The 19 Writing Prophets

Short Form THE MESSAGE of the Prophets Part III:

 

4-2:  Pre-Isaiah Prophets.

Amos, and Hosea predate Isaiah. Once again if we approximate with Ussher, then Hosea wrote 785 and Amos 787. {Obadiah and Jonah will not be discussed now as they deal with the sins of other than God’s people.} Most of this can be verified by the historical books such as I Kings and the habit of the Prophets of dating their books in reference as to who were the kings. {For Amos in verse 1:1 speaks of writing concerning all of Israel when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam was king of Israel, two years before the great earthquake.} However dates are very secondary to us as compared to the message of the prophets, and what we are after is to briefly find the specifics in each Prophet of the Message of the time for God’s people. Exegesis here is just like good Bible expositor’s will demand of the book of Revelation that primarily the message had to be first of all a message to the people to whom it was written. That The Message will be the same “The Message” for us! And we will turn to the New International Commentaries for help in outlining, which have remained up-to-date and conservative while scholarly, as compared to most commentators like most Bible teachers have gone astray, missing the ASI and carried away with historical criticism; also to the outlines of the Writing Prophets in the DISCIPLES STUDY BIBLE.

amos best

  1. Part of an Outline of Amos on The Message.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, the whole book of Amos deals with THE MESSAGE, primarily the first half which we will quickly look at in the outline of the study Bible mentioned above. It outlines Amos 1:1 through 6:14 as “God confronts the sin of His people.” {First, we should mention that this study Bible finds as the gift of Amos, “God’s Call to Practical Righteousness”, and isn’t that the equivalent of saying that “God’s people are not acting like God’s people”?}

(1). God’s Word is revealed in human words, 1:1-2 and following.

“The LORD roars {you know immediate that God is unhappy with His own people} from Zion, and utters His voice from Jerusalem (1:2)…Thus says the LORD (1:3)…Thus says the LORD (1:6)…Thus says the LORD (1:9)….” and so on through Amos so that you get the idea that Amos like other books of the Bible claim to be the very word of God. Here is the phenomenon of a book of 66 books in the world, a piece of historical evidence, which claims to be the very Word of God; and on which there is no middle ground, since it claims to be the Word of God, you must accept it for what it is or as a fraud of false claims that can not be trusted, and I make this latter statement rhetorically to show the foolhardiness of the alternative argument to accepting the Bible as the Word of God. Just like on Jesus of Nazareth who claimed to be the very Son of God, the claim itself leaves no middle ground between complete acceptance and compete rejection. Unfortunately, most of God’s chosen group people rejected both claims to the Word and to the Son of God.

(2). The specific four sins of God’s people in Judah and Israel are enumerated with a little of their history to justify the impending judgment, 2:4-15.

“For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because {one} they have despised the law of the LORD, {two} and have not kept His commandments. {three} Their lies lead them astray, {four} Lies which their fathers followed. But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.” (Amos 2:4,5)

NOTE:  Browse how Amos predicted, or really God through the Prophet Amos predicted the destruction of Jerusalem 163 years before the actual event, Domesday in 163 years.

Here the impending disaster that God will send on His own people is “fire” on Judah and on Jerusalem. Is this literal fire or destruction represented by fire? I think you can answer that immediately as the literal fire of an earthquake, since Amos according to the introduction and for a reason mentioned the great earthquake that would come in two years. The part that people have trouble accepting today is that God the Father would send an earthquake on His own people, but it is true; and we deserve far more than that, as for example the first total destruction of the earth by God in the flood and the final destruction, which by the way is also by fire. The above is for the southern kingdom of Judah, how about for the northern kingdom of Israel?

“For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, {one} Because they sell the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals {taking advantage of the poor in the land by the rich is as always in the Prophets and in the US a sin against God}. {Two} They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor {they covet their land and houses}, and pervert the way of the humble {they actually mislead the humble in order to achieve personal gain}. {Three} A man and his father go in to the same girl, to defile My holy name {adultery is always twofold in the Bible, adultery toward God and adultery and fornication toward a fellow human being}. {Four} They lied down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge {the poor borrow against their clothing, and the rich confiscate and enjoy it}, and drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god {a constant habit of God’s people of injustice in the courts while the rich judges and their friends have the gall to drink the very wine of the condemned in the house of God itself–they go to church to celebrate and rejoicing in their prosperity from God when the prosperity has come through injustice and perversion of the poor, and does that remind you of Enron and other executives, all active church members, who fleeced their own poorer employees of their 401K’s in order to line their own pockets?} (Amos 2:6-8)

