THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORDS “SEEK” AND “LIVE” IN AMOS 5:4-6
Keywords:Seek, Live, Judgment
The book of Amos is a special book which brings a special message about God’s justice and judgment upon nations (Israel, Judah, etc). Nevertheless, for Israelites, Amos had a particular message for God assigned him to preach among them.
Two issues would be discussed in this study. They are: (1) What is the meaning of the word to “seek” God in Amos’ understanding?; (2) What is the meaning of the word to “live” in Amos’ understanding. Then, the purpose of the study is to find the meaning of the words to “seek” God and to “live” in Amos’ understanding. Amos’ message is to call Israel to repent from her sins and seek God as the only way to free of God’s punishment and judgment. God would punish Israel because she did not repent from her sins although God sent many prophets to remind her. At that time, Israel was involved in social and religious sins. In her religious sins, Amos appointed Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba as the main sacred cities among Israel where Israel began wicked practices. Instead of worshiping God, Israel worshiped idols and evoked social sins among Israelites.
God really wanted to save Israel from great disasters that would come to her. It can be seen from the way that God offered to Israel and invited her to come to Him, repent and obey His commandments, but Israel never repented from her sins. As the consequence of Israel’s sin, God let her to be captivated by other nations as mentioned by Amos.
The key word in Amos 5:4-6 is to “seek God.” For Amos, “to seek God” means seeking good, doing justice and rightness, worshiping God in the right way, and seeking the word of the Lord (Amos 5:14,15; 8:12). Then, the assurance that God promised to Israel that “you may live” would happen. “Live” means renewed from sins, enjoy God’s mercy as His children, to live more fully, and at the end, to have eternal life in heaven.
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