A sorry picture

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily


Amos is a prophet to Israel--but strangely, his first word is to the surrounding nations. And he paints an ugly picture of what is going on around Israel.

Read Amos 1 v 3 and 2 v 5

Numbers and patterns

  • - List the common elements between each prophecy (look particularly at the start and end).
  • - Which nations mentioned are believers in the true God?

Did you notice that there are seven nations on view? In the Bible, seven is the number used to represent wholeness or completeness. So, here is a complete, represetnative portrait of humanity. "For three ... and for four..." is a way of saying something happened multiple times.

Common characteristics

Have a look at each individual nation that Amos has in his sights...

  • - What is the key sin of this nation? Can you think of examples of similar sins in the world today?
  • - Who is this sin committed against?
  • - Ask yourself: is this sin present in my life?
  • - What characteristic of God is most evident?

Here is a composit portrait of God and humanity. All humans...

  • - are related to God.
  • - are accountable to God.
  • - know what is good and bad.
  • - are inclined toward bad.

God is...

  • - patient, but will not hold off forever.
  • - a judge who promises that rebels will be punished.



Read Luke 24 v 45-49

  • - Given the state of the nations as revealed in Amos, why are the words of the risen Jesus to His disciples here such good news?



Pray for those who know who don't know God and stand under His judgment. Thank God for the forgiveness available in Jesus Christ.


This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore60 when you check out to get the next quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

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Keep a record of what God is teaching you with "My Bible" at BibleStudyTools.com


Originally published December 06, 2012.

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