Amos 8:1-14 – What Happens to Ripe Fruit?

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basket of fruit

What ripe fruit did you picture in the basket Amos saw? I pictured mangos. Our neighbor has as a gigantic mango tree, and there is no way anyone can get to the fruit near the top (without a crane). Eventually, the ground is covered with those forgotten ripe fruit. We’re in the season now where you have to watch where you walk in their yard, it’s like a mine field of fallen fruit.

What I loved about Amos’ vision is that he and God had a conversation about it. God wanted to make sure Amos understood the significance he was meant to take away. Even though the vision was telling of a very unpleasant outcome, the mere fact that Amos communicated with God must have been an exquisite experience. Can you just imagine what that would be like?

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Amos 3:3-15 – Who is Guilty?

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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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Amos 2:1-8 – A Wake-Up Call

Read Amos 2:1-8

alarm clock and coffee cup

For the Israelites hearing Amos’ words, was this the wake-up call that would finally work in bringing repentance? Amos saved the “best” for last. What were the Israelites thinking when they heard judgment against themselves? They had likely been thinking all this talk of judgment was only to the surrounding nations. But Israel and Judah were not immune to God’s raging anger.

In case you’d like to connect some dots like I did and realize who all the players are in this prophecy God gave Amos, let’s dig in a little bit. Some of these nations have ancestral connections to the Israelites. Edom and Israel are both descendants from Isaac: Edom from Esau, and Israel from his twin, Jacob. The Ammonites had descended from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his younger daughter. And finally, from this reading, the Moabites descended from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his older daughter. Lot was the nephew of Abraham.

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Amos 1:1-15 – The Lord Speaks

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a fiery heart

Amos was just a layperson like me, not a paid professional like a pastor who preaches as their vocation. Amos devoted his life to serving the Lord. You could find him herding his sheep and tending to the sycamore-fig trees in the Judean countryside. He came from a humble family, but God saw his heart. God told him to take his message to the northern kingdom of Israel, but the message continues to bring wisdom to all generations.

If you’ve been following my devotional blog, it wasn’t long ago that we walked together through the books of 1 and 2 Kings. You’ll find reflections on what was happening in the lives of these kings as well as God’s people. I love how we have nearly a snapshot in time of when Amos first heard from God between knowing about the earthquake and the kings in power at the time. As we read through the Book of Amos, imagine what it would have been like to bring such messages to the people.

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1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – Get Right With God

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Psalm 9:10 - put your trust in God

Did you see yourself in that list of sinners? I’m sure the list is a lot longer than that! We can all think of sins we’ve committed. We can all remember seeing important people in our lives falling prey to obvious sin. Paul’s words can be startling. “[N]one of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.” But hold on, all is not lost!

Paul assures his readers that we don’t have to stay stuck in our sins. There is a way out. Jesus was sent on a rescue mission to capture our hearts and draw us closer to God. Being “right with God” is what Paul says is what we need to do. “[Y]ou were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

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