Amos (means burden or burden-bearer) was a man of God who was devoted to serving the Lord. Amos was not a prophet nor a priest, but a shepherd.
God gave Amos a vision of the future (760-750 BC) and told him to take his message to Israel, the Northern Kingdom. The nation had become prosperous, greedy and unfair. Illegal and immoral slavery came as the result of over taxation and land-grabbing. There was also cruelty and indifference towards the poor.
The Jews had lost sight of God’s care and love for them. The rich were carefree and living comfortable, refusing to help others in need. They observed their religious rituals in the hope of appeasing God, but they did not truly love him.
Christians must not assume that by going to church and being a good person is enough. God expects our belief in him to penetrate all areas of our conduct, extending to all people and circumstances. Readers should let Amos inspire them to live faithfully according to God’s ways and not ours.