1. Though God had a special relationship with Israel, did He overlook their transgressions?
No: “(1) Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, (2) You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:1-2).
- Hearing was a problem with the children of Israel both past, present, and in the future of these things (Isaiah 6:9, Isaiah 29:13, Jeremiah 5:21, Ezekiel 12:1-2, and Matthew 13:13).
- The Lord brings up that He is speaking against the children of Israel and He reminds them of His long ago of bring them up out of Egypt. Think about the point there. Isaiah makes it clear (Isaiah 1:1-5).
- The Lord reminds them that of all the people on earth, He chose them (Deuteronomy 7:1-13, Deuteronomy 10:15, Deuteronomy 26:18, and Jeremiah 2:3).
- The fact that they were His people. His word committed to them (Romans 3:1-2). That makes them the more accountable (Luke 12:41-48 and James 4:17).
2. In a rhetorical question, what did the Lord teach about walking together?
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed” (Amos 3:3)?
- Unity is the overall premise of this passage. What does it mean to walk with God (Genesis 5:22, Genesis 6:9, Leviticus 18:4, Leviticus 26:1-12, II Kings 21:19-22, Jeremiah 7:23, and I John 2:1-6)?
- Unity with God (Matthew 12:30, Matthew 12:46-50, John 14:20-23, John 17:20-23, I John 1:1-7, and II John 1:6-11).
- Unity with fellow believers (Psalms 133:1, Acts 2:46, Romans 12:16, Romans 15:6, Ephesians 4:1-6, Philippians 1:27, Philippians 2:2, and Philippians 3:16).
3. What points are being made with the rhetorical questions about the lion in the forest and the young lion crying out?
“Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing” (Amos 3:4)?
- A lion, young or old, doesn’t cry out or roar for no reason (Psalms 104:21).
- The point, is God sending a prophet with such messages as Amos is delivering for no reason at all (Jeremiah 7:25-28)?
- Does God issue empty threats, warnings (Ezekiel 12:25)? Does He roar in an empty manner (Jeremiah 25:30-31)?
4. What points are being made with the rhetorical questions about the snares?
How can a bird be trapped where there is no trap:“Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all” (Amos 3:5)?
- Hey Israel, the trap is set (Ecclesiastes 9:12 and Lamentations 3:40-47).
- They had caused this (Ezekiel 22:1-4).
5. As the rhetorical questions get more pointed, what should Israel have considered about what was going on in their cities?
That the trumpets sounding about invasions and evil being done in the city were judgments from God: “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it” (Amos 3:6)?
- The trumpet of warning wasn’t without cause and was meant to bring about action (Jeremiah 4:5-7, Jeremiah 6:1-30, and Ezekiel 33:1-9).
- Unlike anywhere on earth today, in Israel of old, the good or the bad came from God based upon the obedience or disobedience of the people (Deuteronomy 30:11-20, Joshua 24:17-28, I Chronicles 28:9, and Isaiah 63:7-10).
6. If God planned to do something, who would He reveal that to?
His prophets: “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
- The ASV 1901 translates this: “Surely the Lord Jehovah will do nothing, except he reveal his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
- God warned through the prophets (Ezekiel 3:17-27).
- Also, He “called his shot” (so to speak) in that He wanted people to know for sure that when He was behind something, it was His doing (Isaiah 42:1-9 and Isaiah 48:5-11).
- God wants His works to be known (Joshua 24:31, Psalms 25:14, Psalms 145:9-13, Isaiah 41:14-29, Ezekiel 12:16, and John 18:20).
7. Through Amos, what fearful message was published?
God has roared. He was going to visit them for their iniquities: “(8) The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy? (9) Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof. (10) For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces. (11) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled. (12) Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch. (13) Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts, (14) That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground. (15) And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD” (Amos 3:8-15).
- The Lord, as a lion roaring, has made His noise that the prophets have seen (Numbers 12:6) will prophesy concerning (Acts 4:20).
- Like we saw with Jeremiah, this message would be published abroad (Jeremiah 50:2).
- God’s people reached a point of corruption wherein they did not know to do right (Jeremiah 4:22 and Micah 2:1). Think back to what that sounds like (Genesis 6:5-12).
- An adversary was coming. First Assyria (Hosea 11:5-6) and afterward Babylon (II Chronicles 36:1-23).
- Like pieces of the flock of sheep left from the lion’s feeding, only a remnant would remain (Isaiah 1:7-9, Ezekiel 14:22, and Zechariah 13:8-9).
- The testimony against Israel is that God would punish them from them altars to their second homes. He will visit them for their iniquities (Numbers 14:18 and Psalms 89:30-32).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.