I’ve been having a hard time writing this paper for class……and this is by FAR a rough draft, but I figured since I slacked yesterday, I’d at least share it with you….
One of the main themes within Amos 7:1-8:3 is that the Lord will uphold his word and punish his people if they continue in their sinful ways and do not repent. The Lord gives his people commands so that they may know what is expected of them. The Lord even tells them what will happen if they obeyed him and if they disobeyed him. All throughout Amos we find the Israelites sins being called out. The Lord has given his people the chance to repent, but they did not return to him (vv 4:6-11). Should they have chosen to turn from their ways, the Lord would have spared them. But because they continued against God, he carried out his word and sent punishment among his people.
The laws of the Lord have been placed before the people in order for them to live a life that is pleasing to God. It shows what is expected of them. When the people do not follow the word of the Lord, consequences will come. However, the Lord will not destroy or punish his people without first giving them the chance to repent and change their ways. The Lord will present opportunities for the people to realize their sinful ways and return to him (vv 4:6-11). If, after the Lord gives them the chance, the people do not repent, punishments will ensue.
Before the Lord sent the punishments on Israel, he told Amos, his prophet, what he was going to do so that he could prophesy to the people. Amos, upon hearing two of the punishments that the Lord was going to send (Locusts, Fire vv. 7:1-6), protested saying, “How can Jacob stand?” He pleaded with the Lord to spare Israel from those punishments. Because someone intervened on behalf of Israel, the Lord relented and did not send those punishments (vv. 7:3,6), despite the fact that the people had not repented.
There are two main applications that can be taken from the situation found in Amos 7:1-8:3. First, it is important for the people of God to hear and obey the word of the Lord. The laws are set before the people for their own good. The Lord will bless his people for obedience (Lev. 26:1-11), but punish them severely for their disobedience (Lev. 26-14-46). As Christians, we too can see what is expected of us and should adhere to is, lest punishment come. The Lord will hold true to his word.
Another application can be found from Amos’ intervention on behalf of the people of Israel (vv 7:2,5). The Lord hears Amos and does not send punishment on the people. The Lord hears the prayers of his people, and while punishment will come (because he is true to his word) (vv. 7:7-8:3), we may be able to have an impact on the Lord. This should be an encouragement to the people to pray, for the Lord hears them.