12 Verses From the Prophet and Saint ... Amos ... to Reflect Upon

St. Amos the Prophet
Rosary Cathedral - Toledo, Ohio
Photo Credit: Nheyob

St. Amos's prophecies are kind of hard to read ...
It's a challenge to find any slivers of inspiration to hold in your heart and mull over in The Book of Amos.  This 700s BC saint was a shepherd and dresser of sycamores in the southern kingdom of Judah (Amos 7:14-15), yet was sent by God to preach to the citizens in the northern kingdom of Israel (Israel had split into two kingdoms in 930 BC).  God was not pleased with the abusive attitudes and spiritual complacency in Israel at the time, and boy, do Amos's words ever show this displeasure!!!

The LORD roars from Zion.

An enemy shall surround the land, tear down your fortresses, 
and pillage your strongholds.

Who oppress the destitute and abuse the needy ... 
Truly days are coming upon you when they shall drag you away with ropes.
- Amos 4:1b, 2b

Those who lie on beds of ivory, and lounge upon their couches ...
They shall be the first to go into exile.
- Amos 6:4a, 7a

Your wife shall become a prostitute in the city,
and your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword.

I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into dirges.
- Amos 8:10a

Though they hide from my gaze at the bottom of the sea,
there I will command the serpent to bite them.
- Amos 9:3b

In 722 BC, not long after Amos's difficult oracles, the Kingdom of Israel was taken over by the powerful Assyrian Empire.  However, Amos also left a message of hope:

I will restore my people Israel.

Perhaps the best messages to take away from Amos's prophecies would be:

Seek the LORD that you may live.

Seek good and not evil, that you may live;
Then truly the LORD will be with you.

Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate.

Let justice surge like waters,
and righteousness like an unfailing stream.