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CHAPTER 7 Nov. 27 
Thus the Lord Yahweh showed me: and behold, He formed locusts in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and behold, it was the latter growth after the king’s harvest. 2It happened that when they made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, Lord Yahweh, forgive, I beseech You! How could Jacob stand? For he is so small. 3Yahweh relented concerning this. It shall not be, says Yahweh. 4Thus the Lord Yahweh showed me and behold, the Lord Yahweh called for judgment by fire; and it dried up the great deep, and would have devoured the land. 5Then I said, Lord Yahweh, cease, I beg You! How could Jacob stand? For he is small. 6Yahweh relented concerning this. This also shall not be, says the Lord Yahweh. 
A Plumb-Line 
7Thus he showed me: Behold, the Lord stood beside a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. 8Yahweh said to me, Amos, what do you see? I said, A plumb line. Then the Lord said, Behold, I will set a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel. I will not again change My mind about punishing them. 9The high places of Isaac will be desolate, the sanctuaries of Israel will be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword. 10Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. 11For Amos says, ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land’. 12Amaziah also said to Amos, You prophet, go, flee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: 13but don’t prophesy again any more at Bethel; for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a royal house! 14Then Amos answered Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was a herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore figs; 15and Yahweh took me from following the flock, and Yahweh said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel’. 16Now therefore listen to the word of Yahweh: ‘You say, Don’t prophesy against Israel, and don’t preach against the house of Isaac’. 17Therefore thus says Yahweh: ‘Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be divided by line; and you yourself shall die in a land that is unclean, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land’.


7:1-6 God reveals His intention regarding Israel, but then Amos makes a case against this and is heard. In fact, these and other examples suggest that this is almost a pattern with God- to devise His purpose, and then in the 'gap' until its fulfilment, be open to the persuasion of His covenant people to change or amend those plans. This could be what 3:7 is speaking of: "Surely the Lord Yahweh will do nothing, unless He first reveals His secret to His servants the prophets". It's as if He reveals His plans to them so that they can then comment upon them in prayer.
7:2 God is open to changing His stated plan due to the mediation of others. It would even appear that Amos believed God could forgive the sins of others because of his prayers rather than their repentance. For Amos doesn't merely ask God not to execute His judgments, but to actually forgive Israel. There's an obvious similarity with the intercession of Moses; the only other person to pray "Forgive, I beseech You" is Moses- the same Hebrew words are found on his lips twice (Ex. 34:9; Num. 14:19). Moses' amazing example had been meditated upon by Amos as he did his agricultural work- and he rose up to the same level. He prayed the same prayer. We too should be motivated in our prayer lives by Biblical examples, even using the same words. So many Biblical prayers use the words of previous Scripture. God leads us to see the similarities between our situations and those of Biblical figures- e.g. by giving Amos a vision of judgment upon Israel in terms of a locust plague, which was intended to lead Amos to see Israel as Egypt and himself as Moses in making intercession to end the plague. Amos gets into the spirit of Moses by asking God to "cease" (7:5), using the same word used to describe how the plagues "ceased" as a result of Moses' intercession (Ex. 9:29,33,34).
7:14 Amos stresses that speaking forth God's word wasn't at all what he wished to do or was cut out for. Likewise Paul says that because preaching God's word was against his natural inclination, therefore a calling to preach the Gospel had indeed been given to him (1 Cor. 9:17). Paul was sent to the Gentiles and not the Jews as he might naturally have preferred; the disciples were unlearned and ignorant men called to preach to the Jewish intelligentsia; women weren't accepted as legal witnesses and yet the Lord asks women to be the first witnesses of His resurrection; always in the preaching of His word does God use those who humanly aren't qualified to do so. He doesn't use slick presentation, but rather human weakness in order to convert others. Amos doubtless alludes to himself in 3:8 where he says that a prophet cannot but speak out God's word- and this is alluded to by the apostles when they say they cannot but speak out what they have seen and heard of Christ. Note how Amos doesn't actually answer the serious false allegation against him personally, but gets on with speaking forth God's word- for this was his life’s focus.