Amos Overview for tomorrow

The Book of Amos addresses:

  •  the excessive pursuit of luxury,
  • self-indulgence
  • oppression of the poor which characterized the period of prosperity and success in the Northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam II.Picture

This book is basically a message of judgment: prophecies of judgment on the nations AND  against Israel. Amos begins with a series of indictments against the seven neighbors of Israel, then Israel itself. The rich are condemned because of their oppression of the poor and for their religious hypocrisy.

True religion demands righteous living, and the way people treat others reveals their relationship with God.  (re-read that)

Amos was a prophet from Judah (southern) with a message to Israel (northern) during the reign of Uzziah (south) and Jeroboam (north). Imagine giving a message of doom to the other team? Ugg. Amos was not a prophet before this, a son of a prophet, or even a priest like Samuel. He was just a sheepherder, however, from his writing, we can assume he was educated.

The two kingdoms during this time are at an all-time high. Peace with neighbors, Assyria was not as powerful, and prosperity was growing. Listen, God is not against prosperity, God is against sin. Unfortunately usually with increased prosperity comes increased sin. Amos goes to Bethel because Bethel was the capital of the Northern Kingdom. Idolatry was everywhere. As you may recall from reading 2 Kings they were worshipping a golden calf and going through the ‘religious motions’. Since the division of the nation into North and South 200 years has passed. God has already sent Elijah, Elisha, and Jonah. With not a single degree of the nation turning from their sinful ways, God now sends people like Amos and Hosea at the same time to warn them. This time the Lord wants the message delivered courageously and directly, and Amos will do just that.

People who think that God is all about wrath and punishment need to dig into the Prophecy books. He loves His people so much that He is giving them opportunity after opportunity of warning to repent! And He is IGNORED.

I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. (Jonah 4:2)

I sat in a canoe today in the foothills of South Carolina with my earbuds in and did a “listen through” of the book of Amos.  It was an easy read but I will tell you it rocked my world!  I can’t wait for you to read it. (Honestly, I don’t think you will need to read the blog the next 2 days….you got this!)

Isaiah 5-8

This is post #2.  Under this post is a post about  The Captivity.  Even though it is coming up in our reading, it will make the prophecy books more “readable” if you understand what WILL happen eventualy.

Chapter 5- We begin with a parable.  It may actually sound familiar if you have read the New Testament.

My loved one had a vineyard
    on a fertile hillside.

The vineyard is His chosen people.  God provided all the means for them to prosper (fertile hillside).  But when the crops Israelites grew, they grew bad fruit.

What more could have been done for my vineyard
    than I have done for it?

So what is the consequence?

He takes his hand off of them.  He will not tend to them and he will allow the border to be open.  After the parable is given Isaiah shocks the audience by letting them know He is talking about them!

Verse 8 we add some more “Woes”- Beware.

v8-10-He is calling out those who accumulate- but lets them know that when the captivity happens…their mansions will be empty.

v11-17-He is talking to the “party crowd”, those that ignore God.  He specifically says in verse 13-

Therefore my people will go into exile
for lack of understanding;

v18-19-Those that are hitched to sin.  Not only do they disregard God but they defy Him, they don’t believe His warning and challenge Him to show up!  Verse 19-

“Let God hurry;
let him hasten his work
so we may see it.
The plan of the Holy One of Israel—
let it approach, let it come into view,
so we may know it.”

v20-those who think they are wiser than God

v21-to the corrupt.  He is detailed to tell them exactly what the captivity will look like.  V26-30 He tells them he will rise up nations around them, the enemies will not grow weary.  They will not break a sweat when they capture them.

Chapter 6 Isaiah’s Commission- We change the channel and it is dated for us so we know exactly when this happens.

kings for Isaiah.png

This vision occurs during the reign of Uzziah.  He sees God!

 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Isaiah immediately confesses he is unworthy to be in His presence.   Because of this God forgives him of his unclean lips and purifies Isaiah with the coal.  He then proceeds to tell him that the message you bring will fall on deaf ears.  They will ignore him.  When Isaiah asks “How long will they ignore me”? God tells him until they are put in captivity.  BUT…and don’t miss is…

And though a tenth remains in the land,
    it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
    leave stumps when they are cut down,
    so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

He preserves a remnant of people to survive!

How were details of Christ's death prophesied? - Consider the Gospel

Chapter 7- This is 700 years BEFOE the birth of Christ…Now when you read this you have to use context clues.

  • “The line of David” is the tribe of Judah. 
  • Ephraim is the tribe of Israel.

8:Within sixty-five years
    Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
    and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
    you will not stand at all.’”

The captivity will begin shortly for the northern tribe.  It will happen in waves, but within 65 years it will be complete destruction.

