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THEME:  The Lion Has Roared:  Divine judgment upon prosperous Israel for its social and religious sins

DATE:  760-755

I.       Eight burdens against the nations (1-2)

A.       Damascus (1:3-5)

B.       Gaza (1:6-8)

C.      Tyre (1:9-10)

D.      Edom (1:11-12)

E.       Ammon (1:13-15)

F.       Moab (2:1-3)

G.      Judah (2:4-5)

H.      Israel (2:6-16)


II.    Three Sermons of Judgment against Israel (3-6)[1]


A.       Chastisement Certain for the Chosen (ch. 3).


1.       Divine privilege as the basis of divine judgment (3:1-2)

2.       Amos prophesies because “the Lion has roared” (3:3-8)

3.       Proclamation of judgment (3:9-15)

B.       Impenitent Still (ch. 4)

1.       Luxury-loving, poor-oppressing women (4:1-3)

2.       Religious, but not right with God (4:4-5)

3.       Unrepentant, despite repeated chastenings (4:6-11)

4.       Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel (4:12-13)

C.      “A Funeral Dirge for the Living”[2] (chs. 5-6)

1.       Woe to the pseudo-religious (5:18-27)

2.       Woe to the wealthy, proud, and complacent (6:1-14)

III. Five visions of Judgment against Israel (7-9)


A.       Vision of locusts (7:1-3)[3]

B.       Vision of fire (7:4-6)

C.      Vision of the plumb line (7:7-9)

D.      Vision of the summer fruit (8:1-14)

E.  Vision of the Lord beside the altar (9:1-7)[4]

IV. The preservation of a remnant and the restoration of the Booth of David (9:8-15)


The Theological Message of Amos

THEME:  The Lion has Roared:  Divine judgment upon prosperous Israel for its social and religious sins

I.       God pronounces judgment upon a prosperous and secure people

A.       It was a time of unparalleled prosperity


1.       God sent Amos during the latter years of the reign of Jeroboam II.

2.       Amos provides descriptions of Israel’s prosperity (3:15; 4:1; 5:11; 6:4-6)

B.       It was a time of unprecedented national security and military strength (2:14-16; 6:1-2, 13)

II.    Sins of social injustice and religious hypocrisy are the causes of Israel’s impending judgment.[5]

A.       Israel is primarily condemned for its social sins.

1.       The nations are singled out for their sins of violence and social injustice (1:2-2:3).

2.       Israel is also singled out for its sins of social injustice in 2:6-16.

3.       Repeatedly, God condemns Israel for her social injustice (4:1; 5:7, 10-13, 24; 6:12; 8:4-6).

B.       Israel’s social sins invalidated their religious performances.

C.      Israel is also condemned for their rejection of true religion (2:11-12; 5:5, 26; 7:10-17; 8:14).

This includes the idolatrous worship established at Dan and Bethel by Jeroboam I (I Ki. 12:28-33).

III. Israel’s impending judgment is certain and comprehensive


A.       Neither the mighty, the prosperous, nor the “religious” would find escape in that day.

1.       The mighty (2:14-16)

2.       The prosperous (3:15; 4:1-3; 5:11; 6:1-7)

3.       The “religious” (4:4; 5:5, 18-27)

B.       Their judgment would include the tearing down of both the religious and political structures.

1.       The religious worship at Bethel and Dan (3:14; 5:5; 7:9a, 17a; 8:10, 14; 9:1)

2.       The “mighty” house of Jeroboam (7:9b)

C.      Their judgment would include exile in a foreign country (5:27; 7:17).

D.      Their judgment would correspond to their prosperity (6:14).

E.       Their judgment would include a “spiritual famine” (8:11-14).

IV. Yahweh is the source of Israel’s impending judgment

A.       The sovereign Yahweh,[6] God of Hosts, has roared against Israel.

B.       The ministry of Amos was proof in itself that God had pronounced their doom (3:3-8; 7:14-15).


C.      Their relationship to God did not bring immunity; it brought responsibility.

D.      God was the source behind previous calamities they had experienced (3:6b; 4:6-11).

V.    God’s purposes in judgment also encompass future restoration

A.       God pleads for repentance even in the midst of declarations of judgment (5:4-6, 14-15).

B.       One of God’s purposes in judgment is to purify and to reveal a righteous remnant (9:9).

C.      God must destroy the sinners before He can bring in the promised blessing (9:8, 10).

D.      God’s promises of future hope are centered in the revival of the Davidic Covenant and the millennial blessings that will accompany this “resurrection” of the dynasty of David (9:11-15).




[1] The identification of these three sermons is based on the repetition of the phrase “Hear this word” (3:1; 4:1; 5:1).

[2] This is the designation that Thurman Wisdom gives to Amos 5:1-9.  Biblical Viewpoint:  Focus on Amos, 17.

[3] Amos 7:1 mentions the latter growth “after the king’s mowings.”  The “king’s mowings” probably refers to some kind of income tax, where the king received a portion of the harvest.  The setting of this vision is the spring harvest.  If the locusts destroyed this spring crop (“latter growth,” KJV)—the last harvest before the hot summer—the nation would starve.

[4] Most commentators extend this vision through v. 10.  However, Amos’ preference to begin a new section of thought with an introductory formula suggests that verse 8, which begins with “Behold,” introduces the final section of his book.  Bell, 49.

[5] “The causes for such judgment were patent:  wealth and luxury, frivolity and corruption, opulence and oppression, summer and winter palaces, ivory couches, songs of revelry and wine…there were specific crimes still more culpable and worthy of censure:  namely, victimizing the poor, confiscating their garments for debt, unbridled licentiousness even under the cloak of religion, hypocritical tithing, and hollow Sabbath-observance, even pilgrimages to far distant shrines.”  Robinson, 52.

[6] The phrase ’Adonai Yahweh (“Lord GOD,” KJV) occurs 20 times in the eight chapters of Amos (e.g., 1:8; 3:7, 8, 11, 13).

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