I just read through Amos and I was struck by a few things:
1. God really has ridiculous unfathomable power. I think we forget that sometimes because we don’t have to physically rely on Him 24/7 (even though we should).
2. Although He loves, He is also just and His righteousness is an unstoppable force:
“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.” Amos 5:24
3. How on earth could Israel not pay attention to this? God had used prophets before, and they had been proven right, so it’s a little different than someone today yelling on the sidewalk.
4. I think there’s something to be said for shepherds. Amos was a shepherd, as was David. I feel like this reinforces the point that God does not see rank, but sees everyone as His children, each of us having specific roles in His Story.
5. The charges here are serious: Judgement on Israel’s neighbors, judgement on Israel for ignoring God despite His faithfulness to that people group, and further description of Israel’s offenses. They are not repentant, they continue to sin, and yet God calls them back. He lets them know the consequences of what they are doing and assures that He will follow through. It’s terrifying what He describes. He even relates it in simple images such as locusts, fire, and a plumb line, and a basket of ripe fruit. Finally, God says Israel will be destroyed for their unrepentant hearts… yet even after all of that, God promises renewal. He promises a future.
This book reminded me that God is faithful. Although there are consequences to sin and to not seeing the error in sinning, God demonstrates His love by promising to destroy our “self” that gets in the way of loving God completely. I look at my own life, and I’ve seen this played out so many times. God doesn’t love me any less for struggling, but He cares about where my heart is at. As long as I’m truly repentant and make actions not to repeat the same sin over and over again, He will accept me. Additionally, if I continue to be stubborn, I can bet that there will be consequences because God wants me to live in a right relationship with Him, and loves me enough to correct me. I want to learn how to live in agreement with God on a deeper level. I am SO thankful He wants me to have that and can show us His character through the Bible.