Amos: The Preacher Of The Gospel Of Law -- By: L. O. Luneberger

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 084:336 (Oct 1927)
Article: Amos: The Preacher Of The Gospel Of Law
Author: L. O. Luneberger


Amos: The Preacher Of The Gospel Of Law

L. O. Luneberger

“But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24).

Robert Browning in his poem entitled “Saul” makes David utter these arresting words: “I report as a man may of God’s work—all’s love, yet all’s law.” No one who has a worthy opinion about God and His universe can question for a moment that God is love. And no one who has deep insight into the character of God and His universe can question that God is also law, and that His universe is governed by the most inexorable of moral and physical laws. Law is everywhere as God is everywhere. Law is as much a part of things as love is a part of things. Law is as much a part of God as love is a part of God. Law is as much the method of God as love is the method of God. Love and law are the two sides of God. Justice and mercy are the two cardinal elements of His being.

Amos was a prophet of the justice of God; a preacher of the gospel of law. But,

“God is law, says the wise; O soul, and let us rejoice,
For if He thunder by law, the thunder is yet His voice.”

I. The Man And His Times

Amos was among the earliest of the Hebrew prophets, the first it seems, to write and preserve his message. He lived and prophesied about 750 B. C, during the silver reign of Jereboam the Second, king of Israel. It was a golden era of unexcelled material prosperity for the Northern Kingdom. In a recent victory over the king of Damascus Israel had won back the whole region east of the Jordan, which they had lost long before, much to their impoverishment. In this new expansion was Bashan, one of the most fertile and productive areas anywhere. The wealth which had been going to enrich Syria and Damascus was now turned into the coffers of Israel. A poor and insignificant people had suddenly become rich. Blessed with such unusual wealth and full of the sense

of victory, they soon came to feel themselves a quite superior people. They took it as the sure sign that heaven was on their side.

And now the thing happened in Israel which almost always does happen—great material prosperity was followed by moral and spiritual poverty. Strange, but true, these so often go together—prosperity and spiritual depravity, adversity and spiritual prosperity. It ought to be just the reverse, but it seldom is. And this was never more true than in the days of Amos and Jereboam II.

A great Bible scholar has said: “Amos is one of the most wonderful appearances in the history of the human spirit.” And yet he was a simple h...

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