The Work of Amos and Hosea

Both Amos and Hose ministered during the same time scale (though Hose may have been younger than Amos and were probably known to each other, or at least were aware of each others ministry. Their time of ministry was during the reigns of Uzziah king of Judah and Jeroboam [I king of Israel. The writings of Amos and Hose reveal the moral and spiritual conditions of Israel prior to her Babylonian captivity.

Israel had become very prosperous but corrupt. The poor were being oppressed by the rich, therefore the rich grew wealthy by stealing the little property the poor might have. Amos especially warned them that God would punish them for such injustice. Added to this the people had thrown off Judaism and had chosen to follow the gods of the Canaanites instead of the true living God. Both the priesthood and the people were condemned by Amos for this great wickedness. The chief priest Amaziah, who kept the pagan shrine in Bethel, especially hated him and did all he could to destroy him (Amos 7:10-13).

Temple prostitution, wine, licentiousness, calf worship were rampant amongst them. They did try to unite Jewish faith with paganism, and even thought that their outward observance of the sacrifices would appease God. They had come to believe that He was pleased with their correctly performed rituals and would therefore overlook the fact that they no longer observed His word but loved idolatry instead. other than this most places of worship were dedicated solely to the pagan deities of the nations around them.

The people no longer looked to God or put any trust in Him whatsoever. Their confidence lie with foreign alliances which they had bought through the payment of tribute. Because of this Israel’s resources and independence was being gradually removed, yet she did not seem to notice this. All of this made them ripe for judgement at the hands of the Assyrians.

The prophets AMOS and Hose watched as the nation was destroying itself from within. Hose spoke of God’s people committing spiritual adultery with the false gods of the nations they were trusting in for protection and deliverance. He pours scorn on those who trusted in political alliances instead of the power of the Almighty God. Instead of these nations protecting and saving Israel, they would bring her into subjection and bondage. Hose uses his wife Gomer as an example of their adultery. Gomer, who became a prostitute, left her husband to give herself to others. Hose was broken-hearted over the things his wife was doing. Through this experience Hose revealed to the nation that they were God’s chosen bride, and He was heartbroken over their rejection and faithlessness of Him. They were unfaithful in every possible way. God promised that He would strip Israel bare and expose her shame for sinning against Him. As a further prophetic sign Hose named his three children, Jezreel (God scatters), Lo-Ruhamah (Loved no more), and Lo-Ammi (My people no longer).