Amos observes the society in which he lived and worked. Affluence, exploitation, and profit motive were the most notable features everywhere. Standards were being compromised. People were despising authority and the rule of law. National leadership, while reeling in publicity and dignity of position, seemed to be contributing to the complete breakdown of law and order. J. Alec Motyer exposes and explains the astonishingly relevant—but never popular—message of the prophet Amos.
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“Thus we may say that Amos first examines violations of the general relationships of life, human being to human being, then the particular responsibilities of life, brother to brother, and finally the special claims of life, the attitude of the strong to the weak. In this way he speaks out on behalf of six basic principles of human conduct.” (Page 39)
“In personal terms, true religion is to respond fully to the grace and law of God, living out the law in a life of obedience, resting on the grace both for ability and forgiveness; towards God, true religion is a reverent hearing and receiving of His Word; and towards other people it appears as honesty, considerateness and unfailing concern for the needy. Take these things away and what remains does nothing more than invite the adverse judgment of God.” (Page 18)
“Salvation is all of God; man has contributed neither power nor merit.” (Page 61)
“War or no war, Hazael had no liberty to treat people as if they were things. It is the first absolute moral principle for which Amos campaigns: people are not things.” (Pages 39–40)
“Gilgal was the shrine which proclaimed the inheritance and possession of the promised land according to the will of God.” (Page 108)
J. Alec Motyer (1924–2016) was a renowned Old Testament pastor and scholar. With extensive experience in parish ministry, he was principal of Trinity College in Bristol, England, and was well known as a Bible expositor. His books include The Prophecy of Isaiah, and he was the Old Testament editor of The Bible Speaks Today commentary series.