Our Bible study is going through J.A. Motyer's commentary on Amos.
I wanted to post a couple of quotations from the last two weeks of study; there were just so many interesting thoughts spurred on by these passages:
We should each think to ourselves every day, "'...I have a vocation from God to obey, a word from God to speak, a work from God to do.' This is what holds the man of God firm in the time of trial and opposition: he is where he is by appointment." (p. 173)
"The product of a deep sense of authority and of a deep respect for the Word of God is at its best and purest the quiet word of reason and respect, never the word of ill-manners or abuse, never the word of vociferous controversy. The wrath of man cannot accomplish the righteous purposes of God." (p. 173)
"Like all the feasts of Israel [the Feast of Booths] was given historical orientation so that it also recalled to the people the fact that they had been gathered in themselves from among the nations to be the people of God." (p. 177) (I thought this was interesting when thinking about the Lord's Supper, in terms of it being a memorial--that the feasts and sacrifices of the whole history of redemption had that role).
"How lightly expressions like 'God-forsaken' are used! They are part of terminology of casual blasphemy in cultures where religious formalism prevails or where the mass of the population is in a post-religious phase." (p. 178)
"It is entirely allowable to treat verses 8 and 9 [of chapter 8] as metaphorical of a society which has suffered the loss of stability and regularity, that is to say, where absolutes are no longer recognized and rules are there to break, where, maybe, human personality is showing more and more signs of breakdown and unreliability. This is abundantly true: the further man gets from his moorings in God the further he gets from all moorings." (p. 179)