Amos 9:1-10 – All Escape Routes Closed

Read Amos 9:1-10

road closed sign in snow drift

We have the fifth and final vision Amos records for us. This one is special because of God’s presence seen by Amos at the altar. There are very few people who have seen God, so Amos is immediately set apart as belonging to a special class of God’s ambassadors. We can also be ambassadors for God in our own circles and beyond. What does that look like for you?

In this intimate encounter, God confirms all of the messages he has already given Amos. This vision is thought to be one Amos received at a time later than the other visions. Take a moment to just let these words settle. “Then I saw a vision of the Lord standing beside the altar.” Seeing God is an honor I can only imagine having. How will it feel?

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Amos 7:10-17 – Watch Out, Amos!

Read Amos 7:10-17

Exclamation point inside a red triangle

We get our first glimpse of potential danger for Amos when a priest from Bethel gets word of Amos’ declarations from God. This priest, Amaziah, is not at all welcoming and begins to stir things up for Amos. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger.” That’s a little of what Amos may be facing, yet we don’t see any threats of physical harm.

Amaziah wants Amos to go back and be a prophet in his own land. Amos stands his ground and said, “the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’” Amos was being obedient to God. I’m sure there were plenty of times when Amos wondered why he had been chosen to speak to Israel when he was from Judah. He didn’t question God. Can you think of a time when you questioned God’s movement in your life?

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Amos 7:1-9 – Visions from God

Read Amos 7:1-9

one hand holding a model of earth reaching toward an empty hand with the universe sky displayed in the background

Have you ever had a vision from God? I’ve had friends describe in detail dreams they have had, confident the message is from God. Personally, I remember the night when I heard a voice in my head plainly say, “you’re going to write for me!” I knew it was God. I was already blogging every day, but God seemed to want more. It wasn’t long after that we published the first volume in the Devotions on the Go! series.

When God uses you, it feels so good. It’s like you forget who you are for a bit and remember “whose” you are. Such an honor; the greatest honor! What do you think Amos was feeling when he had these visions from God?

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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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