Amos devotionals 2014

Amos devotionals 2014 by Kevin E. Jesmer



Amos was one of the twelve Minor Prophets. This book was written to Northern Israel during the reigns of Jeroboam ll of Israel and Uzziah (Azariah) of Judah (760 to 750 BC.) Its purpose was to pronounce judgment upon Israel for their complacency, idol worship and oppression of the poor. Soon Israel would be conquered by Assyria and the rich oppressors would themselves become slaves. Their destruction would come forty years later after God’s prophecy through Amos.


But God tried to reach out to the people of Israel one more time, through a servant of God like Amos. Amos came from humble beginnings, for he tended sheep and fig trees. But he was called to speak God’s word to the people who were living extravagant lives. He preached repentance, calling for justice and righteousness. He is an inspiration for all who hail from humble beginnings and are called by God to speak truth to their generation. His message rings true for every generation tempted by materialism and idols.


The following is a short summary of the book of Amos…


(i) Judgment on the Gentiles (1:1-2:3)

(ii) Judgment on Israel (2:4-16)

(iii) Israel’s guilt (3:1-6:14)

(iv) Five visions: Locusts, Fire, Plumb Line, Basket 

      of Ripe Fruit, The Lord by the Altar  (7:1-9:10)

(v) Israel’s restoration and God’s hope (9:11-15)



Saturday, August 16




Amos 1:1-15

He said: ‘The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers.’” (2)


First, Amos was called from humble beginnings (1-2). He was not a professional but a shepherd and a fig grower. He was a lay minister, called to give God’s word to the people. God uses people from ordinary backgrounds and rural settings in his work. We may not feel that our position is important, but it is of utmost importance to God if you are where God wants you to be. God can work through you in many unique and wonderful ways.


Second, God reveals his plans (8-10). Amos told of what God would do, to whom and why. The first nations harassed Israel from ancient times. The other nations were related to Israel. But they, too, were enemies. God would call them to task for their inhumanity and lack of regard towards those with whom they had a special relationship. God would judge their crimes, roaring like a lion. Nobody can get away with wickedness. God sees and cares. He looks from heaven on the weak and the downtrodden. He is mighty to save and deliver.


Lord God Almighty, thank you for working through lay ministers. Help us to deliver your word faithfully.


ONE WORD: The Lord roars because he cares


Sunday, August 17




Amos 2:1-16

“….Because they have rejected the law of the LORD and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed,” (4b)


First, God judged his people by a different standard (1-5). The Gentiles were guilty of their unique set of sins (like atrocities in war) while the sins of God’s people took a more religious tone. Judah was God’s chosen people, but they did not live by the word of God. Their status did not free them from the consequences of their sins. They too would stand before the throne of judgment and be judged according to their relationship with God, as brought to light through the word of God.


Second, Israel forgot the grace of God (6-16). Israel had received the grace of God. They were also called to be God’s people and yet they walked all over that grace. They ignored the prophets’ challenge to remember God’s grace and return.  They ignored their identity and turned their back on God preferring idols. When they became hardened, injustice and blatant immorality filled their land.


Lord, I am called to be one of your people. Help me to remember your grace, to be true to your word and to live as your child and servant.


ONE WORD: Walk humbly in God’s grace


Monday, August 18




Amos 3:1-15

“The lion has roared— who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken— who can but prophesy?” (8)


First, God’s people will have to answer (1-8).

Soon the city would be laid waste. It would have happened for a reason. Whatever happens has a cause. In this case, the Lord allowed judgment to happen because of unrepentant sins. In light of this upcoming judgment, Amos was called to speak the difficult message of repentance. He was compelled. For when the Lord speaks, who can but prophesy?


Second, Samaria faced God’s judgment (9-15).

God proclaimed judgment on Samaria. Jeroboam I introduced idol worship that led the hearts of the people astray. The lifestyles of the rich oppressed the poor. Unless Samaria repented they would face judgment. The King of Assyria would empty the palaces in Israel of their ill-gotten riches. The few people left would be like a piece of an ear of a sheep taken from the mouth of ravaging lion. We must take heed, repent of our sins and draw near to the Lord right now, for today is the day of salvation. He is waiting to restore our hearts.


