Spiritual Reflections

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God who communicates with us: Reflection on Amos, 7, 1-9

These things the Lord God showed to me: and behold the locusts was formed in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter rain, and it was the latter rain after the king’s mowing. And it came to pass that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, I said: O Lord God, be merciful, I beseech thee: who shall raise up Jacob, for he is very little? The Lord had pity upon this: It shall not be, said the Lord. These things the Lord God showed to me: and behold the Lord called for judgement unto fire, and it devoured the great deep and ate up as part at the same time. And I said: O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee, who shall raise up Jacob, for he is a little one? The Lord had pity upon this. Yea this also shall not be, said the Lord God. These things the Lord showed to me. And behold the Lord called for judgement unto fire, and it devoured the great deep and ate up a part at the same time. And I said: O Lord God, cease, I beseech three, who shall raise up Jacob, for he is a little one? The Lord had pity upon this. Yea this also shall not be, said the Lord God. These things the Lord showed to me: and behold the Lord was standing upon a plastered wall, and in his hand a mason’s trowel. And the Lord said to me: What sees thou, Amos? And I said: A mason’s trowel. And the Lord said: Behold, I will lay down the trowel in the midst of my people Israel. I will plaster them ever no more. And the high places of the idol shall be thrown down, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste: and I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.  

Amos, 7, 1-9

This text is about the visions which Amos perceived that he was being called to become nabi spokesman, even though he had no special pedigree to be a prophet. 

I am no prophet, not a prophet’s son.

Amos 7, 14. 

Seemingly, what Amos means here is that in his times there were many false prophets who flattered with words and deviated the people from truth with high flow language. However we can say that the text is presented in the form of poetic oracles of high literary quality (Bright, J., A History of Israel, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1960, p. 246). God called Amos to be a prophet and this demonstrates this concept of God as a communicative being, who chooses someone who speaks for him. Verse 1 clearly indicates that the King usually had the first share from the harvest and locusts were going to attack it. “The lord had pity upon this”, in verses 3,6 does not imply that his original intention was wrong but that he mercifully changed his mind (Alexander, D. & P., The Lion handbook to the Bible, Amos, Lion Publishing, Oxford, 1983,p.446.). 

The “fire” in verse 4 could be the wind coming from the desert. Finally Amos saw that the

Lord was standing upon a plastered wall, and in his hand a mason’s trowel.

Amos 7,8

This shows the judgement of the Lord with Amaziah. Amos had God’s message: Amaziah will die in exile Judah Haleu in the 11th to 12th century argued that it is the ‘Shekhinah’ rather than God himself who appear to prophets (Cohn-Sherbok, D., The Jewish Faith, SPCK, London, p. 37). This is what the prophets perceive of God in the human form. 

After Solomon’s reign, his son Reholoam seemed to be unable to negotiate with the northern tribes. The people were quite restless under his father Solomon who told the new king 

Thy father made our yoke grievous; and now lighten thou the grievous servitude of thy father and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee

1 Kings 12, 4.

Between 786 – 746BC Uzziah ruled Judah and Jeroboam II ruled Israel (2 Kings 14, 21-29). From excavations we find splendid buildings and costly ivory inlays of Phoenician origin and all this shows the luxury enjoyed by the upper classes (Bright, J., 1960, p. 240). During Jeroboam’s time, Samaria was further fortified (Ehrlich, E., A Concise History of Israel, Darton, Longman & Todd, London, 1962, p. 53).

But,

he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be pillaged.11

Amos, 3, 11

Israel was prosperous, yet then Amos boldly tells them of their sins. Men are not to be flattered in sinful ways because they prosper in the world; nor will it last long if they go on still in their sins. Seemingly, Amos is prophesising the defeat of Israel by the Assyrians in 722BC (Hampton Keathley, J., Amos, www.bible.org/docs/ot/books/minorp/amos.htm, 1997). The wider context of this text may be defined as being 6: 1, 7:17. Amos deplored the sins of the neighbours cities; Damascus, Gaza, Tyre and Edom who also slave trade, Ammon who terrorised defenceless women and children with their atrocity, Moabites who burned the bones of the king of Edom, Judah who rejected the law of the Lord and followed false gods (Hampton Keathley, J., Amos, www.bible.org/docs/ot/books/minorp/amos.htm, 1997). Jeroboam too seemed to set up golden calves in Bethel and Dan for his people to worship. As a reaction to Amos’ prophecy

Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from the land.

Amos 7: 10-11

We cannot do without God. Yahweh had been completely alienated from his people. Daily prayers constantly remind us of Him and we should try to listen to what God wants to tell us. Through Christ, we become One in Him. Amos reminded his people that their walk in the footsteps of Jeroboam was in a direction away from God. The Holy Spirit will enhance the person’s conscience who is free and has to live in a responsible way in a modern society.

God comforts us when we are suffering

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3).

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