Having further pondered this post (after Andrew's insightful comments), I have modified it to more correctly reflect my thoughts (sorry for merely replacing text...I have no idea how to line out text in blogger).

Chunk: Amos 3:1-5:17
Thoughts on 4:1-13

From the beginning, Yahweh insisted that his people evidence the covenant with their obedience (Deut 27:26). The blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience were clearly laid out (Deut 28:1-68). Amos' prophecy proclaims the earned results of the people's choices. The people have transgressed the covenant, refused Yahweh's grace, and ignored his sovereignty.

Many of the Torah laws concern treatment of fellow Israelites and strangers. Both are to be treated with justice and love. Israel has transgressed the covenant in her treatment of others (Amos 4:1) and in her worship (Amos 4:4-5).

Yahweh's judgment of Israel followed many years of grace. He provided multiple opportunities for repentance, yet each opportunity was scorned (Amos 4:6-11).

Israel had rightfully earned Yahweh's judgment, for she had ignored the sovereignty of the only Creator and Lord of all. The ax is about to fall and all Israel can do is prepare to meet Yahweh, who comes in judgment not in deliverance.


Jesus, the Messiah who fulfills the old covenant and inaugurates the new, expects his followers to observe his instructions (Matt 28:16-20) as evidence of the new covenant in his blood. While blessings and curses are not spelled out in Pentateuchal detail, there are surely temporal consequences to our behavior. Obeying Jesus commands--taking his yoke (Matt 11:25-30)--brings rest. Might it be that disobeying Jesus brings unrest?

If our experience of his rest is influenced by our obedience, we ought to take seriously our obedience. Jesus keeps covenant. He is gracious and he guards his glory. If we continually trample his glory, there will be consequences. Let us choose, rather, to rest in his grace.


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  1. Laura,

    This analysis gives the impression that Jesus just brought nothing much more that a revision of the old covenant - God issues the laws and instructions, if we keep them we are in the good books and if we fail it's judgement.

    Whereas my hope is that Jesus lifted the whole relationship with God onto a higher plane where everything is conditioned by His passionate love for us and our response to that. If and when it gets through to our cold hearts that that is the deal, then, of course it follows we want to live as Jesus indicated. But the passionate two way love has to come first. Otherwise we remain stuck under the burden of the law.

    Don't you think?

  2. I agree with your take on the new covenant. I absolutely agree that Jesus comes with grace and love.

    I do believe, though, that the Torah is about faith, not law, and that relationship with God has always been about his steadfast love. In addition, the "unrest" is in regard to our experience of the relationship with God, not the fact of it.

    Let me ponder a bit and see how I might adjust my wording to clarify (the original is a unclear on this point).