Amos Message To Israel Was Clear Theology Religion Essay

Published: 2021-08-14 08:10:08
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Category: Theology

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Identify a text and verify the boundaries of the focus passage
Section of my text
Historical situation surrounding the text
Historical background- what is the specific time and place of my passage
Cultural background - Language, cultural or social values
Literary background - What is the genre or literary category of my passage?
Verse by verse reading /exegesis
What are the tense of the verbs in my passage, arrangement of the words in my passage, transition in the arguments in my passage
compare different translations
Word study (Hebrew). List words
What are the important words, statements or expressions in my texts
How does this passage fit into Amos’ overall goals and themes - Superscription
Interpretation: "What did the author mean?"
a. What is the audience's and author's situation (Socio-historical context)?
b. What are the issues addresses by the passage?
Literary context:
a. should the passage be interpreted figuratively or literally?
Rhetorical context:
a. what is the significance of the progression in the thought pattern?
Theological context:
a. what do I know about the author's theological perspective?
Hermeneutical issues:
a. Are there any blinder(s) that might have prevented me from seeing things in the
Bible commentaries:
converse with at least 3 biblical scholars commentaries
Journal articles: Consult scholarly Biblical Journal for references
Synthesize my research and interpretation based on my passage
Life Application
Recordings of my Exegesis of Amos 8:1-11
The initial prophet to have a book named after him was Amos. Though Amos message to Israel was clear, yet it was ignored. This exegetical recording will examine Amos 8:1-11, beginning with my own translation and continuing with a look at the context of the passage in relation to the historical setting and the book of Amos as a whole, including the genres of the passage.
1 This is what the Lord God [1] showed me—a basket of summer fruit.
2 He said, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A basket of summer fruit." Then the Lord said to me, "The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass them by.
3 The songs (Fruit of Worship) of the temple shall become wailings in that day," says the Lord God; "the dead bodies shall be many, cast out in every place. Be silent!"
4 Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
5 saying, "When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? [2] We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, (Fruit of Stewardship)
6 buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the wholesale [3] of the wheat."
7 The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
8 Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who lives in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?
9 On that day, says the Lord God, I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day.
11 The time is surely coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. (Fruit of the Word)
Amos' ministry took place in the Northern Kingdom of Israel about 760-750 BC, at a time of military and economic success. The long reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 BC) was the golden age of Israel. Territorial expansion was initially possible because Syria and Assyria were relatively weak and, once accomplished, it resulted in increased revenue from taxes. Israel was politically powerful and many of its citizens were wealthy. Yet in the midst of their prosperity, here comes Amos' messages predicting judgment from God because of their social injustices. However, Amos was revealed as a true prophet when his predictions of judgment came to pass, beginning in 733 BC when the Northern and Eastern parts of the kingdom were annexed by Assyria, and concluding in 721 BC with the fall of the capital, Samaria, to Sargon, the exile of the people to Assyria, and the forced immigration into Israel of people from other nations. [4] 
OUTLINE of Amos 8:1-11
Israel is ripe for Judgment (Amos’ fourth vision)
A. (8:1-3).
1. Amos is showed a fourth vision.
2. The nation is thereby ripe for the outpouring of God’s wrath.
3. The time of the people’s joyful singing in the temple has come to an end.
4. Assyria would violently take over Israel
B. (8:4-6).
1. Israel’s ill treatment of the poor and needy of the land
2. Israel’s state of mind is revealed in these verses.
3. Israel overcharged of the poor in that their balances were corrupt.
C. (8:7-8).
1. Israel was blinded by their quest for riches.
2. Their wickedness had brought upon them God’s judgments
3. The Assyrian flood would be likened unto the Nile River that had a reputation and
history of severe flooding and drought.
