Amos was a shepherd from the Judean town of Tekoa, a “herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs” (7:14). He prophesied primarily to the northern kingdom of Israel during a time of political stability and great wealth. As they often did, the people of Israel saw this prosperity as a sign of God’s blessing. But God used Amos to tell them that this was not the case. Much of the nation’s wealth had been acquired by oppressing the poor, and so their insincere worship was disgusting to God. Israel had rejected its calling to be a place where God’s righteousness and justice was demonstrated to the world. Because of their unfaithfulness, the Israelites would be punished severely. God would remain faithful to his people, however, and would restore what had been destroyed. Peace and blessing would come to Israel—and the world—through the coming of the Messiah. (Amos 5:18–24)