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Bible Pathways - September 22, 2005

September 22


Read Amos 1

In Today's Reading:

Judgments pronounced on Judah, Israel, and surrounding nations; Jehovah's (Yahweh's) sorrow over Israel's future captivity

Amos was only a farm laborer from the village of Tekoa in Judah, but he was willing to speak for God against sin even beyond the borders of the southern kingdom. He delivered his prophecy of impending judgment in Bethel, the site of one of Israel's two false worship centers and one of several residences of King Jeroboam II in the northern kingdom. This took place at a time when the northern kingdom was prospering financially and expanding its boundaries.

Since the people of Israel were proud of their prosperity, it must have seemed ridiculous to hear this outsider shout: Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel . . . You only have I known of all the families of the earth . . . I will punish you for all your iniquities (sins). . . . An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled (plundered) (Amos 3:1-2,11). Because of their sins, destruction was inevitable; but Amos' message concerning the coming judgment of God was scorned (2:6-8; 5:11-12).

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 inaccurately interpreted the words of Amos to mean that Jeroboam would die by the sword; but the prophet had only stated what God had said: I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword. . . . Amaziah said unto Amos . . . go, flee . . . into the land of Judah (7:9-12).

The prophecy against the house of Jeroboam was fulfilled when Zachariah, Jeroboam's son, was assassinated by Shallum after reigning only six months. Shallum took his place, but he only reigned for one month before he, in turn, was murdered by Menahem (II Kings 15:8-10,13-14).

God often uses ordinary people like Amos to proclaim His message. It is not the talents we possess, nor how popular we may be, but how obedient we are that qualifies us to be used by the Lord.

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 Corinthians 1:26-29).

Christ Revealed:

As the Creator of the universe (Amos 5:8). By His Son . . . He made the worlds (Hebrews 1:2-3; also Revelation 4:11).

Word Studies:

2:13 pressed = burdened; 3:5 gin = trap; 3:14 visit = punish; 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; masters = husbands; 4:3 breaches = breaks in the city wall; 4:9 blasting = blight; 5:21 smell = be pleased, take delight; 5:23 viols = harps.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mr. Ken Mars · Staff: Bernice Rathbone · Government Officials: Rep. Bob Beauprez (CO), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA), Rep. Dan Lungren (CA), and Rep. John Tanner (TN) · Country: Pakistan (138 million) in southern Asia · Major languages: Urdu and English · There is no freedom to convert Muslims to Christ. Pakistan is an Islamic republic · 97% Muslim; 2% Christian; 1% Hindu · Prayer Suggestion: Sing praises to the Lord (Exodus 15:1-19).

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:13

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