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The Book of Amos
Chapter 7 starts the third division of the Book: #1. Judgment on the nations; #2. Judgment on Judah and Israel; #3. a series of five visions of judgment, ending with ultimate blessing. The first four visions have nearly the same introductory method. (See 7:1; 4, 7, 8:1).
Some say that these visions are symbolic of the 3 invasions of the Assyrians under Pul, Tiglath-pileser and Shalmaneser. But the form of the visions and the context seem to me that the visions represent actual occurrences in the corporate life of Israel. The judgments pictured in the first 2 visions are better considered as taking place in the time in which Amos was prophesying.
Amos 7:1 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings. (KJV)
This is probably not the same plague as in chapter 4. Plagues of locusts (grasshoppers) were common in Palestine. There were two crops that could be harvested from the land in that day, and the first crop went to the king as taxes. The people paid a lot more than one-tenth as a tithe. It is estimated that they paid out about three-tenths of what they took from the land. In this case, after the king had gotten his crop, a plague of grasshoppers or locusts came in and took their share so that there was nothing left for the people who had really done the work. This judgment should have awakened them.
Amos 7:2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. (KJV)
It sounds as if the locusts were an invading army, like in the Book of Joel (Joel 1:4-7; 2:2-9,25). When the locusts had eaten all the grass, Amos went to God in prayer. Only prayer could divert the disaster, and Amos asks God to forgive the people. If Thou, O God, dost not spare, how can Jacob stand, reduced as he is by repeated attacks of the Assyrians. See Isaiah 51:19 and Psalm 106:45 for intercessory prayer. The mention of "Jacob" is a plea that God would "remember for them His covenant" with their forefather, the patriarch.
Amos 7:3 The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord. (KJV)
Prayer had made it possible for God to spare Israel in this particular case. He got rid of the grasshoppers, and He gave them a good crop. You would think that because of His tender mercy the people would return to God, but they did not.
How could God repent? (Num.23:19; James 1:17). God always works in accordance with His infinite holiness and righteousness. It was only in answer to trusting prayer that God removed the plague. Only eternity will reveal just how much in the plan of God has been wrought through consistent and persistent prayer for the salvation of souls.
VISION OF FIRE
Amos 7:4 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part. (KJV)
Many commentators believe the fire here was actually a drought. It was so severe that it is represented as devouring the great deep, a designation for the ocean which feeds the Earth with springs of water (Gen.7:11; 49:25; Isa.51:10). If this was actually a literal fire, it was horrible. This grievous plague again puts Amos on his knees in
prayer for the people.
Amos 7:5-6 Then said I, O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.  The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord God. (KJV)
Amos again begs the Lord to stop the miserable condition of Israel. The Lord, who loves to be called upon by His own for His own, heard Amos and removed the plague. Again, when it says that God “repented,” it is only in answer to trusting prayer that God will move and because of His tenderheartedness, would not go through with it.
Amos would show that the Lord was not bent on Israel’s destruction. He wanted only for her to turn from her evil ways by the judgments that He sent. Rejecting Christ, thus being lost eternally, is turning away from a God who is tenderhearted, gracious and loving. God loves you, and to sin against that love is an awful, dreadful, and terrible thing.
VISION OF PLUMBLINE
Amos 7:7-8 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.  And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: (KJV)
In Scriptures, the plumbline was used not only in building, but in judgment and destruction as well. (2 Kings 21:13; Isa.28:17; 34:11; Lam.2:8). The plumbline is used in other places in the Word of God. (Jer.31:38–39; Zech. 2:1–2: Dan. 5:27). Every time that you have a vision of the plumbline in Scripture, it means that God is getting ready to judge. When God begins to measure either in length or in weight, you can be sure that the people have not measured up to God’s requirements, and judgment is coming. Amos does not intercede for the people again, realizing that God’s judgment is just.
Amos 7:9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword. (KJV)
This judgment consists of: the places of idol worship will be destroyed; sanctuaries will be destroyed, God would rise against Jeroboam with the sword which was fulfilled in the assassination of his son (2 Kings 15:8-10). God’s judgments are certain!
FALSE PRIEST VS GOD’S PROPHET
Any straightforward proclamation of God’s will and His ways is always displeasing and hated by the ungodly.
It was true in Amos’ time, and true today. The Word of God did not go unchallenged. Amaziah was the high priest at the sanctuary of the golden calf in Bethel (2 Kings 10:29; 2 Chron. 13:8; 1 Kings 12:29).
