Christianity 201

September 23, 2016

Adventures in Amos

There wasn’t really a title provided for today other than Amos 1 to Amos 5.  Last year at this time we published a sample devotional from the Southern Baptist Convention. The depth of study is at the level C201 readers should expect. As we did last year, we’ll let you see it as it goes out; a devotional thought, some word study, the Christological connection, prayer requests for an SBC worker and a specific nation, and memory passage from the KJV. We don’t have a link for this; to read today’s devotional go to sbc.net/devotions. At the bottom is a link to SBC’s devotional content provider, but you need a password in order to see their material.

Amos 1 to Amos 5

Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph (Amos 5:13-15).

It seems strange for a shepherd from the hills of Judah to be sent into the affluent society of the ten‑tribed Northern Kingdom for the purpose of pronouncing judgment on it, yet that is exactly what God did. The Prophet Amos was only a shepherd, but he was sent to denounce Israel’s idolatry and foretell the destruction of this prosperous, powerful Northern Kingdom. The prophecy of Amos seems to have been proclaimed in the gate (5:10) at Bethel, one of the religious centers of Israel, about 30 years before they were defeated by the Assyrians. The gate was a city’s entrance and center of business where the elders judged the people (compare Jer. 17:19; Deut. 21:18-21). It was there that the Lord spoke through Amos to tell Israel how deceived they were and to appeal to them to seek good, and not evil, that ye may live. Amaziah, the paid priest of King Jeroboam II, was quick to get word to the king about this disagreeable prophet from the Southern Kingdom. The prophet had brought this message from God: And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword (Amos 7:9). Amaziah interpreted his words as a threat upon the life of Jeroboam, and was afraid. Just as a faithful Christian is often a target of criticism as he speaks out against sin, so Amos was rejected. Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court (7:12-13).

In the hierarchy of Israelite society, Amos was little higher than the servants. It would not have surprised anyone if, at the first challenge from his “superiors,” he had quietly crept away. However, Amos had been called and empowered by the Lord. Because of this, he had been given the strength to stand firm in the face of any earthly adversity. God often uses ordinary people like Amos to proclaim His message. The call from God came to Elisha as he was plowing, to David in the sheepfold, to Matthew the despised tax collector as he sat at the receipt of custom (Matt. 9:9), and to Peter at his fishing nets. They were selected as messengers of our Lord, not because of their social standing or the talents they possessed, but because of the obedience and willingness to follow that the Lord saw in their hearts.

Our Lord, while here on earth, continually used the expression: The Father hath sent Me (John 5:30,36-37; 6:44,57; 8:16, 18; 12:49; 14:24). Just as the Father sent His Son to make known His love and salvation to sinners, so too did Jesus send forth His disciples (17:18). Today, Jesus has called each and every one of us to go forth with the spiritual strength of Amos and minister to a world that has lost its way.

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you (John 20:21).

Thought for Today:

The LORD is far from the wicked: but He heareth the prayer of the righteous (Prov. 15:29).

Christ Revealed:

As the fiery (Amos 1:4,7,10,12,14; 2:2,5; 5:6) judge (chap. 1 ‑ 5). Jesus . . . was ordained of God to be the Judge (Acts 10:38-42; also II Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:18-23). His eyes were as a flame of fire (Rev. 1:14; also 2:18).

Word Studies:

2:13 pressed = burdened; 3:5 gin = trap; 3:14 visit = with punishment; 4:1 kine of Bashan were the fat cows, raised in the best pasturelands; but here, it is used figuratively in referring to self-gratifying, sensual, influential women who encourage their husbands to do wrong; masters = husbands; 4:3 breaches = breaks in the city wall; cast them into the palace = cast them into the mire (dunghill); 4:9 blasting = blight; 5:21 smell = be pleased, take delight; 5:23 viols = harps.

Prayer Needs:

Pray For Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. Will Enyart, Jr. (IL), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA) • Country: Cayman Islands (54,914) Caribbean • Major Language: English • Religious Freedom • 67.8% Protestant; 14.1% Roman Catholic; 1.1% Jehovah’s Witness; 7% Other; 9.3% None; 0.7% Unspecified • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for forgiveness for particular sins (Ps. 51:1-9).

Memory Verse:

John 15:1-5
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Devotion courtesy Bible Pathway Ministries

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