• Amos is the thirtieth book in the Old Testament. It is third among the so-called “minor” (or shorter) prophets, the twelve books that make up the final portion of the Old Testament.
• Amos was a shepherd who lived in the region of Tekoa, about twelve miles from the city of Jerusalem. He made his living by raising sheep and taking care of sycamore trees.
• God calls Amos to prophesy to the nations to save his people from the destruction they were inevitably facing.
• Amos prophesied while Uzziah was on the throne of Judah and Jeroboam II was king of Israel. This was a time of great prosperity. Unfortunately, both social and religious corruption had also become out of control during this time. The number of both wealthy and poor citizens had increased greatly, as had the practice of morally ruined worship.
• Amos was concerned that the Israelites did not take their election as God’s chosen people seriously enough. They thought that because God had chosen them, their worship could be superficial and they could engage in destructive social relationships. Without justice and righteousness in their dealings with other people, however, all their religious festivals and sacrifices to God were of absolutely no value (Amos 5:21-24)
• Amos pronounces some more harsh judgments and he relays the vision of ripe fruit that God had given him. The vision of ripe fruit was used to illustrate how the people of Israel were ready for judgment from God. Amos tells them that many people were going to be carried out of the city and that many others would die. However the people didn’t want to listen to Amos and turn from their sins.
• The book ends with God’s promise to Amos of future restoration of the remnant.
Amos tells of the restoration and hope of Israel, “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old” (9:11).