Amos Ė Cost of Transgression

Amos is the third one of the Minor Prophets of the Bible. He brings more warnings to the people as well as the surrounding countries. Amos preaches this during the same time that Hosea is around, who also received a word from the LORD to give to the people. I know most people today would rather hear good news or things that they can agree with, but those things donít help us keep on the right path. Without being warned how can we make needed changes when we stray? So far through the last two Prophets their warning can be used for us today and in their warning are found hope and what is needed to avoid, prevent or decrease the punishment that follows rebelliousness.

So, is there anything that can be learned from the Minor Prophets of old? They are not in the Bible to take up space or to just show us things that have occurred in the past, but to give us perspective of what nations need to avoid doing and to stay within in Godís grace. In Amos chapters 1 and 2 many nations are being judged for things that they have done. The key is found in chapter 1 verses 3, 6, 9, 11, 13 and chapter 2 verses 1, 4, and 6. God keeps mentioning the transgressions of those nations and will not turn away the punishment because of those transgressions. We must not forget that God is slow to anger (Psalms 103:8; 145:8) and even Joel spoke of it in chapter 2:13. He didnít punish those nations after their first offense. No, He waited till the fourth time before punishing them for their transgressions. Some may think that even four isnít that many, but are they taking in consideration that this is speaking of a whole nation of people and not just individuals. In these cases God has been patient with the people and the nation and it seems that the nations refuses to correct their path and instead of watching the whole of the people turn an parish He punishes the nations to save those that can be saved.

In Amos 3:3 we find another key. If a nation does not follow the commandments of God, how can it expect God to walk along side it? Our very own nation has fallen extremely short of the standards of God and yet we here Christians ask God to bless her. How can the LORD walk with our nation when our nation refuses to walk with Him? We worship and serve a Holy God and His Holiness cannot abide with a nation that has turned to the unholy things of this World. By that same Holiness Amos 4:2 shows us that He will do what He says that He will do.

Just as in the last two Hosea and Joel, the LORD calls for us to seek after him. Amos 5:4, 6, 8 and 14 speaks to us to seek Him and by doing so we would live. Even through the transgression of those nations, and today our own, He gives us a chance to repent. Amos 5:12 and 13 shows that God knows all the transgressions of the people and in verse 15 He gives them a chance to avoid some of the coming punishment. Because God is Holy and Just, He cannot sit by and let those transgressions continue without any form of punishment. If He doesnít step in then the wickedness will just continue to grow worse and worse.

The last four chapters of Amos show a progression of the wickedness and warning of what will come to pass. Amos 6:3-7 shows a people that have come lazy and complacent in their own wants and have fallen away from God and His commandments. Amos 7:8 is God drawing a line, as we like to say, and that the time has come for Him to do something about His people. They have gotten so bad that it is impossible for Him to not do anything about it. Amos 8:4-6 shows a turning away and distain for Godís Laws and for this God causes a different kind of famine. Amos 8:11-12 shows He will cut off His Word from among the people and that even if they try to seek for it they will not find it. This isnít speaking of the inability to obtain or find a Bible, but the ability to understand it will be taken away. Since the people seek after and wanted their unrighteousness then He was going to give them exactly what they wanted as mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. At the rate things are going in this country I think we are not too far away from this happening to us. Amos 9:8 we see what the outcome is for a nation that was and is made up of His people that turn from Him and think that they are safe from retribution (Amos 9:10). Yet he will save those that have not bended the knee to other gods (things of the World).

Let us heed Amosís words and seek after the LORD while we still can.