D. (8:9-10).
1. Amos was the mouth piece for God and thereby the Lord’s words were his
2. The dark days of God’s judgment would come upon Israel.
3. Israel will lament as they look out upon the dead body of brethren & loved ones.
E. (8:11-12).
1. Jehovah would cause a famine of divine revelation upon His people.
2. Though they seek God’s counsel, they will not find it.
Amos 8:1-11 begins with a vision of judgment that follows three previous judgment
visions (7:1-3,4-6, and 7-9) and precedes a fifth (9:1). The vision in this passage is the parallel
of 7:7-9 and the climactic conclusion of the first four. The vision in chapter 8:1-2 is followed by an end time prediction in verse 3, which both explains the vision of verses 1-2 and goes beyond it. It is the first of four end time predictions: 8:3,9-10,13-14; and 9:11-12. Verses 4-6 give social and religious criticism similar to other passages in the book. The themes of religious insincerity and taking advantage of the poor are continued.
Verses 7-8 are a judgment forewarning in which God swears in similar fashion to 4:2-3 and 6:8. A second end time prediction occurs in verses 9-10. The exchange of festivals for mourning in verse 10 is reminiscent of verse 3. The book of Amos includes three hymns, or three stanzas of the same hymn, in 4:13,5:8-9, and 9:5- 6.6 The literary unity of book receives support in the fact that one of those hymn sections, 9:5b, is quite similar to part of the passage under study here, 8:8b: Thus the passage under question, 8:1-10, takes its place in the book of Amos as a continuation of themes seen earlier and an introduction of themes to follow.
Vss. 1-2 - These verses are matter-of-fact, and their translation is assisted by parallels to
7:7-9. The vision of judgment begins with words identical to those in 7:1 and 4 and similar to
those in 7:7. The visions are obviously meant to be a group, despite the interruption in the text of 7:10-17. Furthermore, both the vision in 7:7-9 and the vision of 8:1 -3 use everyday objects - a plumb line and wall in 7:7 and a basket and summer fruit in 8:1, so that they form a pair in contrast to the first two visions. Other similarities between the third and fourth visions include repetition of the question, "What do you see, Amos?" (7:8 and 8:2); God's transforming explanation of the everyday objects in question so that they have a spiritual meaning; repetition of the divine sentence of doom, "I will not again pass them [Israel] by any more" (7:8 and 8:3); and a concluding description of the devastation that the declared judgment will bring. Amos sees exactly what God shows him - a basket of summer fruit - and the only question is what meaning this vision has.
Vs. 3 - God applies a special meaning to the basket of summer fruit with His explanation that the end has come to Israel, without going into the Hebrew words (qes / qayis ) [5] in question. Just as harvest is seen as judgment elsewhere in Scripture so the end has come for Israel. "The basketful of freshly picked figs, symbol of plenty and prosperity, when given its name in the northern dialect sounds likes its opposite: death and disaster." [6] Beyond the word play, the word qes is used to relate to judgment in Genesis 6:13 and Ezekiel 7, among others. So perhaps the meaning of God's play with words was not entirely unexpected. Vs. 4 – is where Amos' social and religious criticism in this passage begins with an indictment similar to 2:6-8; 4:1; 5:11-12. Amos uses throughout the book four different Hebrew words for "poor and three of are found in 8:4-6. The exploitation of the poor by the rich involves not just money but shame as well.
In Vss. 5-6 - Amos uses the thoughts and words of the guilty to condemn them. [7] This is a literary device he uses also in 2:1; 6:10,13; and 8:14. Here we find a religious element entering into the condemnation, because worship has become an outward show.
God made oaths in Amos 4:2 and 6:8, however in those locations He swears by his himself and his holiness whereas in these verses 7-8 He swears "by the pride of Jacob." The judgment to follow (v.8) would surely come because God does not allow his glory to be tainted. However, in Hubbard's view this is extreme sarcasm from God - the pride of Jacob has grown so large, Yahweh himself can swear by it! [8] Being open to other views, I find this Hubbard’s the most practical, since "pride" is not usually a good thing in Scripture. Vss. 9-11 - The words "in that day" signal a return to the end time mode first seen in verse 3. The idea of a dark day is linked to the last day of the Lord, as seen in numerous verses within Amos itself (5:18, 20). "That day" is not good news as the Israelites believe, rather bad news. This passage shows that God's grace or favor is not endless in the face of a prolonged pattern of sin, but that He will judge sin. It also demonstrates that religious superficiality - checking your watch five minutes into the sermon, as it were - has no place in the lives of true God-followers. Finally, Amos 8:1-11 stands as a warning to contemporary believers as well about our own "day of the Lord" to align our expectations with the Bible.
