Resources on Amos
I read recently that the average length of a blog is 1,600 words because people generally won't read for more than 7 minutes. With that said, if the book of Amos hit the blogosphere we'd only have to ask people roughly 10 minutes of their time (Amos has 2,042 words). That's right, Amos only needed 146 verses to relay his bold revelation from God. So what's the deal with Amos and why are we studying a seemingly obscure book hidden in the latter part of the Old Testament?
Don't let this book's position in the Bible fool you, there's more to Amos than you may realize. Amos is located in a section of your Bible known as the "writing prophets" or to label it as Jesus did "the prophets" (Matthew 5:17, Luke 24:27). Now typically when we think of Old Testament prophetic books the big-dogs come to mind like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel (the major prophets). Beyond those major prophets are twelve smaller prophetic books (Hosea - Malachi) known as the minor prophets, they're labeled "minor" ONLY because of the length of their books in comparison to the larger major prophets. In fact, the Hebrew Bible lumps all of these minor prophets into one book called the "Book of the Twelve."
Of all of these writing prophets just mentioned, do you know which one was the first to pen his book? You guessed it... Amos (your Bible isn't in chronological order). This sort of information makes Amos incredibly significant to me. In some ways you could argue he set the tone for those big dogs like Isaiah and Jeremiah. Amos was the first writing prophet raised up by God to rebuke His people and warn them of coming judgement.
My prayer for this season of teaching is that we at The Journey would take an honest look at an often avoided section of scripture. As a result I'm hoping that each of us will take God's wrath and judgement as well as our own sin more seriously, all to His glory.
Praying for God to bless our church through this study of Amos,
As always I want to provide a list of authors that I am currently studying with the hope that you'll snag a book and study along with me. I realize there are a ton of online resources that are available but I still love simply holding a good old fashion book in my hands while I read. Here's what's on my desk:
1. The Message Of Amos - J.A. Motyer: If you're looking for something to supplement Sunday mornings at the Journey while we study Amos, this resource would be my first choice for you. This is a devotional style commentary on Amos with only a couple hundred pages from start to finish. The threefold design of this commentary is meant to "expound the biblical text with accuracy, to relate it to contemporary life, and to be readable." I actually used Derek Kidner's commentary over Ecclesiastes in this very same series and really enjoyed it.
2. Hosea-Jonah, World Bible Commentary - Douglas Stuart: If it's a more technical commentary that you're looking for then this is going to be the one to grab. This is the sort of commentary that breaks down each Hebrew word and shows you where and how else it's used in the Bible, ridiculously helpful when you're trying to find the intent of each verse.
3. Joel And Amos, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries - David Allan Hubbard: This commentary is a more practical version of the commentary mentioned above (in fact, Hubbard was one of the editors of the World Bible Commentary). If you're looking for something a little more technical but not over-the-top this may be the one for you.
4. Amos, Hermenia Series - Shalom M. Paul: This commentary was ranked #2 on bestcommentaries.com and is a more technical look at Amos. To put it in their words this series is a "critical and historical commentary on the Bible." Just like the World Bible Commentary, this book has a technical zoomed in look at each hebrew word being used.
5. Teaching Amos From Text To Message - Bob Fyall: This is a teaching commentary that is designed to help the pastor lay out how to teach through Amos. It provides a zoomed out view of the book with helpful ideas on different ways to preach through Amos. I also used the book over John from this teaching series and found it very helpful when trying to map out a series from start to finish.
For the record, this blog was 889 words so statistcally you had time to read it twice before you became bored.