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Bible Pathway - Sept. 22, 2011


Read Amos 1


God uses Amos, a lowly herdsman, who is burdened over the sins of the Northern Kingdom (Amos 1:1-2). First a prophecy against their neighbors (1:3 — 2:3), then against Judah and Israel (2:4-16). Why (3:2,10)? An enemy is coming (3:11). The people talk the talk but don't walk the walk. God wants a river of righteous living (5:23-24).

It seems strange for a shepherd from the hills of Judah to go into the affluent society of the ten-tribed Northern Kingdom and pronounce judgment on their sins. The Prophet Amos was only a shepherd, but he denounced Israel's idolatry and foretold the soon destruction of the prosperous Northern Kingdom.

The prophecy of Amos seems to have been proclaimed in the gate (Amos 5:10) at Bethel, one of the religious centers of Israel, about 30 years before the Israelites were defeated by the Assyrians. The gate was a city's entrance and center of business where the elders judged the people (Jer. 17:19; 19:2). It was at this well-known center that the Lord spoke through Amos to tell Israel how deceived they were and to appeal to them to Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live (Amos 5:14).

Amaziah, the paid non-Levitical priest of King Jeroboam II, was quick to get word to the king about this disagreeable prophet from the Southern Kingdom. He interpreted the words of Amos to mean that Jeroboam would die by the sword. The prophet had only stated what God had said: I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword (7:9). But Amos' message from God was unwelcome. Just as a faithful Christian is often a target of criticism as he speaks out against sin, Amaziah said unto Amos . . . go, flee . . . into the land of Judah (7:12).

God often uses ordinary people like Amos to proclaim His message. It is not what we possess, but how obedient we are that qualifies us to be used by the Lord. The call from God came: to Elisha as he was plowing; to David in the sheepfold; to Matthew the despised tax collector as he sat at the receipt of custom (Matt. 9:9); to Peter at his fishing nets. These were messengers of our Lord, all ordinary people who were mightily used by Him.

Our Lord, while here on earth, continually used the expression: The Father hath sent Me (John 5:30,36-37; 6:44,57; 8:16, 18; 12:49; 14:24). Just as the Father sent His Son to make known His love and salvation to sinners, so He sends forth His disciples (17:18). Jesus said: As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you (John 20:21).

Thought for Today:

Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world . . . base things . . . which are despised . . . That no flesh should glory in His presence (I Cor. 1:26-29).

Christ Revealed:

As the fiery (Amos 1:4,7,10,12,14; 2:2,5; 5:6) judge (chap. 1 — 5). Jesus . . . was ordained of God to be the Judge (Acts 10:38-42; also II Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:18-23). His eyes were as a flame of fire (Rev. 1:14; also 2:18).

Word Studies:

2:13 pressed burdened; 3:5 gin trap; 3:14 visit with punishment; 4:1 kine of Bashan were the fat cows, raised in the best pasturelands; but here, it is used figuratively in referring to self-gratifying, sensual, influential women who encourage their husbands to do wrong; masters husbands; 4:3 breaches breaks in the city wall; cast them into the palace cast them into the mire (dunghill); 4:9 blasting blight; 5:21 smell be pleased, take delight; 5:23 viols harps.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Staff: Micheal Moore • Government Officials: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA) and Rep. Dan Lungren (CA) • Country: Albania (3.1 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Albanian and Greek • Newly opened to evangelism • 41.5% Christian; 39% Muslim; 18.5% non-Religious/Other; .2% Baha'i; .01% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Your prayer should always be to please the Lord (Ps. 73:25).

Memory Verse for the Week:

John 1:12

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