Old Testament Summary Lesson 35: “God Reveals His Secrets To His Prophets”
- More to a Word: An oft repeated verse of Amos is the Lord’s instruction that he needs his prophets to reveal his word and will. “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) Since the Biblical Hebrew has such a small vocabulary, it is fascinating to know that words with related meanings are placed in precise order for a rainbow of meanings. Secrets, counsel, advice, insight are all related in meaning!
- Warning to Israel’s Neighbors: “The Book of Amos has three distinct parts. The first prophecy is a warning to Israel’s neighbors — Syria and others — condemning their violence and aggression, especially against Israel. The exile and destruction foretold for the nations of the Near East were prophesied for Israel too, for similar sins against its own people.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Selfishness of the Wealthy: “The second section condemns the selfishness of the wealthy who regarded their affluence as a sign of God’s favor. Amos cried out against the careful observance of the Temple ritual when it ignored morality as an integral part of religion. Ritual alone does not please God, who demands that it go hand in hand with mercy and compassion.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Foretelling Disasters: “The third section foretells disaster — earthquake, pestilence, famine, and the ultimate calamity of exile, with Israel scattered among the nations unless they would return to God. The book closes with the promise of reconciliation — that God will rebuild the fallen Tabernacle of David, and that his people will inherit all the land” (Amos 9:12–15) (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- New Wine, Old Wine, Names of the Lord: There is a verse in the Book of Joel that bridges his day when the Lord was known to the end of days when he would not be known. The Lord has many names, one of them being “Wine” and another one, “New Wine.” “Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it is cut off from your mouth.” (Joel 1:5) In the Meridian of times, the Apostle Luke seems to amplify this metaphor of the Lord being “New Wine.” “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.” (Luke 5:39)