As Amos finishes, we have made a couple of observations. The prophetic books are often filled with doom and gloom. Amos is no different. God is giving visions to someone who then passes on the word that God will punish the people for their sins. While smiting is quite common place, the typical action is letting invaders come into the land and take over. The doom and gloom that Amos is speaking of even gets him accused of conspiring against the king...to which he is asked to leave the land. His response is that he isn't a prophet, but merely a herdsman that God picked to go and warn people about their ways.
What is your response when someone tells you a truth that you do not want to hear? Typically it is to tell them to get away. Perhaps we need to listen more closely rather than pushing the honest away from us. It is human nature to want to be liked. Therefore it is hard to tell someone a truth that might hurt them. For this reason we need to grab on to our friends who are truly honest with us. It is through their wisdom that we will become better people.
Another observation in Amos are the threats that God is giving. Yes, I have mentioned the typical smiting, but God makes mention a number of times that the people will have to go without them. Even when they want to search out his word, it will not be found. What are we to make of this punishment? I think what God is trying to get across is that if we continue to ignore him and ignore the good things he does for us, he won't be there anymore. By becoming a godless people, we will make our God go away. The scary thing is that I believe this to be happening in today's day and age. It is a time when "knowledge" is at your fingertips. Why pray for understanding when you can just search for an answer on the internet. The distractions of our world and the false sense of security that technology (medical technology included) creates makes us feel like we don't need a higher power to help take care of us. As we begin to forget about our God, he will go away. Now here is a frightening thought to ponder: If you decide to go through life without God, how will you know where to find him when you need him most?