This chapter contains two major sections. In the first, the prophet laments Israel’s destruction and predicts a casualty rate of 90 percent. In the prime of her youthful vigor, the nation Israel will be devastated, and nobody will rescue her (vv. 1–3). Yet even amid Israel’s impending doom, individual Israelites can seek God so that they may live because God has absolute control over the world that He created (vv. 4–9).
Amos once again predicts Israel’s devastation because the people practice social injustice and gross immorality. God’s judgment will bring widespread lamentation because many people will be dead when God passes through their land. Yet Israel can still seek to do good so that they may live (vv. 10–17).
In the second major section, the prophet describes God’s judgment on the unrepentant Israel. The people of God will experience the day of the LORD, the time when the LORD will reveal His supreme power and authority over human powers and human existence. For Israel, this will first be a day of judgment, not of rejoicing (vv. 18–20). Because the LORD rejects Israel’s false worship, He will send them into exile beyond Damascus on their day of judgment (vv. 21–27).