Place: Hood Theological Seminary (Senior Preaching)
Sermon Title: "God Has Spoken"
Text: Amos 8:1-11
BNT: In spite of Israel’s blooming economic, God was indicting them through the prophet
Amos on a three point charge of: oppression of the poor, covetousness and worldly
mindedness for which they are threatened with complete ruin, sudden calamities, and
very mournful times.
BNOW: Like Israel, we are not any better than they for we are oppressing the less fortunate
among us as well as coveting wealth at the expense of the poor to enrich ourselves.
GNT: Even though Israel was given a small window opportunity yet Israel had an opportunity to
turn away from their deeds. And should they have repented; God might had probably
spear them of what that was to come upon them.
GNOW: Although Israel was indicted and ruined, we are blessed to be living in the age of
dispensation where the grace of God abound much. Not that we will not be accountable
for our deeds, yet we are fortunate to have a floodgate opportunity toward repentance.
Focus Statement: We are to be mindful in mixing worship with injustice.
Function Statement: To assured the hearers’ that God’s patience does run out, therefore we
must heed to His warning before it gets too late.
Turn with me please if you have your Bible as I read for your hearing Amos 8:1-11 concerning the vision of the Basket of Summer Fruits.
One of my favorite seasons of the year is fall, which ushers in the changing of leaves and the cooler weather. Fall means the season for fresh vegetables and fruits are just about over. Speaking of vegetables, my family did not plant a garden this year because the weather had proven hash. Even though, my family did not plant a garden this year, yet we were often well-stocked with tomatoes harvested from the gardens of church members who generously supplied my household with what they refer to as their "first fruit" of the harvest.
Couple of weeks ago when searching for a tomato to make me some garden salad, I was fortunate to find one in the veggies tray. When I saw it, my mouth began to water; the tomato was beautiful – deep red in color, juicy looking and I could not wait to sink my teeth into it, but then my eyes caught a little bit of pale reddish liquid in the bottom of the veggies tray. Not paying it any mind, I reach out and picked up the tomato but as soon as I get a grip on it the skin just about fell off it. Then I realized that even though that tomato was appealing to my eyes, ripe, red and beautiful but on the inside it was rotten. Sitting for so long in its own juices had triggered the process of decaying making it no good any more.
That is the view that God gave to Amos in our text that Israel had become like a basket of summer fruit to Him which sounds appealing just as that tomato was appealing to me. Israel took such wonderfully good fruits and allowed them to become over ripen and spoil. For the next couple of minutes I invite you to discover with me base on our text three distinct fruits to be found in the basket of summer fruits.
The first fruit found in the basket of summer fruits is the Fruit of Worship (v.3). This verse begins with the songs of the temple but, what were those songs? What did the fruit of worship look like? Well, in contrast to what Amos prophesized that Israel’s would be turned into, I can safely say without contradiction that the worship of Israel were filled with music, singing and of course, dancing contrary to today’s norms of many conservatives Methodists and Baptists. Do we know what their worship looked like? Not exactly, however, we do have a copy of their first hymn book which is the Book of Psalms. Today, we recognize the Psalms as passages to read but not in the case of the Israelites. They would no more read the Psalms than we Methodist would read out of the United Methodist Hymnal.
However, Psalm 150 puts a capstone on the value of all the Psalms describing for us the songs that were sung in the temple and on their pilgrimage. The songs were supposed to be joyous expressions of worship, filled with emotional lexis of love and devotion to the Almighty creator of the universe. How beautiful the ripe fruit of true worship must have been – but now it has become something completely different, something offensive, and something unrecognizable to God.
