Amos 1-2, pt.1

This Tuesday we will be reading through Amos 1-2: Judgment Against the Seven Nations and Israel.  Within this reading, Amos pronounces the sin of a neighboring nation, usually its violent abuse of human beings in slavery or war, and God’s judgment against that nation. Amos ends this passage with an extended diatribe against Israel itself setting forth seven ways in which the Israelites have oppressed their own people, particularly the poor.  God’s anger is kindled against each of these nations because they have violated the basic natural law of loving your neighbor as yourself.  Specifically, as to Israel and Judah, they have breached specific debtor-friendly provisions of the Law such as a prohibition on interest and on retaining pledged personal items overnight. (To get a sense of the Law’s requirements on debtor-creditor relationships read Exodus 22:16-31 and Deuteronomy 24:5-22.)

For this week, I would encourage you to read through the entirety of Amos to get a sense of his tone and tenor and a feel for his righteous indignation and biting sarcasm. Then read through chapters 1 and 2 with a commentary to get a better understanding of the exact circumstances Amos is addressing.  Any study bible should be sufficient. I have also attached Baker’s and Eerdman’s commentary on these chapters for your review. Finally, read the first two chapters through a third time, and see how Amos speaks to you personally or to our society on these same topics. As Heschel writes in the opening of his book, “The things that horrified the prophets are even now daily occurrences all over the world.  There is no society to which Amos’ words would not apply.”  And as you re-read these passages, pray that, unlike the people of Jerusalem that Isaiah addressed, we would both hear and understand God’s Word, and see and perceive the world as God does. Isa. 6:9.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is Domino’s pizza and salad. If you have a specific type of pizza you enjoy, please let us know. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.

If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; for it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.

Exodus 22:25-27.

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