If you are new to reading the Bible, I hope that you will remember the events and expressions that Joel used. One or two ideas were repeated by Jesus in the Gospels, and we will soon see how important Joel’s predictions are in Revelation.
We turn now to Amos, whose name means ‘burden bearer’. Amos— like David and Gideon, started out as an ordinary guy going about his business as a shepherd and grower of sycamore figs. He was not a priest or a man with training as a prophet when God called him. Because of the mention of a great earthquake and king Uzziah, it is likely that Amos was working as a prophet around the year 760 BC. This makes him a contemporary of Jonah, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah.
Although Amos’ home town of Tekoa is only 12 miles south of Jerusalem, Amos prophesied primarily about the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He was wise in his delivery. First he prophesied judgment for Israel’s enemies before lambasting Judah and Israel themselves. Although from a humble occupation, Amos was very gifted as a writer, using very graphic and unique figures of speech. Amos would have had a difficult ministry because he prophesied horrible events that would have been unimaginable for his comfortable and prosperous listeners. The fulfillments were 50 years away, so he was quite ‘ahead of his time’. Mears quotes someone else in saying, “Amos proclaimed a message so far ahead of his time that most of the human race— and a large part of all Christendom, have not yet caught up with it.”
Because the prophecy at the end of chapter 44 is so stunning as to mention Cyrus some 150 years before his birth, skeptical scholars claim that this portion of Isaiah was not written until after the events happened and by a different author. But what then? If you say something like that, are you going to claim that Isaiah 53 was written after Christ came and died?
There are more than one wonderful 3:16 verses in the Bible, and we read one of them in chapter 3 yesterday:
2Tim. 3:16 GNT All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living,
17 so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.
GNT Translation notes:
Amo. 1:1 [I am Amos, and I was a shepherd//These are the words of Amos, a shepherd] from the town of Tekoa. Two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel, God revealed to [me//Amos] all these things about Israel.
2 [I//Amos] said, “The Lord roars from Mount Zion; his voice thunders from Jerusalem. The pastures dry up, and the grass on Mount Carmel turns brown.”
2Tim. 4:3 The time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but will follow their own desires and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will [just] tell them what they are itching to hear.
8 [PET 8 So now the time has almost come for me to receive the victory crown which has been prepared for me. That crown will show that the just Judge, the Lord, acknowledges me as a person who has lived rightly. I long for that day of victory when I meet Him and receive that crown. And the crown of victory isn’t prepared just for me but also for everyone who longs for the day of His return.//GNT And now there is waiting for me the victory prize of being [totally] put right with God, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day—and not only to me, but to all those who wait with love for him to appear.]
15 Be on your guard against him yourself, because he [is//was] violently opposed to our message. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia send their greetings, and so do all the other [brothers and sisters in Christ//Christians].
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