The Arms That Carry Us
Amos, the man, the prophet
Amos was a shepherd of Tekoa in the Southern Kingdom, the Kingdom of Judah. When Amos was called as a prophet to God when Jeroboam, son of Jehoash, was king of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and Uzziah was king of Judah. Amos, like many other prophets, spoke of God's impending judgments on an unfaithful Israel, calling into account the action of all other nations of the world; but, also, like many other prophets, Amos gives the nation of Israel hope as they turn to obedience.
Even today, God's judgments are being called for to the unholy disobedience of the nations, and, even today, there is hope eternal in the faithful obedience of surrendering to God's will.
Judgement is Deserved and Judgment is Decreed
In Amos 3:1-10, a judgement is sure to come. God, here is talking of all the nation of Israel, both kingdoms (Northern and Southern), all 12 of the 12 tribes of Israel. He tells the nation that there were no other nations of the Earth that He has called His own. He approved them when He chose them, He loved them, He fed them when they could not feed themselves, He sustained them in all their journeys and He defended them in all their battles. Yet, they chose to forsake their God. They chose to serve the gods of the nations surrounding them. they chose to prostitute themselves to the gods of those other nations. There was no other choice that God had but to punish His wayward children, and that punishment would be in proportion to all the privileges that God have granted to them without question, just because He loved them. In essence, they used and abused the grace they were afforded.
Once the judgment has been deserved, the judgment must be decreed. The land of Israel would be overrun by their enemies and the people would be carried off. Only a remnant of the old and weak and dying would be left; the refuse, the trash, of the people. Amos likened it unto a lion carrying off a wandering sheep; the shepherd may kill the lion but all the shepherd will find is a piece of the sheep. So shall it be with the nation of Israel; the enemy will come in and carry away the nation, leaving only the old, weak or dying.
In Amos 4:1-11, a judgment is sure to come. Five times, God says, "Yet you have not returned to me." This talks of God's patience as He has sent several punishments upon the heads of His children, yet they still would not turn from their rebelliousness to the obedience that He called them to when He made His covenant with them.
Once the judgement has been deserved, the judgment must be decreed. God is letting the nation know that is He, He alone, God of the universe, Creator of mankind, that will cause the defeat of His people through the hand of their enemies. He was calling to Israel to call upon the gods that they chose to worship of Him; He wanted His people to know that it would be futile to do so because He is unconquerable.
In Amos 5:1-15, a judgment is sure to come. God has heard the cries of the afflicted. The more prominent of the citizens of the nation use and abuse those who have nothing. The more prominent of the citizens of the nations thieve and rob what the poor have; the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. God is telling the people that all their sins would be counted against them; from the worshiping of the gods of other nations to the mistreatment of their own citizens.
Once the judgement has been deserved, the judgment must be decreed. The people would go from one evil to another. Again, Amos uses the most viscous of animals to try to get the people to visualize this; the lion might take into his mouth a citizen yet the citizen might escape, only to be taken into the paws of the bear. It's kind of like a case of "out of the frying pan and into the fire."
Christ, the Restorer
Amos 9:11-12--"'In that day I will restore David's fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear My name,' declares the Lord, who will do these things."
This is the Blessed Hope that the Israelites have, that all men in all nations have; the hope in Jesus, the Christ as the ruling King and Lord of all nations for all time. He is coming in all His glory to rule this earthly realm, and in that day, all men of all nations will bow their knee and will subjugate their tongues to call Him Lord of all lords and King of all kings.
In Obadiah, which is the shortest of the prophetic books (1 chapter, 21 verses), there will be a very pronounced condemnation of the Edomites, the descendants of Esau. From the very beginning, the Edomites were hostile toward the Israelites, and as their Protector, God has in His reserves specific judgments for these Edomites. God, in the end of time, as we humans know time to be, will pour forth His judgement on Edom, as well as all the nations of Earth. The Creator of all the Earth is God, and He alone shall rule in all His glory and might.