chapter 1:1-2:3
Not immediate, God’s judgement,
patient waiting for a turn,
but an end comes to postponement,
and the Lion’s breath must burn.
He is watching all the nations,
all their cruel deeds he sees,
and there’ll be a day of reckoning
by the standards he decrees.

chapter 2:4–6
Judah also had great guilt
– knowing, owing, so much more.
God would weaken forts they’d built,
for they had not kept his law.

chapter 2:7–16
Israel also heard described
how their sins compared – they’d known
more than neighbours they’d despised:
blessings scorned, –  but soon they’ll groan
pride and strength will all be gone.

chapter 3
Saved from Egypt: Why? For what?
hand in hand with God? or not?
[Egypt sees their sinful ways]
Warnings clear to heed – who prays?:
Pampered lifestyles swept away,
empty worship stopped that day.

chapter 4
Women’s influence, and neglect
of the good that they could do, –
seen, – and soon they will be hooked.

All should be preparing to
meet their God, but in the past
they had not returned, though sent
many a wake-up warning judgement.

“Go to worship”, – God, aghast
knows their insincere intent.

chapter 5 and chapter 3:12
How sad to see
what is to be
when God acts on his Word
of judgment, though
he longs to show
his mercy: seek the Lord.

‘You don’t fulfil
my Word, my will:
to be a witness, light.
You think I’ll bless,
but bitterness
comes from your courts, not right.

‘The poor you hurt,
and treat as dirt,
your worship insincere.
You truth despise,
accepting lies:
your wealth will disappear.’

You think his day
will be display
of glory, not distress.
His grace you’ll know
if you will show
repentance, kindliness.

Seek God and live,
he will forgive,
pour mighty mercy on you.
Seek only good,
live as you should,
put evil far off from you.

He forms the light,
and brings the night,
created great Orion;
and who can hide? –
he’ll open wide
defences strong, to ruin.

And they will wail
to no avail,
who had refused his offer.
The nation gone, –
only a ‘bone’ (cf.3:12)
learnt trust through all they suffer.

chapter 6
Complacent leaders, men of ease,
living proudly as they please –
(prime positions, prosperous land) –
feel secure, but God’s command
puts them first in guilt, and ends
their lounging pride, by war he sends.

chapter 7
Pleas for mercy, mercy given;
but a plumb-line to the nation.
Amaziah would not listen,
Amos had to speak as bidden:
judgement comes and exile’s certain.

chapter 8
Not ripe for fruitfulness, ripe for judgement,
with wailing, silence at massacre turbulent.

Their mind on their commerce while saying their prayers,
and cheating – their deals were dishonest affairs,
hurting the poor and the needy.

God’s Words long rejected,
despised or neglected,
would soon not be found
(disaster profound);
– you could not imagine
a worse kind of famine.

chapter 9
Dreadful final vision: gone the
special love, protection, care.
God is Sovereign everywhere.
No escape to hide, though confident.

Yet he still has some, true, – measured
by the plumb-line and the sieve,
and will build his people glorious –
ever in his land to live.
vv.11,12,15, Acts15:16
King Christ, Son of David, who sin’s wages bore,
the blessings with permanence can fully restore.
and gentiles come into the church evermore.

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