Amos 5:14 states: Seek God and not evil, that you may live, so the LORD God of hosts will be with you. From the rural area south of Jerusalem came Amos a shepherd and a cultivator of sycamore trees. Amos preached a harsh message of judgement to the northern kingdom of Israel and is corralled by God to leave his homeland. He warns of coming disasters and the oppression of the poor. Complacency, idolatry, and greed are present but not taken seriously. Amos message is not taken seriously because of peace and prosperity of Israel during this time. The humble herdsman, or sherpherd is called by God to deliver his message of judgement. The holiness of God and the sinfulness of His people is the basic theme of Amos. It is no doubt that some of the greatest prophecies of restoration of Israel anywhere in Scripture is located in the Book of Amos.
Known as the great prophet of righteousness in the Old Testament Amos details the principal that religion demands righteous behavior. True religion is not a matter of just going to church and saying the word, but seeking God’s will, treating others with justice, and following God’s command. Again the major problems are greed, excessive taxation, and cruel oppression of the poor. God condemns those who oppress the needy, take bribes, and deprive the poor of justice. Their hipocrisy is evident in their excessive lifestyle and outlandish behavior. They profess to follow God but there is a total absence of social justice and morality. The Book of Amos is one of the most eloquent cries for justice and righteousness to be found in the Bible. Amos was a humble shepherd who dared deliver to deliver God’s word to the most wealthy and influential people of his day. His message is timely for today also.
Amos is not a professional prophet nor orator. A sheep herder and tender of sycamore fruit was his forte. A simple country boy whom God gave a powerful spiritual force. This reminds us that we do not need legal or professional education to speak up for God when there is human injustice or sinful behavior. Amos was a devastating speaker for God. Not because of education, birth, or skill but because of his obedience to God. We have to listen to his call and do what he asks of us and then watch as the power of God works through us as we serve God. My God is an awesome God!