The impending punishment for God’s people in Israel not acting like God’s people is given in Amos 3:11 as (one) an “adversary shall be all around you”, (two) the adversary will sap all of Israel’s strength, and (three) the palaces will be plundered. This was predicted in 787 B.C. and we know it happened approximately 65 years later in 722 B.C. with the Assyrian Captivity of the northern kingdom. As background for this punishment, a little history of the blessings of God is given in Amos 2:9-12 with the disappointing response of God’s people: (one) God destroyed the mighty Emirates who were in the land of Canaan before them in order to make room for His people; (two) God brought His people before that out of the land of Egypt and led them for 40 years in the wilderness; (three) God raised up in the land some of their sons to be Prophets and some to be Nazirites; (four) but God’s people perversely influence the Nazirites with wine and (five) commanded the Prophets not to speak.

(3). God condemns empty religion, 3:1-15.

Even as Paul condemns a “form of godliness without the power of God” in II Timothy, so also the Prophet Amos, but really God through Amos, condemns a similar “empty religion” in Amos 3:1-15.

“For they do not know to do right, says the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.” (Amos 3:10)

It is bad enough for God’s people, today and then, to not do right by fellow citizens and the strangers in the land; but to be so blind as to not “know” how to do right is the greater sin!

(4). God’s love confronts His disobedient people in judgment, 4:1-5:3.

“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, ‘Bring wine, let us drink!’ The Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness: Behold, the days shall come upon you when He will take you away with fishhooks, and your posterity with fishhooks….” (Amos 4:1-2)

“The virgin of Israel has fallen; she will rise no more. She lies forsaken on her land; there is no one to raise her up…The city that goes out by a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which goes out by a hundred shall have ten left of the house of Israel.” (Amos 5:2-3)

(5). Examples of mistreatment of the people by God’s people and yet a ray of hope for a remnant after Captivity, 5:4-27.

“Therefore, because you tread down the poor and take grain taxes from them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink wine from them for I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sin: afflicting the just and taking bribes; diverting the poor from justice at the gate….Seek good and not evil, that you may live….it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.” (Amos 5:11-15)

hosea

  1. Part of an Outline of Hosea on THE MESSAGE.

The part of the study Bible outline pertinent to the message is the outline of Hosea 4:1-9:9 and entitled “unfaithfulness is the basis of God’s controversy with His people” with the 13 divisions of (1) unfaithful people break covenant commitments, (2) unfaithful ministers bring judgment on the people and on themselves, (3) an alien spirit dominates unfaithful people, (4) God chastises His unfaithful people, (5) surface repentance does not satisfy the sovereign God, (6) sharp judgment comes upon fleeting loyalty, (7) loyal love and personal knowledge of God meet His requirements, (8) covenant-breaking hinders restoration of God’s people, (9) making leaders by power politics shuts God out of the process, (10) compromise leads to loss of strength and alienation from God, (11) diplomatic duplicity interferes with God’s redemptive activity, (12) religious perversion ends in apostasy and bondage, and (13) God’s unfaithful people reap more than they sow. Now we only have time and space to look at the subheadings under the outline of (4). Under (4), “God chastises His unfaithful people”, God through Hosea lists (one) God disciplines unfaithful leaders in 5:1,2; (two) God disciplines because He knows His people fully in 5:3; (three) Pride prevents repentance and promotes stumbling in 5:4,5; (four) extravagant giving is no substitute for lapses in living in 5:6-7, and (five) God is the agent of punishment for His people in 5:8-14.

(4). God chastises His unfaithful people, Hosea 5.

One, God disciplines the unfaithful leaders, 5:1,2.

“Hear this, O priests! Take heed, O house of Israel! Give ear, O house of the king! For yours is the judgment…” (Hosea 5:1)

Two, God disciplines because He knows His people, 5:3.

“And Israel is not hidden from Me…Israel is defiled.” (Hosea 5:3)

Three, the people of God has misdirected their deeds and have the wrong spirit, 5:4,5.

“They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God, for the spirit of harlotry is in their midst, and they do not know the LORD.” (Hosea 5:4)

Four, Extravagant giving is no substitute for lapses in living, 5:6-7.

“With their flocks and herds they shall go to seek the LORD, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn Himself from them. They have dealt treacherously with the LORD…” (Hosea 5:6,7)

Five, God is the agent of punishment for His people, 5:8-14. And can you buy that, that God Himself is the mover and maker of disaster for His own people?

“I, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them away, and no one shall rescue.” (Hosea 5:14b)

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