AMOS 1:1


The Bible says in Amos 1:1-5, “The words of Amos, who was among the herdman of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.[2] And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.[3] Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:[4] But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Ben-hadad.[5] I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD.” God calls people from all walks of life. Amos was a herdman of Takoa. Amos did not go to a seminary and he did not have a degree. Amos had something much more important: he had a calling from God. That is what preaching the gospel of Christ is all about: giving out the Word of God in the unique way that you alone can do because of the unique background that God put you in.


The first words that Amos pronounced in verse two were: “The LORD will roar from Zion.” In other words judgment is coming. The Lord may not be roaring right now, but He will roar. If you want to know one of the most important future events that will take place on this earth, this is it: the coming Judgment. This is the message of all the prophets. This is the message of John the Baptist and of Jesus Himself. This is the message of the apostles of Christ. And this should be an important part of the message of every preacher and teacher of God’s Word. It will not always be like it is today with the sun shining and with peace on earth. One important question to ask is, “Why is the judgment coming?” The answer to that is given very clearly by Amos: because of the sins being committed all over the earth. Amos said in the first judgment that he pronounced in Amos 1:3, “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof.” We see in these pronouncements by Amos that the nations surrounding Israel will be judged, and Israel will also be judged. This symbolizes the fact that the whole earth will be judged in the last great future judgment. It says in Romans 3:23, “For al have sinned and come short of the glory of God


Another important question to ask is this: if a future universal judgment is coming against the whole earth, is there any way to avoid that judgment? The glorious answer to that question is definitely, “Yes.” Because of the good news in Jesus Christ, each person can turn from his sins and turn to Jesus and find forgiveness and salvation. God provided this salvation by faith because He loves the world just as it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life


One thing to notice about these judgments on the nations that surrounded Israel is that they were judged for what they did against Israel. God used these nations to punish Israel, but God did not want the nations to use so much hatred and violence against Israel. Why was the judgment coming against Damascus? It says in Amos 1:2, “because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron.” This shows both the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. God uses everything to accomplish His purposes: even the bad deeds of bad people. Everything and everyone belongs to God and has a purpose. Everything and everyone will in some way bring glory to the name of Christ, either by repenting and bowing before Jesus as Savior, or by not repenting and bowing before Jesus when the Judgment comes. God has definitely given man free will and the freedom to choose, but beware how you use your freedoms. It was not because “they have threshed Gilead,” but because they did it “with threshing instruments of iron.” In other words they used more aggression and more harshness than was called for. Israel was still His chosen nation, even though this was a time of chastisement for them. The same theme will be seen in the last days. God will come to judge the whole earth, but He will be especially angry with those who hate and attack His chosen people.   


The Bible says in Amos 1:6-8, “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:[7] But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:[8] And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.” Notice carefully the one condemnation that was given to Gaza and the other Philistines. It says in verse 7 “because they carried away captive the whole captivity.” God used these people to carry away the Israelites as captives, but the people of Gaza overdid it. Among other things this is a warning against extremes. Human beings tend to go overboard when they go after something. That is one of the reasons for addiction. It says in First Corinthians 9:25, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.” Of course, in Amos chapter one we are talking about sinful and violent actions: one group of people taking another group of people captive. It is a matter of degrees. It is better to sin less than to sin more. If we are going to be judges for every single things that we do and that we say, the more that we can avoid sin, the better off we will be We may not be able to stop sinning altogether, but we can at least reduce the amount of sinning that we do. We may not be able to become perfect, but we can become better. Which is worse to tell one lie or to tell a thousand lies? Both individuals are liars, but it should be obvious that the one who sins more will suffer more bad consequences than the one who sins less. Sufferings in hell will be all about this difference in the degree and amount of sinning that sinners have done. Of course, Adolf Hitler will get a much greater punishment in hell than your average law-abiding atheist. Both will be in hell, but one will suffer much more than the other.   


The Bible says in Amos 1:9-12, “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:[10] But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.[11] Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:[12] But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.” In the judgment on the city of Tyre as well as mentioning how they also had performed in carrying out the captivity of Israel, a sin is mentioned that is described by saying they “remembered not the brotherly covenant.” What brotherly covenant is God talking about? This verse is probably using the word “brother” in a very general and universal sense. The same usage of the word can be seen in Malachi 2:10, “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?” The idea is this: every human being has the same God: the one true God who is over all. We are all member of the human race. We are also all equally descendents of Adam and Eve. So, we are brothers and sisters together on this planet. Evidently, these truths result in a natural law: a covenant of you will wherein we have obligations to each other. There is a right way that human beings ought to treat each other, and this right way is likened to members of the same family: to brothers. This truth crosses all racial and ethnic boundaries. Jesus was referring to this brotherly covenant when He gave the parable of the Good Samaritan. (Note: a Samaritan was looked down upon by Jews.) Jesus said in Luke 10:29-37, “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?[30] And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.[31] And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.[32] And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.[33] But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,[34] And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.[35] And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.[36] Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?[37] And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” It says in Romans 13:8, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” Jesus also emphasized the “brotherly covenant” when He gave what we call the golden rule in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets


Edom carried the sin of breaking the “brotherly covenant” one step further. It says in Amos 1:11 that “he did pursue his brother with the sword.” He used violence against his brother. God considers Jews to be brothers of Arabs, whites to be brothers of blacks, and every race to be brothers one of another. Once you depart from that truth, you leave the door open to enter into prejudice and worse. How did we get to the place where there is such terrible violence in the world today? We got here because too many people have broken the brotherly covenant, and then they descended to hatred and then violence. There were two reasons that the Edomites became so violent: they were not merciful, and they became too angry for too long. What is the importance of mercy in relation to the brotherly covenant? For one thing, when a person looks down on others, that person honestly thinks that he or she is right and that the others are not only wrong, but that have done wrong. They think the others actually deserve to be punished. But even if they were correct about that, if they were merciful, they would avoid violence.


Anger often leads to violence. Jesus linked anger to murder as far as the sinfulness of anger is concerned. Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-22, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:[22] But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Notice that Jesus says, “whosoever is angry with his brother.” Maybe you would not be so angry if you realized that the other person was your brother. One of the sins of the Edomites is that they never learned to get over t6heir anger. They kept their anger going. It says in Amos 1:11, “and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever.” Yes, people get angry. But you had better learn to put your anger aside or it can cause you to do terrible things. It says to followers of Christ in Ephesians 4:26, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” By nature we are people of wrath. That is why we are warned about it in the scriptures. It is also another reason that we need Jesus as Savior.



Copyright; 2014 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved