PATHS In Bible Chapters

Amos 2
Theme: The Message Of The Cart
Key Text: Verse 13

            Although Amos was a simple shepherd, and never educated in a formal institution, his language is profoundly figurative. In comfortable fashion, he moves from one descriptive picture to another, explaining how God works and deals with those who forbid and forget Him. In this scene, we leave the noble God, represented as a kingly lion, and come to the neglected God, portrayed as “a cart . . . that is full of sheaves” (2:13). Using this most uncharacteristic metaphor, implementing this rather debasing analogy, the prophet vividly depicts God from another perspective.

1. The Overlooked Cart

            Mentioning the remaining three of the eight nations under divine judgment, Amos most graphically describes their plight. The Moabites, who apparently overlooked their responsibility to the God of heaven, are promised that God would not overlook them. Because of their unjust ways (see 2:1), many would “die with tumult” (2:2). And, although they had been given “the law of the Lord” and “His commandments” (2:4), the southern kingdom of Judah must have similarly thought they were exempt from any form of divine judgment. But, the God they had neglected would not neglect them! In fact, He was rolling their way!

2. The Overloaded Cart

            With all the other nations indicted and warned, we finally come now to the main target of the prophecy. Basically, through the prophet, the Lord tells the northern kingdom of Israel, “I’m not taking any more!” Because of their unjust dealings with the “righteous” and the “poor” (2:6); unbridled adultery and fornication (see 2:7); idolatrous practices (see 2:8); forgetting God had delivered them from “the Amorite” (2:9) and, earlier, “from the land of Egypt” (2:10); having mocked the Nazarites and having abused the prophets (see 2:11, 12); the Lord said, “Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves” (2:13).

3. The Overturned Cart

            The last three verses of this division remind us of God’s inescapable judgment. The heavily loaded cart is about to turn over. No, it is not out of control! Rather, it is divinely directed, and is rolling toward the selected objects of His wrath. Through the prophet, the Lord shows the hopelessness of that hour in a five-fold way. When the cart flips over end to end, neither the swift runner, the seasoned leader, the skillful archer, the sure horseman, or the strong warrior (see 2:14-16) will escape the terror of His wrath. In fact, they will all “flee away naked in that day, saith the Lord” (2:16).


            My brother, Jeff, has a team of horses and a couple of old wagons he hooks up to them. He has even traveled a little through our mountains with some of the modern “wagon trains.” He tells me that an overloaded wagon can definitely cause either the wooden wheels or axles to break, and possibly overturn the wagon. It is certain our great God is not going to have a breakdown! However, when His name is brought low by our disobedience, we can expect Him to do something about it! God help us to repent, lest He turn the wagon in our direction!