that were sure to come upon them if they persisted in iniquity. However, he closes his book with a glorious picture of the ultimate triumph of righteousness over iniquity.

1. Who was Amos? (7:14)

Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah:

“I was no prophet,
Nor was I a son of a prophet,
But I was a sheepbreeder
And a tender of sycamore fruit.”

2. How did Amos become a prophet? (7:15) 

Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock,
And the Lord said to me,
“Go, prophesy to My people Israel.”

3. Why would God call people to serve as prophets? (3:7)

Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

4. Key message/verse (4:12)

“Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”

5. God’s awesome works, part 1 (4:13)

For behold, He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind,
Who declares to man what his thought is,
And makes the morning darkness,
Who treads the high places of the earth—
The Lord God of hosts is His name.

6. God’s awesome works, part 2 (5:8)

He made the Pleiades and Orion;
He turns the shadow of death into morning
And makes the day dark as night;
He calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the face of the earth;
The Lord is His name.

7. Message to Israel, part 1 – Seek the Lord (5:4-6)

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:

“Seek Me and live;
But do not seek Bethel,
Nor enter Gilgal,
Nor pass over to Beersheba;
For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity,
And Bethel shall come to nothing.
Seek the Lord and live!”

8. Message to Israel, part 2 – Seek good (5:14-15)

Seek good and not evil,
That you may live;
So the Lord God of hosts will be with you,
As you have spoken.
Hate evil, love good;
Establish justice in the gate.

It may be that the Lord God of hosts
Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

9. People looking for the words of the Lord (8:11-12)

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.

They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it.”

10. Promise of restoration (9:13-15)

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
And all the hills shall flow with it.

I will bring back the captives of My people Israel;
They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.

I will plant them in their land,
And no longer shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,”
Says the Lord your God.