God tells Ahaz to ask for a sign, and Ahaz declines.  God gives him one anyway! (Look at your prophecy list of the Messiah)

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (700 years before Christ this is said)

18-25 Isaiah prophesied that Assyria will be the nation God will use for this first invasion.

In Chapter 8 Isaiah gives a description of the captivity but reminds Isaiah not to follow in Israel’s footsteps either.  It is NOT the enemy nations that will bring destruction on America Israel, it will be at the arm of the Lord to discipline their sins.  We They must not fear other nations, they must fear the Lord and obey his commands.

“Do not call conspiracy
    everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,
    and do not dread it.
13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
    he is the one you are to fear,
    he is the one you are to dread.
14 He will be a holy place;
    for both Israel and Judah he will be
a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
    a trap and a snare.
15 Many of them will stumble;
    they will fall and be broken,
    they will be snared and captured.”


Understanding the CAPTIVITY and Messianic Prophecy

Before we go any further I want to take a moment to explain what is going to happen.  As we read through Isaiah and other prophet books, they just won’t make sense unless you understand the big picture.  Tomorrow we are going to read some detailed prophecies about “a Captivity” or “an Exile”.  The way I explain this when I do a study with teenagers is: God says to his children…I put you in this land, shape up and start obeying me or I will take you out of this land”.

My adult answer would be-The captivity or exile refers to the time period in Israel’s history when Jews were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. It is an important period of biblical history because both the captivity/exile and the return and restoration of the Jewish nation were fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies.

God used foreign nations to bring judgment against Israel for their sins of idolatry and rebellion against Him. There were actually several different times during this period when the Jews were taken captivity.  During the captivity, the enemy nations would kill many people, destroy the Jewish temple, take captive many thousands of Jews, and left Jerusalem in ruins.

Assyrian & Babylonian Captivity & Exile of Israel & Judah Map

If you look at this map you will see that Israel (purple) will fall (captivity)to Assyria in 722.  But remember when Jeroboam and Rehenboam split the kingdom I told you to remember the “J” and the “R”.  Rehoboam comes from the line of David-the line with the Covenant to bring the Messiah.  Jereboam does not.  So when the Assyrians take Israel they do not come back.  However…Judah (who the scepter will not depart from) has to survive it. They are taken into Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C. The few that survive it are called the “Remnant”.  As prophesied in Scripture, the Jewish people would be allowed to return to Jerusalem after 70 years of exile. That prophecy was fulfilled in 537 B.C., and the Jews were allowed by King Cyrus of Persia to return to Israel and begin rebuilding the city and temple. The return under the direction of Ezra led to a revival among the Jewish people and the rebuilding of the temple. This might help:

30. Understanding the Writing Prophets

In the overview, I talked about Isaiah being the most quoted prophecies in the New Testament.  Example: Matthew 1 says: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). The prophecy of this will be in today’s read.  Here is a list of the fulfilled prophecies from Isaiah.  At the bottom of this post, I will attach all 3 visuals in a printable format just in case you like them as much as I do.

Fulfilled  Prophecies From Isaiah

The Prophecy The Fulfillment
The Messiah Jesus Christ
will be born of a virgin (Is. 7:14) was born a virgin named Mary (Luke 1:26-31)
will have a Galilean ministry (Is. 9:1,2) ministered in the Galilee of the Gentiles (Matt. 4:13-16)
will be an heir to the throne of David (Is. 9:7) was given the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32,33)
will have His way prepared (Is. 40:3-5) was announced by John the Baptist (John 1:19-28)
will be spat on and struck (Is. 50:6) was spat on and beaten (Matt. 26:67)
will be exalted (Is. 52:13) was highly exalted by God and the people (Phil. 2:9,10)
will be disfigured by suffering (Is. 52:14; 53:2) was scourged by the soldiers who gave Him a crown of thorns (Mark 15:15-19)
will make a blood atonement (Is. 53:5) shed His blood to atone for our sins (1 Peter 1:2)
will be widely rejected (Is. 53:1,3) was accepted by many (John 12:37,38)
will bear our sins in sorry (Is. 53:4,5) died because of our sins (Rom. 4:25; 1 Peter 2:24
will be our substitute (Is. 53:6,8) died in our place (Rom. 5:6, 8; 2 Cor. 5:21)
will voluntarily accept our guilt and punishment (Is. 53:7,8) was silent about our sin (Mark 15:4; John 10:11; 19:30)
will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Is. 53:9) was buried in the tomb of Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea (Matt. 27:57-60; John 19:38-42)
will save us who believe in Him (Is. 53:10,11) provided salvation for all who believed (John 3:16; Acts 16:31)
will die with transgressors (Is. 53:12) was numbered with the transgressors (Mark 15:27; Luke 22:37)
will heal the brokenhearted (Is. 61:1,2) healed the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18)