Amos 9This print version free essay Amos 9.
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Exegetical Paper: Amos 9:5-10
-I will be examining Amos 9:5-10
The message that the author is trying to convey in Amos 9:5-10 is that YHWH has proven himself to the people to be a trustworthy and loyal God. He helped resurrect Israel, the Philistines and the Arameans. In turn these people, particularly the Israelites, have betrayed his trust by acting sinfully toward the kingdom of Israel. The Lord YHWH will judge those people of Israel who are called to do right but who choose to do wrong. The wrongdoers being those that have acted sinfully.
Amos, in vision, saw the Lord standing upon the altar at Bethel. God has come for one thing and one thing alone, judgment. There is no escaping the Lord now, for wherever he stands, one can be seen. YHWH has an inescapable presence. Those whom he opposes can find no shelter; wherever they go, his eyes will follow. Wherever sinners flee from YHWHâ€™s justice, it will overtake them. Not only does God have an inescapable presence, he also has the power to do virtually anything imaginable with the Earth. As mentioned in Amos 9:5-6: â€œThe Lord, the LORD Almighty, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mournâ€”the whole land rises like the Nile, then sinks like the river of Egyptâ€”he who builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the Earth, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the landâ€”the LORD is his name.â€ Those whom sin or rebel against God will seek an unwanted response. Whether that unwanted resonse be an earthquake, volcano or any other natural disaster. If one is respectful of YHWH they will be respected back in turn and will someday be brought to heaven. Those whom God brings to heaven by his grace, shall never be cast down; but those who seek to climb up by vain confidence in themselves, will be cast down and filled with shame and embarrassment. That which makes escape impossible. YHWH will set his eyes upon them for evil, not for good. If one is honestly sin-free they will someday find heaven but as for those whom have sinned and then turn around and to try and make it up to the Lord, they will never seek his approval therefore not resorting to heaven.
In Amos 9:7, the Lord says: â€œAre not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?â€ declares the Lord. â€œDid I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Armeans from Kir?â€ YHWH is expressing all that he has done for the people. He has resurrected these towns, and for what? Evidently he is not pleased with what he has received in return. The people have not responded respectfully the way that he wanted them to and he believes that they should be punished as a result, particularly the sinners. As mentioned in the book Amos, YHWH and Israel have a historical past and in the past YHWH has helped rescue Israel and bring the town back to the way it once used to be, but now they are back in the same sticky situation, aspiring to become the beautiful town they have always dreamed of acceding to (Mays, 157).
Israel seems to believe that they have a special relationship with YHWH since he has helped the Israelite people out of Egypt, God however does not feel that he should give preferential treatment to anybody that has escaped and humiliated his own trust. I believe that God has every right to act stubborn and make his own righteous decision. In the book Amos and Micah, John Marsh states:
â€œGod is more bound by the justice and righteousness of his own immutable nature than by a bond which a fickle Israel has sinfully broken again and again. So God is perfectly free to destroy the sinful kingdom of Israel, and announces his intention to do soâ€ (Marsh, 71).
Israel canâ€™t expect God to be there for them whenever they need a helping hand. Itâ€™s a lot like the story The Boy who Cried Wolf, after a couple of rescue attempts it was evident that the boy was trying to fool the rescuer and the rescuer recognized this, so when the boy was really in trouble with a wolf, the rescuer thought that he was joking again and it suddenly wasnâ€™t so funny. â€œIsrael is not the only people on earth that God cares for. Thus, Israelâ€™s status should not lead to complacencyâ€ (Barre, 215). This is a solid point that Michael L. Barre has professed. Israel should not expect God to be there for them whenever they need to be rescued, it would not be fair to anybody else in this world. In order for Israel to gain back Godâ€™s respect, the town must relinquish themselves of all sinners and then the Israelites can start from square one.
Amos 9:8 effectively explores what YHWH will due to the unfaithful town of Israel. â€œSurely the eyes of the Sovereign LORD are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earthâ€”yet I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob, declares the Lord.â€ YHWH is looking for a new approach in resurrecting Israel back to independence. He will destroy Israel to rid all of the sin and start over with a new city with new people and allow the non-sinners back to help the city grow and become amalgamated. As Henry McKeating pointed out, when God helped Israel in 722 B.C. the results were not positive and the town never even regained its â€œnational identity.â€ The past relationship between the Lord and Israel has not been a good one through the eyes of the Lord so he is in no way shape or form ready to redirect Israel toward sovereignty just to see it spit back at him. YHWH is ready to punish them and give them what they deserve.
While God talks of his plan of destroying Israel, he mentions how he will sift between the sinners and the virtuous in Amos 9:9. â€œFor I will give the command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground.â€ YHWH is interpreting the process of destroying the offenders and keeping the righteous individuals. He is relating it to how trash is separated from grain in a sieve or how gold is attained through mining. The righteous are the ones that fall through the sifter while the pebble is the sinner that God will take and annihilate (Kraft, 476). James Mays states that â€œthe logical implication which the metaphor could suggest, the separation of the bad and good, is simply not pursued.â€ Although it is not pursued I think that it is fairly obvious that the stones or pebbles are the sinners that will be punished and the righteous folks are ignored and fall right through Godâ€™s trap.
The end of the passage states that the sinners will be destroyed by the sword that seems so charismatic through the eyes of YHWH. The last passage is as follows: â€œAll the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, Disaster will not overtake or meet us.â€ Those people that are being arrogant toward YHWH are the ones that are saying that disaster will not overtake them. This does not sit well in the hands of the Lord YHWH and it probably allows him to have a sense of vengeance among the sinners of his people. He doesnâ€™t want the honorable individuals that are his people to be intertwined with the sinners. He wants them to be on their own.
The passages proceeding Amos 9:5-10 have a theme that consists of making Israel a picture perfect living arrangement for the new and existing Israelites. They want to develop the land more fancifully than the existing land. They want to build deserted cities and want to drink their wine and eat their fruit; a situation that Israel has not seen in quite some time.
In my life today, I am faced with several obstacles and fears to overcome. The obstacles that I am faced with are obstacles that everybody encounters throughout the duration of their life. I know what is right and wrong based on my own morals and or beliefs. Although my morals are what I abide by, people live differently than me. Some peopleâ€™s values are far different from others. For instance, an infant or a young person may not know what they want and may not have any sorrow toward what they chose to do because they cannot decipher between what is right and what is wrong. Myself on the other hand; I know whatâ€™s right and whatâ€™s wrong. If I make a mistake I will feel guilty and may get down on myself, for I know that I have sinned. This is a very important lesson that everybody has or will face. If one sins, the outcome can never be positive; either your conscience eats at you or you will suffer the consequences in your after life.
Barre, Michael L. â€œAmos.â€ The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Raymond E.
Brown. New York: Prentice Hall, 1968.
Kraft, Charles F. The Interpreters One Volume Commmentary on the Bible. Charles
M. Layman. Nashville: Arlington Press, 1971.
Marsh, John. Amos and Micah. London: SCM Press Ltd, 1959.
Mays, John Luther. Amos. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1969.
McKeating, Henry. Amos, Hosea, Micah. New York: Cambridge University Press,