Visions of judgments to come upon Israel. (1-9) Amaziah threatens Amos. (10-17)
Verses 1-9 God bears long, but he will not bear always with a provoking people. The remembrance of the mercies we formerly received, like the produce of the earth of the former growth, should make us submissive to the will of God, when we meet with disappointments in the latter growth. The Lord has many ways of humbling a sinful nation. Whatever trouble we are under, we should be most earnest with God for the forgiveness of sin. Sin will soon make a great people small. What will become of Israel, if the hand that should raise him be stretched out against him? See the power of prayer. See what a blessing praying people are to a land. See how ready, how swift God is to show mercy; how he waits to be gracious. Israel was a wall, a strong wall, which God himself reared as a defence to his sanctuary. The Lord now seems to stand upon this wall. He measures it; it appears to be a bowing, bulging wall. Thus God would bring the people of Israel to the trial, would discover their wickedness; and the time will come, when those who have been spared often, shall be spared no longer. But the Lord still calls Israel his people. The repeated prayer and success of the prophet should lead us to seek the Saviour.
Verses 10-17 It is no new thing for the accusers of the brethren, to misrepresent them as enemies to the king and kingdom, as traitors to their prince, and troublers of the land, when they are the best friends to both. Those who make gain their godliness, and are governed by the hopes of wealth and preferment, are ready to think these the most powerful motives with others also. But those who have a warrant from God, like Amos, ought not to fear the face of man. If God, that sent him, had not strengthened him, he could not thus have set his face as a flint. The Lord often chooses the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise and mighty. But no fervent prayers, or self-denying labours, can bring proud sinners to bear faithful reproofs and warnings. And all who oppose or despise the Divine word, must expect fatal effects to their souls, unless they repent.
In this and the two following chapters are the visions of Amos, in number five; three of which are contained in this chapter, and with which it begins. The first is of the grasshoppers or locusts eating up the later grass of the land, which are stopped at the intercession of the prophet, Am 7:1-3; the second is of fire the Lord called for to contend by, whose devouring flames are made to cease by the same interposition, Am 7:4-6; and the other is of the plumbline, signifying the utter destruction of the people of Israel, according to the righteous judgment of God, Am 7:7-9; upon the delivery of which prophecies and visions, the priest of Bethel forms a charge against the prophet to the king; and advises Amos to flee into Judea, and prophesy there, and not at Bethel, being willing to be rid of him at any rate, Am 7:10-13; next follows the prophet's vindication of himself showing his divine call to the prophetic office, and his mission and express order he had from the Lord to prophesy unto Israel, Am 7:14,15; and concludes with a denunciation of divine judgments on the priest's family, and upon the whole land of Israel, Am 7:16,17.