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Read Amos 3

Witnesses Summoned Against Israel

Hear this word, people of Israel, the word the Lord has spoken against you—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:

“You only have I chosen
    of all the families of the earth;
therefore I will punish you
    for all your sins.”

Do two walk together
    unless they have agreed to do so?
Does a lion roar in the thicket
    when it has no prey?
Does it growl in its den
    when it has caught nothing?
Does a bird swoop down to a trap on the ground
    when no bait is there?
Does a trap spring up from the ground
    if it has not caught anything?
When a trumpet sounds in a city,
    do not the people tremble?
When disaster comes to a city,
    has not the Lord caused it?

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing
    without revealing his plan
    to his servants the prophets.

The lion has roared—
    who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken—
    who can but prophesy?

Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod
    and to the fortresses of Egypt:
“Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria;
    see the great unrest within her
    and the oppression among her people.”

10 “They do not know how to do right,” declares the Lord,
    “who store up in their fortresses
    what they have plundered and looted.”

11 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“An enemy will overrun your land,
    pull down your strongholds
    and plunder your fortresses.”

12 This is what the Lord says:

“As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth
    only two leg bones or a piece of an ear,
so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued,
    with only the head of a bed
    and a piece of fabric from a couch.”

13 “Hear this and testify against the descendants of Jacob,” declares the Lord, the Lord God Almighty.

14 “On the day I punish Israel for her sins,
    I will destroy the altars of Bethel;
the horns of the altar will be cut off
    and fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house
    along with the summer house;
the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed
    and the mansions will be demolished,”
declares the Lord.

Go Deeper

Amos reminds the people of Israel that they are the chosen ones of God. He reminds them of their standing before God because this impacts the punishment of their sins against God. There’s an old adage, made popular by Marvel’s Spiderman, that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Israel enjoyed God’s unique blessing and covenantal relationship, so the punishment for their wrongdoing would be in accordance with that relationship. Greater responsibility results in greater accountability.

Amos has foretold that God will judge Israel, and this chapter is the first of five messages of Amos explaining why God will judge the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Namely, for their sins against God and man. Amos uses a series of rhetorical questions to make the inevitably of Israel’s coming judgment clear. Each indicates a cause and effect relationship and points to his conclusion in verses 7-8 that God would do nothing to His people without first telling them by way of the prophets.

The prophecies of Amos and Hosea happen around the same time period (eighth century BC) and share some similarities, but a few differences are notable. While the prophecies of Hosea reflected his personal life, the prophecies of Amos reflected his professional life. Where Hosea emphasizes God’s love, Amos emphasizes God’s righteousness. And where the prophecies of Hosea are more tender, the prophecies of Amos are more threatening. But Amos’ prophetic teaching was not without hope. While he announced destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, he also predicted that the Lord would preserve a remnant and restore Israel and through them bring all nations to Himself. 


  1. What do the words of Amos in this chapter tell us about who God is?
  2. What has God entrusted to you? (See 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and Matthew 28:18-20).
  3. With who God has called you to be in mind, what is a step of faithfulness you can walk in today?

Did You Know

The word used for “hear” in verse 1 is the Hebrew word shema, meaning “to hear, listen to, or obey” (Blue Letter Bible). Shema is meant to be a hearing that leads to obedience. There is a prayer in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 that is commonly referred to as the Shema and became a daily repeated prayer in Israelite tradition:

“4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

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4 thoughts on “Amos 3”

  1. Through the prophet Amos God delivers impending judgement to Israel, his chosen people, who have become insensitive to his will and the plight of others. Their sin became greater and greater distancing their hearts from God and sealing their fate. Unconfessed sin can and will do the same thing to us. It can blind, entice and enslave us. I’m taking personally the message of Amos. Where have I allowed sin to take hold in my life? Hebrews 13:5 reminds us “Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” I never want to forget what my sin cost the Savior! It’s his amazing grace, that saved a wretch like me.

  2. The fact that God has been loving enough to provide warning to Israel shows that hope is not all lost. At the beginning it seems like Amos is having a hard time convincing them that God has given him a vision or dream. How frustrating it must have been for him to been given this prophecy and be rejected!
    The story in Matthew 15 of the Canaanite woman came to mind where Jesus said 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”. We’ve read countless times where Israel has grieved God….To the point of sending them a savior. When reading that story again in Matthew it clarified to me why Jesus reacted the way he did. Israel was God’s chosen people.
    I also thought about the podcast from Becoming Something “Committed the unforgivable sin” . JP gave a thought about the severity of some sins compared to others. When we read Amos, we aren’t reading small sins.
    This book is the only one I believe that really explains God’s wrath on His people and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Especially for us. Whether our sin is big or small, it hurts God. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be devoured to a point of only legs and an ear is left!

    Thank you, Father for warning us of your mighty power. May we take to heart today and have a reverent fear from sinning against you even in the smallest way. May we learn to do right for the glory of your kingdom. Break our strongholds, Lord. Thank you again for sending Jesus to save us. We love you. In Jesus name

  3. The God we serve loves us beyond our comprehension. He does not like our sin and does not want us to sin but He knew we would. We are not to purposely do or be disobedient ever. I do not know about ya’ll but when I love someone I truly dislike disappointing them. So I, you, we should try to do right things and make right choices so that I, you, we are pleasing to our God.
    I enjoyed the “shema” Hebrew word information in the ” Did you know” section.

    God thank you for your Word that we can glean so much information out of it. God thank you that I “shema” hear your voice that helps me be more and more obedient!!! I love you Father and am so amazed at your beautiful handiwork I am enjoying. God help me be bold. Thank you for seeds being planted. In Jesus name amen.

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