Amos was a shepherd who received visions back when Jeroboam was king in Israel and Uzziah reigned in Judah.
God: I’m really angry with Damascus because they attacked Gilead, so I’m going to destroy them
I’m really angry with Gaza because they warred with a town and sold the population as slaves to Edom, so I will destroy them.
I’m angry with Tyre for warring with a town and selling the population to Edom as slaves, so I’m going to destroy them.
I’m angry with Edom for attacking Israel, so I’m going to destroy them.
I’m angry with Ammon for killing pregnant women and children, so I’m going to destroy them too.
I’m angry with Moab for cremating the remains of the king of Edom…? So He’s going to destroy them.
I’m angry at Judah for ignoring my Law, so I’m going to destroy them.
I’m angry at Israel for slave trading, for oppressing the poor and needy, and for all those guys becoming Eskimo bros with their dads. Ick.
You guys steal the possessions and profit off of the poor.
I was the one who gave you this land and I destroyed the Amorites who lived here before you, but you have forsaken me, so I’m going to destroy you too.
God says he chose the Jews out of all the other people to be His people, and now they’re being assholes, so He’s going to mostly destroy them and hold on to a few scraps. Their idols and sacred places and ivory houses will be destroyed.
God is angry at the wives of Israel. He calls them cows. He accuses them of oppressing the poor and needy. Gee… one would almost think God takes that seriously from how often it gets repeated.
God invites the people to come and worship Him with their profane offerings as they always do, almost like He doesn’t give a shit about our piety as much as our actions.
God says He gave them famine and they didn’t repent, so He gave them drought and they didn’t repent, so he attacked their crops with insects and they didn’t repent, so he gave them a plague and they didn’t repent, He overthrew their cities with the fire and a sword and they didn’t repent, so He tells them they should get ready to meet Him in person.
Being omniscient, he probably should have realized none of that would work and skipped to the end part.
They will sing a dirge for Israel in that day. 90% of the population will fall or be taken. God encourages the people to seek him and live.
The people hate those who correct them. They impose heavy rent on the poor and take their food as payment. They oppress the righteous and take bribes. They prevent poor sojourners from entering their towns.
Hey, thank God none of this Old Testament stuff applies to us today, huh? #sarcasm.
God encourages the people to act with justice. He hates their religion. He is sick of their feigned piety while they continue to act unjustly and oppress the poor.
Rather, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
God promises calamity will fall on those rich people who rest at ease. Those who feel secure in their wealth will be overthrown.
God: I’m prepared a swarm of locusts to go eat all the crops of Israel.
Amos: Lord, please don’t! Think of how that will devastate the people!
God: Ah… okay, I won’t do it. How about if I destroy the land with fire instead?
Amos: That would be bad too.
God: Fine, I won’t do that either. But seriously, Amos, I’ve measured my people and found them wanting, so I will destroy them.
Amaziah a priest tells King Jeroboam to do something about Amos because he’s prophesying bad things about Israel and the king.
Amaziah: Go down to Judah. This is our country. Love it or leave it, man.
Amos: Hey, God was the one who told me to go prophesy, so I prophesy. As for you, you’re going to die in a foreign land, your wife will become a prostitute, your sons and daughters will die by violence, and your lands will be divided up and sold. And Israel will definitely go into exile.
The end is coming for Israel, God says. They trample the needy, destroy the humble, they cheat in their commerce, they enslave the helpless.
So I will not forget their deeds, God says. The day of judgment is coming. Calamity will all on the people, but God will be silent. They will seek him, but not find him.
God very vividly explains that he will be quite thorough in the destruction of Israel, but Israel will not be completely cut off, just the sinners.
Then God will restore Israel and bring about great prosperity for them and they will never be expelled from their lands again… except by Caesar Titus in 70 AD… and by the First Crusaders who slaughtered Jerusalem’s inhabitants without regard for race or religion.
But… you know, that’s not all bad… they’ve got nuclear weapons now, so they’ll probably stay put for the foreseeable future.