Bible: What Does Amos 8-9 Teach Us About the Day of the LORD?
The Word of the LORD
The "Day of the LORD"
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Adonai shows Amos a basket of summer fruit in his fourth vision (v. 1).
After the prophet again identifies what he sees, God reveals to him a solemn truth: just as the harvest of fruit has ended, so has the prosperity of Israel (v. 2; cf. 5:17; 7:7-8 for similar structure).
That “day” will see much lamentation and death (v. 3).
Amos condemns the irreverence and greedy practices of merchants who mistreat and neglect the poor on a large scale at this time (vv. 4-6).
Yahweh then tells Israel about the nation’s bleak future, swearing by Himself (the ''pride of Jacob") that the land and its inhabitants shall surely mourn and tremble (vv. 7-8).
He will cause nature to fit the horrible occasion (v. 9), and everybody will lament outwardly (v. 10).
No one will be able to find anyone who can proclaim the word of God to the people (vv. 11-12).
The strongest, youngest, and fairest will languish, and idolaters will fall into total ruin (vv. 13-14).
Interestingly, God employs the phrases "In that day" and "Behold, days are coming"—phrases usually reserved for Messianic kingdom passages—to express the judgments to come upon Israel.
Perhaps the Assyrian captivity is one aspect of the broader "day of the LORD" which culminates in the eschaton (last times).
The LORD's Power Over Creation
Israel's Future Kingdom
"The Days are Coming"
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Apparently, the fourth vision continues with another appearance of adonai, now standing by the altar (v. 1a).
He emphasizes to Amos God's determination to punish Israel at the point of an enemy's sword.
No matter where Israel tries to hide (vv. 2-4 cover the whole material and invisible spectrum), the LORD will pursue him until he is no more.
Adonai Elohim Sabaoth offers ample evidence of His ability to fulfill His claims; His power over creation, especially mountains and waters, receives Amos' special emphasis (vv. 5-6).
God uses questions to teach the Israelites that they are not above other nations in the sense that He will never severely chasten them (v. 7).
Yet the LORD also maintains that, while He will punish them, He will not utterly destroy the whole people (v. 8).
Though all the chaff (''sinners," v. 10) be removed, Yahweh will show mercy towa "the smallest grain" (vv. 9-10).
After the LORD “sifts” Israel among all nations, He will restore the Davidic dynasty to its former glory, and cause it to "possess the remnant of Edom" and all the saved Gentiles of that time (vv. 11-12; cf. James' address at the Jerusalem council in Acts 15).
Headed by the Messianic phrase, "Behold, the days are coming," the last section exudes the prosperity and peace Israel will one day enjoy in the land of Palestine (vv. 13-15).
SUMMARY QUESTIONS OF AMOS
1. What appears to be the primary theme of this book?
2. What formulaic expression does Amos use to preface God's judgment?
3. With what sins did God confront Israel?
4. What might the LORD do to persuade His people to repent (chapter four)?
5. What causes Amos to issue woes against Israel?
6. What was Amos' original profession?
7. Who opposes Amos and complains to him about his messages?
8. What were the four visions the prophet saw? What does each mean?
9. After He delivers a message of judgment, with what phrase does Yahweh almost invariably conclude (chapter nine)?
10. To what event do verses 9:11-15 refer?
11. What comes with being “known” by God?
12. What will God not do before He tells the people through the prophets?
13. Against what other nations did Amos preach?
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