Song of Amos

Photograph: S & A Hodson

We don’t know a lot about the early life of the prophet Amos, though we do know he had been a herdsman and a fig grower.

Amos became another prophet of God. He told the heathen nations, which lay far beyond Israel, what he thought of their cruel ways.

But his strongest words were for his own nation and their stubborn king. Amos spoke to the people with great courage and determination.

These, he said, were their sins:-

Israel as a nation had:-

accepted bribes

made slaves of poor people

committed adultery

cheated people and robbed them

been ungrateful people

corrupted the innocent

Judah as a nation had:-

  • disobeyed God

  • rejected his word

  • If Amos were still alive today what might he criticise us for?

Any of the above?

  • Or might there be something he would praise us for?

Write a letter from Amos to today’s people.

46 Song of Amos: Amos 5. 21-24

I will tell you a brand new story,

I will sing an ancient song,

for this people turn against me,

do not know their right from wrong.

I despise empty worship,

cannot stand vain offerings.

Can’t abide the gifts they bring me,

close my ears to songs they sing.

Chorus: But let justice roll on freely,

like a river running clean.

Righteousness be found among you,

like a never failing stream.

Look at all their endless idols!

They have turned their backs on me.

All secure and so complacent,

look with eyes that cannot see.

They are bound with cords of darkness,

held in bonds of misery.

Turn to me my captive people,

I your God can set you free.

Chorus x 2

…like a never failing stream x 4 and fade.

© words and music Sheila Hamil 1995