READING: Amos 1:1-6:14
At least at the beginning of his words, the people of Israel surely didn’t mind the prophecy of the herdsman, Amos. After all, they were living in luxury and style. Prosperity and religiosity characterized their lives. Now, too, the prophet from the south was announcing judgment on Israel’s enemies. The words must have sounded good in Israelite ears.
Beginning with the opening words, “the Lord says,” Amos proclaimed judgment on the enemies. God’s wrath would fall on the people of Damascus. So, too, on Gaza. And Tyre. And Edom. And Ammon. And Moab. Even Judah, the kingdom to the south of Israel, would be under His thumb. From Syria to Judah, God would make His name known in judgment. As the Israelites listened, one writer says, “Perhaps an escalating round of amens accompanied the crisscross pattern of the prophet’s message.”*
But, then God turned his sights on Israel. When Amos continued to say, “The Lord says, ‘I will not relent from punishing Israel,’” surely the words surprised and stung his hearers. They, too, would answer to God. This is a wise word for all of us to hear today: while it’s easier to think about—perhaps even to look forward to—God’s judging those opposed to Him and His work, we must not forget that we, His people, will also answer to Him.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: What might God point out in your life today that displeases Him?
DAILY PRAYER: “God, even as I want You to bring justice, remind me that You are my judge, too.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Amos 7:1-9:15, 2 Kings 14:28-29, 2 Kings 15:6-29, 2 Chronicles 26:22-23, Isaiah 6:1-13
* Smith, B. K., & Page, F. S. (1995). Amos, Obadiah, Jonah (Vol. 19B, p. 45). Broadman & Holman Publishers.