When the people of Bethel ignored God’s call, Amos warned them to prepare for a dreadful time of much wailing, death, and God’s silence. Alistair Begg teaches us that God’s judgment will fall on those who place profit before compassion, worship, honesty, and other people. When God withdraws His blessings, man is helpless to retrieve them, so we must heed God’s warnings while there is opportunity.
1This is what the Lord God showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. 2And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lord said to me,
“The end1 has come upon my people Israel;
I will never again pass by them.
declares the Lord God.
“So many dead bodies!”
“They are thrown everywhere!”
4Hear this, you who trample on the needy
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
5saying, “When will the new moon be over,
that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel4 great
and deal deceitfully with false balances,
6that we may buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals
and sell the chaff of the wheat?”
7The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
“Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
8Shall not the land tremble on this account,
and everyone mourn who dwells in it,
and all of it rise like the Nile,
and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?”
9“And on that day,” declares the Lord God,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10I will turn your feasts into mourning
and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every waist
and baldness on every head;
I will make it like the mourning for an only son
and the end of it like a bitter day.
11“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
“when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord.
12They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord,
but they shall not find it.
13“In that day the lovely virgins and the young men
shall faint for thirst.
14Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria,
and say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’
and, ‘As the Way of Beersheba lives,’
they shall fall, and never rise again.”
Amos was not a learned man, but a shepherd from a small town. He was not an innovator; he simply reminded people of facts they already knew. The only remarkable thing about Amos was how unremarkable he was. It was a time of prosperity, corruption, and compromise. God’s people played at religion and toyed with sin. God used Amos to remind His people that religious profession was meaningless unless accompanied by obedience, holiness, and wholehearted worship. He warned them that while God was merciful, He was running out of patience.
In this series, Alistair Begg explains why the prophetic words of Amos remain relevant to today’s Church, which often focuses on religious experiences while denying the truths of biblical doctrine and reduces biblical imperatives to personal options. Like Amos, Alistair urges us to align our worship and lifestyles with the truth of Scripture and renew our relationship with God today, knowing that His judgment is imminent.
|Amos, An Introduction||Amos 1:1|
|This is What the Lord Says, Part One||Amos 1:3-16|
|This is What the Lord Says, Part Two||Amos 2:4-16|
|The Lion Has Roared||Amos 3:1-8|
|Divine Alienation||Amos 3:9-15|
|The Point of No Return||Amos 4:1-13|
|A Funeral Song||Amos 5:1-17|
|The Day of the Lord||Amos 5:18-27|
|The Curse of Complacency||Amos 6:1-14|
|The Sovereign Lord||Amos 7:1-9|
|The Making of a Man of God||Amos 7:10-17|
|Dark Days and Shaved Heads||Amos 8:1-14|
|The Dawn of a New Day||Amos 9:1-15|