By: Eric Murphy
In our culture today, it is common to hear someone say “that’s not fair” or complain that life isn’t fair. It is also common to see the same people who use this reasoning try to escape the consequences of their actions, instead of taking responsibility and accepting the punishment that is “fair.” This same pattern of behavior was seen by Amos, and that is why he writes this book to the people of Judah. In our lives there are consequences for the choices that we make, but there is not always punishment. Punishment is a penalty that is given to us for an action by someone over us, Judah is not just recieving the consequences of their actions, they are being punished by God.
Amos was a shepherd, who lived during the reign of Uzziah in Judah. In his book he is inspired by God to warn the people of Judah and Israel of God’s coming punishment. This book is a warning to the people of God and it gives them instructions on what God expects them to do in order to avoid punishment.
God tells the Israelites through Amos that if they do not turn from their evil ways, “the swift will not escape, the strong will not muster their strength, and the warrior will not save his life.” In Amos and in other parts of the Bible God takes his duty to punish his people very seriously. Likewise our parents and those in authority also punish us for our actions because they want what is best for us. While punishment is the best for us, it hurts us to be punished by people that we love. We even become discouraged when the people that we love are disappointed in us. Amos is pleading to the people of Israel to change because God is very serious about his warning to the Israelites.
Think and pray about… Is God warning you to change your ways before he has to punish you?
What will your reaction be the next time you face punishment?
How will your view of punishment change through the reading of Amos?