Study Guide

The Twelve Minor Prophets Amos Chapter 4

Amos Chapter 4

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Bad People?

  • God starts the chapter by calling the wives of Israel cows. No comment.
  • God doubles-down on the Israelites by making fun of their observance of religious ritual, a crucial fact that helped Amos get honorary moderator status on the ancient /r/atheism subreddit.
  • Their wrongdoing is only made worse by the fact they also get the rituals wrong. Can you believe it--they even add leaven to a thanksgiving offering. (4:5; see Leviticus 2:11) Morans!
  • God recounts every horrible thing he’s done to Israel and they still haven’t turned back to him.
  • Everything that happens to Israel is an expression of God’s judgment for exploiting those in need
  • And there’s more to come, he promises, with the oft-quoted ominous phrase, “Prepare to meet thy God.” (KJV 4:12,)
  • Judging from the next chapter, this involves more than packing an extra pair of underwear, though given the scare factor that might not be a bad idea.

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