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The Prophets: Amos
Amos (the English surname Ames is merely a different spelling of Amos), from the Hebrew name pronounced aw-moce, meaning to carry, or a burden, was a prophet from The Southern Kingdom of "Judah" who was given to prophesy to The Northern Kingdom of "Israel" (see also The Prophets: North and South).
Amos was a shepherd from Tekoa (variously rendered into English as Tekoa, Tekoah, Tekota, Tekua and others), a town near Bethlehem. Amos tended his flocks in the same area that King David had, where the Messiah was later born. It was from there that the LORD called Amos to serve as a prophet of His Word to the northern kingdom:
"7:15 And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel." (Amos 7:15 KJV)
The time frame of Amos' ministry, in relation to the reigns of kings of Judah and Israel (see Kings of Israel and Judah):
"1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake." (Amos 1:1 KJV)
The LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ - see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') sent Amos north primarily to warn Israel; the northern kingdom drifted into corruption and fell before the southern kingdom did (Israel fell to the Assyrian Empire by 721 BC and Judah fell to the Babylonian Empire about 130 years later, by 586 BC). His message of rebuke was however one of relevance to anyone, at any time, who thinks that they can do as they please in God's Name - his "prepare to meet thy God" is a warning to all of the wicked fools of humanity, past and present.
"4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name." (Amos 4:12-13 KJV)
"Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel"
The book of Amos begins with a warning to some of the specific nations around Israel and Judah (e.g. Syria, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan, Arabia) - again, proof that the LORD is the God of all and that the time is coming when all will worship the only true God.
"1:3 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron" (Amos 1:3 KJV)
Judah was also warned, although they had not yet reached the point of full-blown political and religious decay that Israel had (it took Judah another century for their corruption to fully ripen, but it had begun in the time of Amos).
"2:4 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked: 2:5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem." (Amos 2:4-5 KJV)
The greatest warning was directed to the northern kingdom of Israel however because, unlike the other nations, the people of Israel were given to know better - but they flagrantly defied and rebelled against the LORD. They had no excuse.
"2:11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD. 2:12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not." (Amos 2:11-12 KJV)
But as was the case for all of the prophets, the warning of destruction was merely what would happen if they refused to accept all of the good that the LORD was offering them i.e. "For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live." Unfortunately, for them, Israel ignored their warnings (see The Galilee Captivity).
"5:1 Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel. 5:2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up. 5:3 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel. 5:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live" (Amos 5:1-4 KJV)
All of the prophets were "Messianic" in regard to the coming Kingdom of God. Amos also described the earth after Christ's return, at the time when the so-called "lost ten tribes" of Israel (i.e. the people of Israel that Amos was sent to) will be gathered and returned to their land (see The Gathering of Israel and Judah).
"9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old [see David, Future King Of Israel]: 9:12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
Fact Finder: What is the "plumbline" that the LORD described to Amos ("Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel" Amos 7:8 KJV)?