He claimed: #1 that Amos had conspired against the king; #2 that the conspiracy was being committed in the midst of Israel, at the center of the kingdom at Bethel; #3 that the land could not stand up under the prophesying of Amos.
Amos 7:10-11 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.  For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. (KJV)
If you read verse 9 carefully, you will see that the ungodly Amaziah is lying. Amaziah brings baseless charges of treason and starting an uprising against the king. He was a hired preacher; he said what the king wanted him to say. He probably was very cultured and used very flowery language. I’m sure he was a good backslapper; and he could entertain. He had charisma, and he was very attractive in many ways, like so many so-called evangelists today, all smiles and saying what the people wanted to hear! (2 Tim.4:3-4). Amaziah deliberately lied to the king about Amos. Amos did not say that Jeroboam would perish with the sword (and Jeroboam did not). Amos said, “And I [God] will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword,” meaning warfare would come, and it did come. Israel was finally taken into captivity to Assyria. There is no mention of any action of the king against Amos.
Amos 7:12-13 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:  But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court. (KJV)
Amaziah now speaks to Amos in a very insulting manner. Amaziah called Amos a country bumpkin or hillbilly, and insinuated that he was not fit to speak in the king’s chapel. And he also said, “We want soft words spoken here. We don’t want anyone to be offended.” (Isa.30:9-10). He called Amos a “seer” and told him to go home where he belonged. He insinuated that the only reason Amos was prophesying was to make a dollar (a living). THAT was NOT so!
Amos was completely capable of filling the pulpit; in fact, he was a great preacher of God. The people knew when they listened to him that they were getting the Word of God. To have a pastor bring the Word of God . . . the Truth, is very important today, but these godly men are disappearing at a rapid rate. BEWARE!!! Check out the church very carefully. If they don’t preach Christ and Him crucified and raised from the dead . . . run fast in the opposite direction!
Amos 7:14-15 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:  And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. (KJV)
Amos answered in such a proper manner that it was evident that he was a cool, calm and collected man. Amos said: “I never went to your seminaries. I’m not even a prophet’s son. I was just a herdsman, a gatherer of sycamore fruits, and the Lord took me, and the Lord TOLD me to prophesy. I’m here because the Lord told me to come here.”
When God calls a person to His service, He equips that person completely! Believe me. I can vouch for that. When God called me to teach His Word, I was a newborn babe in Christ. I was terrified. I was ‘teaching’ retired people who were brought up on the Bible. I came from a completely heathen family. No Bible, no prayer, no church. Then when He started giving me poetry, I honestly thought I was losing it! But He always knows what He is doing. I’ve been His servant many, many years now, NOT by my power or wisdom . . . but by HIS power!
Amos 7:16-17 Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.  Therefore thus saith the Lord; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land. (KJV)
Amos now has a personal prophecy for Amaziah, and this is strong medicine for him. I had a person say to me, “Your article on the web site is pretty blunt.” When this person said this, I went and immediately looked at the article to which she was referring. I have NOT changed one thing! It stays as it is. I mean what I said. I carry no bias or hatred in my heart against any of those that I mention in any my articles. What I try to do is to say what the Word of God says. As a Christian, should I be sweet and nice and not to speak harshly? I can only think of Jesus. He was very blunt and called people some harsh names (Mat.23:13-33).
Amos points out that a true prophet does not care what anyone says . . . only what God says!
Instead of Amaziah’s speech against Amos stopping the mouth of the prophet, it just made judgment come closer. This prophecy names Amaziah personally. His wife would be raped, his children slain, his land gone and he would die in an unclean land. Pretty harsh stuff! It is a fearful thing for a person to set one’s self against the Truth of God.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord” . . . Amos says that he has a word from God to Amaziah. This is a very disturbing prophecy, and it’s a very strong prophecy, but the thing is that it was a true prophecy. When Assyria came down, they did make the women harlots. The sons and daughters were destroyed, and those who were not destroyed were taken into captivity. And Amaziah, this priest of the golden calf, was taken into Assyrian captivity where he died.
If we as teachers and ministers fail to give out the Word of God, there is no reason for us to point our fingers at the politicians in Washington and accuse them of failing our country and jeopardizing our nation. If you are not giving out the Word of God, there is no other traitor in this land today as guilty as you are. If you are called to be a teacher or a minister, you are called to be a teacher or minister of the Word of God. DO IT! If you are not giving that Word out, you are a traitor to the cause of Christ today. Those are strong words, I know, just as Amos’ words to Amaziah were strong.
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