I did not want to start a commentary on Amos. I struggled with it for a few months until I felt that I might as well break my studying 'fast' and look into the prophet's message for the people of his day.
I wouldn't say that I was running away from doing what I felt God wanted me to do, but I did joke to a good friend of mine that we were shortly to go on a Whale Watch trip and I was just a little tentative about it, seeing as I remembered what had happened to Jonah. If it had happened to him, what was likely to happen to me?
Fortunately, the sharks we saw were more impressive than the minkes that stayed well away from the boat - even so, it made me think.
Amos is not a book that I find enjoyable - even though I seem to be inexplicably drawn to it. It's not a book I turn to with eagerness and abandon wondering what fresh revelation I might get that might inspire His people. Rather, it's a book I drag my heels over, knowing that the words of an angry God are directed just as much at the people of Amos' day as they are now at God's people in the present for we do the same things, commit the same sins and refuse to obey God's same voice that calls to us down the years.
Now that I've finished the work, I must thank Pavel, a friend of mine in Tennesee, who spent time reading these pages before they were uploaded to the web site. Although most of my experience of the application of Amos' message to today's Church lies a number of years ago, he was able to, unwittingly at times, relate incidents as they were occurring in his own life that confirmed to me that the traits were all just as prevalent today as when I'd first noticed them.