The prophet Amos was a native of the kingdom of Judah; he lived in a town called Tekoa, which was about 6 miles south of Bethlehem. Amos is recognized as the first Israelite prophet to have his teachings formally recorded. Amos was not a prophet his entire life at one point he earned a living as a herdsmen and a dresser of sycamore figs. It wasn't until the later part of his life that Amos began to preach the word of God.
While in the fields herding his sheep, Yahweh took him from his flocks and said "go prophesy to my people Israel". Amos saw five visions. These visions included the Locusts in Palestine, The Great Fire devouring the land, The Plumb Line, The Basket of Summer Fruit, The Lord Standing Beside the Alter Throughout the third and fourth visions God's voice claimed, " I will forgive them no longer", referring to the people of Israel. Following this encounter with God he began to preach God's message condemning many neighboring nations and Israel itself. This condemnation of Israel came as a huge surprise to listeners of his preaching because the people of Israel were God's chosen people.
The people of Israel, Amos said, had become too power-hungry and had begun to alienate the poor and weak of Israel. He criticizes the Israelites for their devious religious services and festivals. Amos is disgusted by their lack of sincerity and lack of gratefulness for the wealth that God has provided for them. He makes it a point to emphasize God's disapproval of the Israelites reminding them that they had broken the covenant that had originally made them God's chosen people. The Israelites had stopped obeying Jewish Law. If they had followed this law they would have cared for the weak and the poor. God detests the fact that the people of Israel had come to regard their prosperity as works of their own hand. Their pride meant they replaced Yahweh as the foundation of their existence.
The teachings of Amos...