Yet the question comes to mind, how could this be? Perhaps this may help, you see out of habit so many times, we sing the all too familiar without the slightest idea about what we are singing, who we are singing to or what we are singing about. Sometimes we sing, "We are one in the bond of love" when in fact, we have seated among us people who we will not talk to; and so often we sing, "I surrender all" and yet still holding fast to the sin of pride and selfishness in our lives. Israel was giving lips services with the Psalms, but their hearts were corrupt.
The second fruit found in the basket of summer fruits is the Fruit of Stewardship (vs. 4-5). I want us to consider just a moment to glance back over Israel’s history. God had brought them up from slavery to prosperity yet in Israel’s great wealth, the best that they could do was to swallowed up the poor. Their wealth and prosperity did not make them more generous instead it made them more greedy and selfish thereby, taking advantage of the poor and refusing to help them. Israel was prosperous during the period of this prophecy and how did they account for it?
Amos states in verse 5, that they falsified their balances by deceit which means, Israel was engaged in rampant cheating. It would be like tempering with the meter on the gas pump, paying the price for 18 gallons of gasoline in contrast to the price for 14gallons. This was the practice of Israel, robbing the poor blind by cheating on their scales and measurement. Out of Israel’s greed they stockpiled what God gave them and were striving to get more through dishonest means. This prompted God to sound the alarm through Amos of a pending economic devastation upon Israel for not being good stewards of all that were entrusted to their care; therefore God threaten to take away their wealth as He did to the Egyptians.
Remember, when Israel was delivered out of Egypt, God took away everything their oppressor had. As a matter of fact, Scripture tells us that God even cause the Egyptians to turn over their silver and gold to the Israelites. Yet in spite of all of that, the children of Israel are now about to be faced with the wrath of God all because they had let the good fruits of stewardship and worship become overripe and decay.
The third fruit in the basket of summer fruits is the Fruit of the Word (v.11). Yes, God did gave Israel physical blessings, but more importantly He gave them His Word. The Word of God was widely available and even increased steadily throughout the period of Israel’s existence. Hence, there was no reason for anyone to remain ignorant of what God expect of them. Like Israel in Amos’ day, there was no shortage of the availability of the beautiful fruit of God’s Word for it was available to everyone.
In verse 11, Amos prophesized that there would come a day for Israel that God would turn their feast of His Word into famine. History bears that out. First there was a mini-famine of God’s Word during the exile, but God showed mercy on them by feeding them with a few of the later prophets including Ezra and Nehemiah, yet they still returned to their ways. They heard the Word, but did not let it change them. So God gave them a 400 year drought commencing from the close of Malachi to the preaching of John the Baptist.
Can the same be said about us today? I really think so, seeing that there is no shortage of the availability of the Word of God in this era yet we are living as if in a famine of God’s Word. On the other hand, what are we as students of Hood doing to preserve such fruits? Are we eating it up - reading it - studying it, or are we only putting it on display like the appealing look of the fruits in the fruit basket? The fruit of the Word was not meant to be put in a bowl on display, it is meant to be eaten and to be shared. The good news is, the more we eat of them and share them, the more we will have.
Finally, are you preserving the fruit of your worship by just going through the motions or are you honestly worshiping God by living out the songs you sing? Concerning the fruit of stewardship, are we using what God has given us for His glory or are we using it to suppress others? What about the fruit of the Word of God, do we in all honesty honor it without hesitation? Do we constantly read it - passionately study it and truly live it?
Fellow Seminarians, God has filled our baskets to overflowing with these wonderful fruits, and it is our duty to keep it fresh, rather than allowing it to rot. Amos, what do you see? Do you still see a basket with ripe fruit that is getting ready to rot or do you see this as an opportunity to pay heed to God’s warning? Time is running out; the alarm has sounded – God has spoken.

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