God Determines the Future Amos 7-9
Amos 7-9 6 Visions of God’s Control over the Future
God gives Amos several visions of the future...it includes His judgment and blessings.
Amos 7:1-3 Vision #1-Consuming Locusts
- Amos prays…judgment is withheld
- Amos 7:4-6 Vision #2-a Destroying Fire
- This was a judgment by locusts...destroying the crops. The crops were mowed, or harvested, twice. The first time it went to the King. The second time to the people. This locust swarm was going to come after the first mowing…so the people would be left without the produce for food, etc. However, Amos prayed and told the Lord that Israel was “small” (incapable of handling such a devastation of their crops)…and "The LORD changed His mind about this."
- Amos prays…judgment is withheld
- Amos 7:7-9 Vision #3-a Perfect Plumbline
- This was a judgment by fire...of the farmland. Again, Amos prayed and "The LORD changed His mind about this."
- Amos does not even have the heart to pray…because he knows that judgment is justified During this time (while God is giving Amos these visions), Amaziah, the court priest ("royal chaplain), sent word to king Jeroboam accusing Amos of…
- Amos 7:10-17 Amaziah attempts to run Amos out of town
- God says He is going to put a plumbline in the midst of His people. The picture is of God measuring the morality of the city to show how far it was out of alignment with Him. This will clearly show how far they have deviated through their false worship and their worship of other gods.
- conspiracy against the king (:10-11)…he was saying that Amos was stirring up trouble and dissent and that it would lead to open rebellion.
- being a "seer" (:12, a visionary)…he intended to portray Amos as a crazy, delusional man who saw things that were not there.
- being a foreign intruder (:12)…he was suggesting that Amos was really a governmental agent of Judah who had been sent to lead the people of Israel away from the king.
- trespassing on the sacred grounds of Bethel (:13)…he was accusing Amos of trespassing on the king’s property…regardless of the fact that it was first of all a place of worship.
He also falsified the prophecy of Amos in order to anger Jeroboam. Compare what Amos actually said in verse 9c to what Amaziah reported to the king that he said in verse 11a.
Amos responds by saying that he is not a professional prophet...but a herdsman and agriculturalist. God called him to prophesy to Israel. Amos tells Amaziah that because he has told him to stop prophesying...God has pronounced judgment on him, his family, and the king.
Amos 8:1-6 Vision #4-the Summer Fruit
- Judgment is declared to be imminent The reason for the judgment is based on wealthy people taking advantage of the less fortunate (:4-6). God then describes the severity of the judgment they will experience (:7-10). This judgment will lead some people to the realization that they need to hear from God. They will look everywhere but will not find Him (:11-14).
- Like a basket of ripe fruit that appears to be beautiful…but is over-ripe on the inside and about to rot…the nation was ripe for judgment.
We must take a brief lesson in Hebrew to understand this vision. The Hebrew word for “summer fruit” is “hayitz”, and the word for “end” in vs. 2 is “hatz”; they look and sound alike. Amos used one word to lead to the other word. “The end will come! Israel, like summer fruit, has ripened for judgment.”
Expository Outlines on the Old Testament, Warren Wiersbee, p. 308
Amos 9:1-10 Vision #5-God beside the Altar
- Judgment will be inescapable God Himself is standing at the altar telling Amos to strike the supporting columns and cause the room to cave in. This represents the fall of the nation and the final dispersion of the people (Assyria)…no one will escape. There will be no place that they can hide, on earth, in Sheol, or heaven (:1-4). God then reminds them of Who He is (:5-6). God then says that while Israel is special to Him, they should realize that this in no way gives them permission to ignore Him (:7-10). The fact is, God is concerned about all people and has been moving among them, as well (:7).Amos 9:11-15 Vision #6-the Future Kingdom
- Prayer: Lord, it can be difficult to stand for You and righteousness…when people of prominence, position, and power are against me. They claim that You are on their side and to have the truth in their corner. Please give me a humble heart…don’t let my pride be hurt or to rise up in anger. And help me to remain faithful to You. No matter what anyone may say and no matter what anyone may do.
- This is a vision of the time of the Millennium. God will raise up the "booth" (dynasty) of David...to rule over all the nations of the world (:11-12). The land of Israel will be greatly blessed and productive (:13). Israel will return to their land and never be removed, again (:14-15).