Here is the fourteenth in a series of Bible studies that present the Bible as being in the side of pacifism. This essay, “The Prophetic Faith: Amos and Hosea,” reflects on the challenge Israel’s 8th century prophets brought to the injustices and idolatries that characterized the community of God’s covenant people.
Amos focuses on a critique of Israel’s injustice that incongruously co-existed with thriving religious practices. Such injustice, though, turns the religious practices into the worst kinds of blasphemy. Amos warns of inevitable consequences to such a departure from the intentions of Torah, but he concludes with a vision of healing that points to an over-arching concern on his part not simply to point to judgment but to point to the possibility of restoration should genuine justice be practiced.
Hosea goes even further in pointing to the possibilities of healing should Israel turn from its violence and idolatries. Hosea grounds this hope in an understanding that God’s “holiness” moves God to turn from punishment and toward healing.