The Message of Amos: Justice and Righteousness

The Message of Amos: Justice and RighteousnessText: Amos 5:21-24

In this series, we are going to do an overview of the Minor Prophets. The goal is to (1) understand the overall theme of each book and (2) see what lessons there are for us. In this lesson, we are going to see what we can learn from the book of Amos.

Historical Context

  • Specified in the book (1:1) – in the days of Uzziah in Judah (2 Chronicles 26) and Jeroboam son of Joash in Israel (2 Kings 14:23-29); approximately 751 BC
  • Mentioned an earthquake (1:1) – large enough that it was still common knowledge 400 years later (Zechariah 14:5)

Overall Theme: Justice and Righteousness

  • These terms are mentioned together 3 times in this book (5:7, 24; 6:12) – justice is the idea of treating others fairly (cf. Leviticus 19:15); righteousness is piety/virtue pleasing to God
  • God demanded justice and righteousness of them (5:24)
  • They had their own perverted form of justice and righteousness (5:7; 6:12)

Main Points

  • The nations were guilty – injustice toward others (1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1); unrighteousness before God (2:4)
  • Being God’s people did not excuse them – they were guilty as well (2:6-9); in fact, being God’s people gave them less of an excuse (3:1-2); punishment was coming (3:11-15) because God is holy (4:2)
  • They were comfortable in their position (6:1, 4-6) – concerned only with their own comfort (4:1; 8:4-6); despised those who threatened the status quo (5:10; 7:7-13); foolishly longed for the day of the Lord (5:19-20; 6:7)
  • They were lost without God – must seek God to live (5:5, 14); without God’s blessings, they would perish (4:6-10); without God’s word, they were lost (8:11-14)

Lessons for Us

  • We must be mindful of how our actions affect others – principle (1 Corinthians 12:26); therefore, we are to seek the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:23-24; cf. Philippians 2:3-4)
  • We must serve God according to His law – what seems right to us does not justify us (Proverbs 14:12; Matthew 7:21-23); we must do all things by His authority (Colossians 3:17; Matthew 7:21-23)
  • We cannot serve God while harming others – cannot pick one or the other (cf. Matthew 5:23-24; 23:23); if we love God, we must love others also (1 John 4:7-8, 20-21)

Conclusion

  • Amos teaches us about the importance of justice and righteousness
  • We must be fair with others and faithful toward God

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