Amos: God’s Expectations Part 1


Justice and Righteousness on the Pathway

God’s Expectation’s: Part 1

Amos 1:1-2:3

Intro: There is bad news all over the world.  Killings in our inner cities.  Venezuela’s government is not caring for its citizens.  North Korea is abusing its citizens.  Many countries are seeing religious persecution and bullying.  If you watch news before church you may think that the world is coming to an end before the day is over.  I’m surprised there is not greater attendance at Church. 

 Enter the story of Amos and his calling from God.  Israel is in trouble. Two hundred years before this story, Israel was divided.  2 ½ tribes became Judah and 9 ½ tribes became Israel.  Guess what?  That did not solve any problems for Israel.  They still would not become the people, God called them to be.  In fact, they strayed further.

 So, God called to Amos to bring His message to mostly Israel, though He had a Word to Judah and other nations.  It is a Word to us also.

 1 The words of Amos, who was among the sheepherders from Tekoa, which he envisioned in visions concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

2 He said,
“The Lord roars from Zion
And from Jerusalem He utters His voice;
And the shepherds’ pasture grounds mourn,
And the summit of Carmel dries up.”

Amos received a call from God.  This is who that God is…

Amos 4:13

He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mortals, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth –

the LORD God Almighty is his name.    NIV

A shepherd would certainly know the roar of a lion. He knows about dry pastures and no water.  This shepherd also knew the God of Israel.

When God calls what does He expect?

God Expects Followers to Followers

He expects His people to respond with a resounding, “Yes, Lord! When God called…

Noah started building an ark.

Abraham left his home town.

Moses began to lead Israel.

Samuel said, Speak Lord for your servant is listening.

David stopped being a sheep herder.

When God called Amos, he took a trip up north.

Amos begins by telling us that He had visions about Israel. The book of Amos is his account of what God called him to do.  In Amos 7 we see where the visions came from and what God gave him in the visions.

Amos 7:14 – 15 – Then Amos replied to Amaziah, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. 15 But the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Israel.’

Amos was a shepherd who had a sheep herding business.  He was from Takoa and one of many sheep herders from there.  In Matthew Henry’s commentary on Amos, he said that while Amos was a business man, he was not a particularly good one.  In Amos 7, it says he also, was a grower of sycamore figs.  When you don’t have one good job, you have to have two jobs, to have the income to meet your outgo.  He supplemented his herding income with sycamore fig trees.

His point being that God calls ordinary people.  He calls them to follow and be obedient. Paul says in I Corinthians 1:25 – Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  God does not choose the greatest and wisest in the world.  He chooses men and woman who will follow and do what He says – even if it is a little or a lot crazy.

I just mentioned many of these kinds of servants.  Amos is one of them.

When God calls, He expects us to follow.  A calling by God was not only an Old Testament thing it was also a New Testament thing.  Mary and Joseph were called.  Each one said yes to God’s call.  Peter said yes to feeding God’s sheep.  Paul said yes, to preaching to the gentiles.  Barnabas and John Mark said yes to being missionaries. It is a 2019 thing too.  He may be calling you to a task.  Never forget the mission Abraham and Sarah were called into at age 99 and 90.  Starting a family – that would follow God.

You know the world in which Amos was called into, was much like ours today.  Does He have a warning to give the United States and other nations around the world? Yes!  Maybe you have been having a vision or two about what God wants to do through you.  God does speak to us in our dreams.

What will you say yes too?  Faithfully praying for a neighbor.  Daily spending time in God’s Word until you hear Him call?  Will you make a difference in someone’s life?

You don’t have to be the best at anything.  In fact, normal people who love the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength can, are the first ones God calls.  As I see it, if this body would focus on loving the Lord with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength we could expect God to call us into some big tasks.  These are the kind of people He calls. 

He expects us to say yes.

In the first two chapters of Amos, we see that God is about to call into account all the nations around Israel.  We know that God does not want anyone to perish but wants all to come to repentance.  He calls us into account.  He expects all people to respond to His challenge in their lives.

His next expectation found in Amos is that a believer or not, we should treat all people as important.

God Expects People to Be Valued

Waring and fighting between nations were common in the time of Amos.  It doesn’t seem that it is any better today.  God is speaking to and about those nations around Israel and Judah that were mean and vicious in their encounters with other nations.  Their actions were not much better in house either.

God is about to call the nation around Israel to account.  The meaning of this idiom is: to say that someone is responsible for something that has gone wrong and they are required to explain it, deal with it, or be punished for it. God has heard the cry of the people He created and those who have caused the outcry are being called into account..

It is true that God called Israel for a special purpose.  It is also true that God created all nations and that He was revealing Himself and placed expectations on all peoples of the world.  They were responsible to God for what He had made known to them.  God placed a desire in all people to know Him.  He also instilled in them an understanding of some right and wrong in relationship to each other.  It appears they could care less so now God was calling them into account.

Amos said that his message was from God and for Israel but then He starts to speak to the nations around Israel.    