Lord, help us to hear your clear warnings and draw near to you for salvation. Help us to listen to your words of life and chart a new course.


ONE WORD: The Lord has spoken; we must speak

Tuesday, August 19




Amos 4:1-13  

“…prepare to meet your God.” (12b)


First, the women needed to open their ears to hear God’s word (1-5). Bashan was the rich pasture land east of Jordan, where cattle were fed and became strong. Its women were also sleek and well fed. In their selfishness they pushed their husbands to oppress the helpless in order to support lavish lifestyles, contributing to Israel’s corruption. Unless they repented of their idolatry, they would be taken as captives in a most painful and humiliating way.


Second, be prepared to meet God (6-13). The Lord is the Creator who knows the thoughts of people. He allows things to happen with hopes that they might repent and turn to him. God, in his mercy, halted the destruction so that the people would return. But they still ignored him. There was no recourse, so Amos declared: “Prepare to meet your God.” They would have to meet the one they have rejected – and meet him in judgment. One day each person will meet God face to face to give account for what they have done and failed to do. Are you prepared to meet your God? There is only one way. It is through repentance unto faith!


Lord, help all people of our land not to contribute to its corruption, but to build the nation up spiritually, showing the way to return to you.


ONE WORD: Prepare To Meet Your God.

Wednesday, August 20




Amos 5:1-13

“Seek the LORD and live,…” (6a)


First, God offers his people a remedy (1-6). Amos sang a lament as though judgment had already taken place. On the day of judgment, they could not hide from God. Carnage would be everywhere. Only one tenth of the military would survive, but the destruction of the 90% meant nothing to them; they remained unrepentant. The fact that God laments shows that God cares. God wanted to draw them to himself. He provided a remedy. In love, God implored them to seek him and live. Hope is found in seeking God. In times of difficulty and struggles, seek God.


Second, God upholds holy things (7-13). The courts became lined with greed and injustice. The rich milked the poor to build mansions, while good people kept silent. The judges oppressed those who spoke up for justice like Amos. God does not appreciate it when the pure and holy things of God – like seeking justice, caring for the poor, and upholding the righteous – are trampled on. May we uphold the things that God holds dear.


Lord, we are always seeking solutions to our problems. We wonder why things are the way they are. We want to accept your remedy, that is, to seek you and live.


ONE WORD: Seek God’s remedy

Thursday, August 21




Amos 5:14-27                                                                               “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (24)


First, God shows his people the way (14-17). God calls his people to seek and love the good and to hate evil. An expression of this was to maintain justice in the courts. In order to receive the Lord’s mercy, Israel’s leaders would have to repent, confess and practically reform their ways. This would not be easy, but it was God’s way to save them. God would surely help them if they would only humble themselves.  Our God is powerful, faithful and dependable. He is more than able to save those who seek to know God’s heart.


Second, God desires justice to cover the land (18-27). He desires justice to roll on like a river, whose water permeates the entire land. God wants justice to spread across our land through his people until everything is drenched with justice. This means that outside of our worship services and devotions, we must care about others’ plight by praying and working for justice until it permeates our lives and communities. Justice is near the heart of God. True justice is born of God and his word.


Lord, so often I am concerned only about my own devotion to you. Help me to concern about things outside my personal space, like spreading justice.


ONE WORD: Seek the Lord and live

Friday, August 22




Amos 6:1-14

“Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,…” (1a)


First, their feasting and lounging had gone too far (1-7). People were prosperous, complacent, self indulgent and unrepentant. No one was concerned about the spiritual condition of their nation. In the end, they would go into exile. The “party will be over” for all those who ignore God, justice and live for self indulgence.  We need to care about others who suffer around us, who are in need and who cannot find justice or salvation.


Second, Israel’s pride would be her downfall (8-14). People were so far from God that they didn’t know how to respond when facing the Lord’s judgment. If all but ten men in one family died, even the survivors would not utter the name of God for fear of getting judged. They were on the cusp of having their pride broken with the rod of Assyria, but these people were so lost. They kept silent. Keeping silent is not an acceptable response when standing on the cusp of destruction. We must return to the Lord with humility and repentance.


