Amos 6:1-14 – Impending Doom

Read Amos 6:1-14

stormy sky

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a sense of “dread,” like there is some impending doom about to strike? That’s happened to me before, and it is totally unsettling. I often wonder where those thoughts come from. Perhaps I dreamt something horrific that I thankfully can’t remember. Whatever it is, this reading took me back to one of those moments.

How do you deal with impending doom? As a child growing up in the Midwest, I used to hate those news alerts during the summertime warning of a tornado in the area. Even more scary was hearing the sirens, grabbing the cats, and running for shelter in the basement. If you haven’t lived in tornado alley during the late spring into summer, it might be other weather warnings or fire drills at school bringing you fear.

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Amos 5:16-27 – Warning, Warning!

Read Amos 5:16-27

warning sign

Our reading starts with “Therefore.” We know the use of that word connects our last reading to what comes next. It’s time to heed the warnings. Now we understand why there is such a focus repenting. That’s the response God expects from us as well as the Israelites.

How many times has something bad happened to you that was totally unexpected? Most of the time we have no way of knowing something bad is about to happen, or we would have changed course. Right? Not necessarily. After all, look at the behavior of the Israelites! They were given warnings by Amos and others that continuing their same behavior was going to lead to destruction. Because such warnings were preserved in God’s word, we can learn from the Israelites’ mistakes as well as heed the warnings they were given applied to our own lives.

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Amos 5:1-15 – Simply Repent

Read Amos 5:1-15

man and woman kneeling before a cross with a sun set behind them

I love how Bernhard Anderson’s commentary on Amos states, “Christians should need no special urging to turn to the prophets of ancient Israel.” Don’t we see how Jesus’ own back story is being written in what is happening now to his ancestors. The traditions of Jesus’ day were strongly influenced by what we see happening to Amos and the people surrounding him. Yet, the wisdom being given to Amos from God could just as well be speaking to us. Do you see it, too?

As if they were already dead, in this reading Amos is singing a funeral song to the Israelites who were listening. Can you imagine the lament and feeling of despair the messenger, Amos, was feeling at having to deliver such a message to his people? But he was giving them a way out, a gift that will be left unaccepted.

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Amos 4:1-13 – Didn’t They See God

Read Amos 4:1-13

Close-up of a blue eye with reflection of Jesus on the pupil

What more did God need to do to get their attention? I don’t think we should be pointing any fingers. What sorts of ways does God use now to capture our awareness of his presence?

The examples we see here don’t elicit pleasant experiences at all. God seems to be hoping that when his people feel weak and defeated, they will turn to him for help. God was taking credit for in his proclamation from Amos.

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Amos 3:3-15 – Who is Guilty?

Read Amos 3:3-15

wooden judge's gavel

God found Israel so guilty of sinning he said, “My people have forgotten how to do right.” Do you ever look around at your fellow humans and think the same thing? There is certainly a lot happening in our day that is contrary to God’s will and intention for us.

We are all guilty. We are all sinners. Many will be in denial and try to condone their behavior. The Israelites were very good at doing that as we can see. God is calling them out, but are we not guilty, too, of listening to the world and following popular thought? Is even being tolerant of behavior we know to be sinful a sin?

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