What inspired Amos to write down his message as he is regarded as the first literary prophet?

The author of the Book of Amos is the Prophet Amos. The Book of Amos was written between 760 and 753 B.C.

“The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.” Amos 1:1

Amos was a shepherd and a fruit picker from the Judean village of Tekoa when God calls him, even though he lacks an education or a priestly background. Amos' mission is directed to his neighbor to the north, Israel. What inspired Amos and his messages of impending doom and captivity for the nation was the sin of Israel. His warnings were largely unpopular and unheeded, however, not since the days of Solomon have times been good in Israel. Amos' ministry takes place while Jeroboam II reigns over Israel, and Uzziah reigns over Judah.

Amos saw that beneath Israel’s external prosperity and power, internally the nation is corrupt to the core. The sins for which Amos chastens the people are extensive: neglect of God’s Word, idolatry, pagan worship, greed, corrupted leadership, and oppression of the poor. Amos begins by pronouncing a judgment upon all the surrounding nations, then upon his own nation of Judah, and finally the harshest judgment is given to Israel. His visions from God reveal the same emphatic message: judgment is near. The book ends with God’s promise to Amos of future restoration of the remnant of Israel.

The Book of Amos ends with a glorious promise for the future. “And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” Amos 9:15

The ultimate fulfillment of God’s land promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:7; 15:7; 17:8) will occur during Christ’s millennial reign on earth (Joel 2:26,27). Revelation 20 describes the thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth, a time of peace and joy under the perfect government of the Savior Himself. At that time, believing Israel and the Gentile Christians will be combined in the Church and will live and reign with Christ.

Sometimes we think we are a "just-a"! We are just-a salesman, farmer, or housewife. Amos would be considered a "just-a." He wasn’t a prophet or priest or the son of either. He was just a shepherd, a small businessman in Judah. Who would listen to him? But instead of making excuses, Amos obeyed and became God’s powerful voice for change.

God has used ordinary people such as shepherds, carpenters, and fishermen throughout the Bible. Part of what underpins the writings of Amos, is that he was an ordinary man, but he listened and answered the call of the Lord and became one of the most notable of prophets in antiquity. This means whatever you are in this life, God can use you. Amos was "Just-a" servant for God. It is good to be God’s "just-a."

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