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Amos 1:2 This verse sets the theme of the book: God is like a roaring lion. This symbolically portrays His giving a message to His prophets and His readiness to pounce and attack (Amos 3:4-8). Lion symbolized God (Amos 1:2; but see also Job 10:16; Isa. 31:4; 38:13; Jer. 2:30; 25:30, 38; 49:19; 50:44; Lam. 3:10; Hos 5:14; 11:10; 13:7-8; Joel 3:16) and "lion" also symbolized Christ (Rev. 5:5). "Thunder" in Amos 1:2 symbolized God's Judgment (1 Sam 2:10;7:10; Isa 29:6; Amos 1:2; Rev 4:5; 8:5; 10:3-4; 11:19; 16:18) God wanted to get Israel's attention as He does and is doing today! God has got our attention, now, has He not? But people back in Amos' day weren't listening. You'd think they could hear a lion roar or the thunder roll and know that danger was at hand. God was speaking ("thundering") from Jerusalem, for judgment always begins at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). Michael mentioned this atrocity against defenseless women and children, the murdering of pregnant women (Amos1:13). It showed how immoral the Ammonites had become. I think there is just one conceptual sin listed. It says they ripped open the pregnant women in order to expand their borders. So it is their cruel imperialistic expansion that is in view. Also, Michael mentioned - Destroyed roots (Amos 2:9). Wiersbe's Index of Biblical Images lists Root symbolizing Judgment (Is 40:24; Hos 9:16; Amos 2:9; Mt 3:10; 13:29; 15:13; and Luke 3:9). God had led Israel out of Egypt (Amos 2:10a), cared for them in the wilderness (Amos 2:10b), and destroyed other nations so the Jews could claim their inheritance in Canaan (Amos 2:9, 10c). Melting symbolized Divine Power (Amos 9:5; cp. Ps. 46:6; 68:2; 97:5; Mic 1:4; Nah 1:5). Amos 4:1 This is certainly a colorful and sarcastic section. Women are normally sensitive and compassionate but note the contrast here. The women are compared with the fat cows living on the lush pastures of Bashan. The idea here is that these spoiled women demanded luxury from their “masters” (not the typical word for a husband--more sarcasm and reversal of roles) and the only way their husbands could meet their demands was by oppressing the poor (economic exploitation.) How does this apply to us? Are we guilty of this? Are we so materialistic and so demanding that our spouse has to work overtime to make enough money to satisfy our demands? Do we have to cheat other people in our business in order to make the most money we can?
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