The Bible contains many stories of prophets who shared God’s word to the people. One of those many prophets is a man named Amos. Amos is a biblical book about a sheep-breeder from Tekoa, Judah, a town “ten miles south of Jerusalem” (Lucas 131). The book was written during the reign of Jeroboam ii of Israel and of Uzziah of Judah. Amos did receive messages from the Lord, but didn’t think of himself as a professional prophet and distanced himself from the ones that did. His ministry extended from about 760 to around 750 BC. Amos received his first vision about two years before the massive earthquake that destroyed many towns. In fact, in chapter nine of the book, Amos even speaks of God destroying the temple at Bethel being struck and collapsing. The first verse of the book of Amos tells about how Amos received messages from God in visions. Amos, being the writer of the book, is able to explain exactly what he saw and heard.
Amos prophesized to the Israelites of the northern kingdom. He revealed to them God’s judgement of them for their idolatry and their oppression of the poor. At the time that Amos was given these messages, Israel had “fallen short of God’s standards” (Lucas 131). God criticized, through Amos, the Israelites for their uncontrolled materialism, social inequality, corrupted justice system, sexual immorality, and their hypocritical worship (Lucas 131). The Lord warned His people of justice that was coming. They had lost sight of God’s love for them. The rich were care free and comfortable, but they refused to help those who were in need. They observed their religious rituals in hopes of pleasing the Lord, yet they didn’t truly love Him. Amos announced God’s warnings of destruction in 5:24 by saying, “I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living” (Amos 5). God wanted them to not just show that they are Jewish by sacrificing and worshiping Him, He wanted them to penetrate all areas of their lives with their belief in Him.