1) 3 Thus says the Lord,
“For three transgressions of Damascus and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they threshed Gilead with implements of sharp iron.
4 “So I will send fire upon the house of Hazael
And it will consume the citadels of Ben-hadad.
5 “I will also break the gate bar of Damascus,
And cut off the inhabitant from the valley of Aven,
And him who holds the scepter, from Beth-eden;
So the people of Aram will go exiled to Kir,”
Says the Lord.

2) 6 Thus says the Lord,
“For three transgressions of Gaza and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they deported an entire population
To deliver it up to Edom.
7 “So I will send fire upon the wall of Gaza
And it will consume her citadels.
8 “I will also cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod,
And him who holds the scepter, from Ashkelon;
I will even unleash My power upon Ekron,
And the remnant of the Philistines will perish,”
Says the Lord God.

3) 9 Thus says the Lord,
“For three transgressions of Tyre and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they delivered up an entire population to Edom
And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
10 “So I will send fire upon the wall of Tyre
And it will consume her citadels.”

4) 11 Thus says the Lord,
“For three transgressions of Edom and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because he pursued his brother with the sword,
While he stifled his compassion;
His anger also tore continually,
And he maintained his fury forever.
12 “So I will send fire upon Teman
And it will consume the citadels of Bozrah.”

5) 13 Thus says the Lord,
“For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead
In order to enlarge their borders.
14 “So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah
And it will consume her citadels
Amid war cries on the day of battle,
And a storm on the day of tempest.
15 “Their king will go into exile,
He and his princes together,” says the Lord.

6) Thus says the Lord,

“For three transgressions of Moab and for four
I will not revoke its punishment,
Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.
2 “So I will send fire upon Moab
And it will consume the citadels of Kerioth;
And Moab will die amid tumult,
With war cries and the sound of a trumpet.
3 “I will also cut off the judge from her midst
And slay all her princes with him,” says the Lord.

The introduction into Amos from the Bible Project says that these nations form a circle with Israel at the middle of that circle.  Next week we will look at God’s Expectations: Part 2 as He calls Israel and Judah into account.

But today, Amos’ message is from God to

Damascas (capital for the nation of Syria), Gaza (the home of the Philistines a coastal trading city), Tyre (Coastal Trading City), Edom (descendants of Esau), Ammon and Moab (both of these cities inhabitants were descendants of Lot).

These nations have acted toward their citizens and their neighbors in such a way that God has had enough.  He is calling them to answer for their behavior, practices and policy.

They are charged with these accusations…

  1. threshed Gilead with implements of sharp iron. – they destroyed people groups like grain on a threshing floor. When they conquered a nation, they tortured and killed the population. A defeat was not enough.
  • deported an entire population – they displaced people they conquered by selling them as slaves. People have never been a commodity to be harvested and sold.
  • delivered up an entire population to Edom
    And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.- they made contracts and covenant and broke them. Let your yes be yes.
  • pursued his brother with the sword,
    While he stifled his compassion;
    His anger also tore continually,
    And he maintained his fury forever. They made war within their nation and made family fight family.  Anger desired to destroy everyone. 

The week saw the movie “Emmanuel” about the church shooting in 2015 in Charleston South Carolina. This new documentary
“Emmanuel” reveals the power of forgiveness as the familes of those killed at the hand of Dylan Root responded to this tragedy.  They did not seek to destroy him nor people like him.  They forgave and as a result they continue to trust God to heal their hearts and their city.  They could have responded like Edom but they did not.

  • ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead
    In order to enlarge their borders. This nation just annihilated the nations they conquered.  Humiliated and made rebuilding and regaining dignity impossible.  Their god was Moloch who required child sacrifices.  Killing babies causes anguish to people’s souls.
  • he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.  Retaliation is the sin here.  One case of this was when the king of Moab sacrificed his child to appease his nations God and though he did that willingly, himself he took his anguish out on Edom and killed the king of Edom. A life for a life.  This is a word I taught and teach my children and grandchildren.  Don’t retaliate it escalates the problem.

Does most of this seem like what political parties and their followers are doing today?  What about critical comments on Facebook? What about bad reviews left at retail stores, restaurants or business that serve others? What about boyfriends and girlfriends that breakup and speak badly about each other to their friends and family?  What about nasty divorces? What about denominations and religions that are attacked by outsiders and parishioners alike?

He will call unbelievers into account.  God will call them into account because they think it is okay to treat people the way they do.  Don’t get too comfortable because next week Amos speaks to Judah and Israel. And even gets closer to our home.

Challenge: Never forget God expects believers to follow His call.  He expects all peoples and nations to treat each other with common decency and respect.  It does not matter if they call Him Lord or are a part of some other religion. 

But for we who believe let us follow Amos 5:24

 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! 


We must not act like unbelievers who will be called into account because their disregard of God’s people (that is all people created by God – that is every person on this earth).  As we walk our pathway with God– let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! 


This week notice how you think about and treat your friends and foes.  Let God make a change in your relationships.