Amos is the topic of the second installment in my presentation of art from our Minor Prophets Sunday school class. Amos is my favorite minor prophet and this is one of my favorite drawings because it captures so many of the books’ dramatic passages.
Amos’ condemnation of Israel focuses on injustice toward the poor:
This is what the LORD says: “For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. They sell the innocent for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.” (Amos 6-7a)
As always, Naomi created the drawing during our hour long discussion of the book (which focused on portions of chapters 1, 2, 5, 7, 8 & 9). Periodically, we’d ask Naomi about her progress and make suggestions, e.g., “Let’s get the lion, bear and snake in there.”
The main figure in the finished drawing (click for a larger version) is the prophet holding a plumb line, the focus of one of the four visions in chapter 7 & 8. The other visions involve the fruit basket (lower left corner), fire (left edge) and locusts (swarming at top).
The lion, bear and snake in the lower right corner illustrate Amos 5:19: “[The Day of the Lord] will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.”
The two women ignoring the beggar are the “cows of Bashan… you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy” (Amos 4:1).
At the top are several large houses. Amos is critical of the size and number of the houses of the wealthy: “‘I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished,’ declares the LORD” (Amos 3:15).
Like many of the prophets, Amos follows his oracles of judgement with a promise of restoration.
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the one who plows and the planter by the one treading grapes.” (Amos 9:13)
The tractor and storehouse in the upper right represent the plenty that will accompany Israel’s restoration.
Next up: Naomi’s Michelangelo-inspired Hosea drawing.