Towards the middle of the eighth century before Christ, the kingdom of Israel was rich and prosperous. Small properties were disappearing and wealth was in the hands of a few rich people, while the poor increased in number. The luxury of the few was an insult to the destitute.
Unexpectedly, Yahweh roars from Zion. His voice thunders from Jerusalem through Amos, a shepherd from Tekoa, a little village located about nine kilometers south of Bethlehem, in the land of Judah.
God takes him from his flock and sends him to the neighboring land, to Israel in the north. So the prophet traveled through the cities of Israel, denouncing the social injustices and a religion which was satisfied with external practices only. He warned of God’s punishment and the deportation of Israel, and in the end, he predicted happy days.
Amos is the prophet of social justice. He reveals to us a God who defends the rights of the poor.