Theological Themes in Amos
Some people think that God’s anger is the opposite of God’s love, but God’s anger is an integral part of God’s love. Because God loves people, God is angry when they suffer. God’s commitment is to all people, including the poor and oppressed, which fuels God’s anger at oppressors. Without the concept of God’s anger, God’s love is an empty concept.
God’s judgment is not final; rather, God’s judgment is a middle step. On the other side of God’s judgment, a relationship with God continues. God judges Israel for the purpose of instructing Israel in what God requires of the people. God’s judgment is “instrumental,” that is, it is an instrument that God uses to instruct or teach.
The priest Amaziah challenges Amos about his preaching and instructs him not to prophesy in Israel, but to go home to Judah and “earn bread there.” Amaziah is a professional religious man; he claims authority from the king of Israel. Prophet to the northern kingdom who condemned Israel’s oppression of the poor, calling for justice to “roll down like waters.” responds that he is not a professional religious man, only a farmer. But God sent him to deliver God’s word; he claims authority directly from God.