Lord, our complacently and false pride have clouded the way back to you. Help us to return to you. Show us the way.


ONE WORD: Open our eyes and respond to God


Saturday, August 23




Amos 7:1-9

“And the LORD asked me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ ‘A plumb line,’ I replied. Then the Lord said, ‘Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.’” (8)


First, the two initial visions revealed complete destruction (1-6). When locusts and fire ravaged the land, the destruction was so thorough that nothing and no one could stand. All things of worth were laid bare. Amos prayed that God would have mercy and in response, God relented. God has opened our eyes to see his wrath and mercy. Believers today can be proactive and pray.


Second, the third vision of the plum line (7-9). A plumb line is a builder’s tool. A wall constructed along a plumb line is straight and strong. The spiritual plumb line is God’s word. Israel should have built the nation according to God’s plumb line.  But they chose differently. Their plumb line was of this world. The nation was crooked and about to topple. Unless they repented, they would be met with destruction. God forgives us of our crookedness and recreates “straight walls” when we repent and believe.


Lord, I fail to measure up to the plumb line of your word. But I come to you to be made straight.


ONE WORD: Crooked, but straightened by the Lord

Sunday, August 24




Amos 7:10-17

“Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. 15 But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now then, hear the word of the LORD….” (14-16a)


First, Amos was told to get out (10-13)! The priest of Bethel felt threatened by Amos. He did not want to accept the word of God. Instead of recognizing the truth and interpreting the times, he told Amos to “Get out!”  When people can’t interpret the times, God will send missionaries or people from outside their system. We need them. Who discovered water? I am sure it was not a fish. We must be humble enough to always consider the words spoken to us through the Lord’s sent ones.


Second, Amos held onto his personal calling (14-17). Amos was from Judah, but God sent him to preach in Israel. This was his personal calling in life. When he found this calling, threats could not silence him. We all need our personal calling in life while at the same time, discerning our season of life. God wants to do a marvelous work in and among us, but we must follow God’s leading.


Lord, help me to discern your calling in this season of my life and to serve it well with conviction.


ONE WORD: Listen to the one whom God sends

Monday, August 25




Amos 8:1-14

“’The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord, ‘when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.’” (11)


First, the time was ripe for judgment (1-6). “Ripe” here means ripe for the harvest of judgment. The people were so ripe they were rotten and falling from the tree. They had become so materialistic that they were impatient for worship to end so they could oppress the poor. Money had become their god. God’s judgment would come in the form of an earthquake, confirmed by an eclipse.


Second, the judgment was more than physical (7-14). The people would suffer on a spiritual level because of their sin. Their attempts at worship will become times of weeping. They will be in perpetual mourning. They will not be able to hear the word of the Lord and thus grow faith. They will spiritually thirst and stagger in life. Those who should be lovely will appear gaunt and on death’s door. Such is the fate of any who ignore God’s grace and mercy. We need the Lord. He is our life and our all.


Lord, I repent of my sins that cut me off from you. Without you I would surely stagger and fall. Help us to hold onto you and share your word with a people staggering in a spiritual famine.


ONE WORD: The Lord saves from spiritual famine

Tuesday, August 26




Amos 9:1-15                                                                                      

“In that day ‘I will restore David’s fallen shelter- I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins- and will rebuild it as it used to be.’” (11)


First, the Lord’s eyes were focused on his people (1-10). The Lord stood near announcing a judgment which no one could escape. Yet people, instead of repenting, were deceived into thinking they could escape God’s wrath. People cannot hide behind anything. It was time to willingly surrender their hearts to the Lord. But they did not. How true it is that sometimes we can be our own worst enemies.


Second, God’s heart was still hoping (11-15). It was God’s plan all along to call a people who were not his people and work through the rejected people of this world (12). He wanted to call the Gentiles to be his people and his servants. There is an image of peace, security, happiness, and contentment here. This is our great hope…the glorious hope of the kingdom of God! It has been God’s plan all along that the kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven. We can experience the kingdom of God even now.


Lord, thank you for the security of the Kingdom of God. You are my rock and my salvation. I can have peace and joy living in you, for you are my God.


ONE WORD: God judges but he also hopes

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