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Scripture Reading on Sunday Mornings

Scott Maxwell April 1, 2018

Scripture Reading on Sunday Mornings

To help us better understand the Minor Prophets that we are reading through on Sunday mornings, I have provided some excerpts from “The World and the Word – An Introduction to the Old Testament” (by Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti).  These are only portions from the book, but they are intended to help you grasp the setting and message of the Minor Prophet.  The more you can invest in these important books of the Bible outside of Sunday morning, the more you will gain from them as they are read in our worship service on Sunday.  Enjoy!

The Book of Amos

Background

“Amos prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah (also know as Amaziah) king of Judah (792-740 BC) and Jeroboam king of Israel (793-753).  This was a period of unprecedented political expansion and economic prosperity, virtually comparable to the Davidic-Solomonic age (2 Kgs 14:23-29).” p 430

“Amos was called by God to confront the northern kingdom as prosperity had produced its inevitable fruits of pride, selfishness, greed, oppression, and moral decadence, probably around 760 BC.”  p 430-31

“The prophet Amos was from Tekoa (2 Sam 14:2; 2 Chr 11:6), a location still existing today as Khirbet Tequ, a five-acre site about 10 miles south of Jerusalem. . . Many have sought to identify Amos as an official herdsman of either the temple or the royal palace.  There is a virtual consensus today that Amos was at least a member of the well-to-do class of Judah as the owner of cattle, sheep, and goats.”  p 431

The Message of the Book

“While Amos saw the guilt of the nations as arising primarily from their deeds in time of war (1:3-2:3), he regarded Israel as guilty of covenant violations against justice.  Israel’s breaches were immeasurably more serious, however, since she was the nation with whom above all others God was intimate (3:2). . . Amos’s message was to be the last beacon of hope for Israel as he admonished them to repent; otherwise God’s judgment would surely come.”  p 432-33

The Theology of the Book

“Amos’s cry for justice arose from his recognition of the very nature of God and His relationship to the world.  Yahweh is the God of all nations, He has had a hand in all their destinies, and He holds them all equally responsible for their sins (chaps. 1-2).  He measures the nations with righteousness and morality.  He is free to elevate one or depose another (chaps. 1-2; 6:14).  He is free to go everywhere He chooses (9:2), and He is sovereign over all natural phenomena, bringing privation (4:6-10) or blessing (9:13).” pp 436-37

The New Testament and the Book

“In his survey of Israel’s history Stephen quoted Amos 5:25-27 in reference to the idolatry of the Israelites during the wilderness period (Acts 7:41-43).  At the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 James cited Amos 9:11-12. . . to demonstrate that Gentiles also are to be accepted as part of the new people of God (Acts 15:13-18).”  p 437