Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Amos II- Warnings

Amos II- Sermon Notes
May 31, 2015
Lynchburg, Virginia

         Last week, as I preached the last part of Amos first, we saw that God has great promises in store for His people. These great promises never occurred in ancient Israel and are the promises that are only realized in the person and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
         We are now the recipients of these great promises. But just because the Lord has poured out His blessings upon us in abundance, does not mean that we will always remain in blessings. Disobedience still brings cursing.
         In Hebrews, we see a long extended argument that the Israelites were sinful in Mose’s day and did not enter into the land of promise because of unbelief. He says that the same thing can happen to us in the New Testament era and that it would be worse. Heb. 2: 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
         But instead of shrinking away from God or His promises, we are exhorted to come close to Him for grace.
         Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Two things we take from this
1.   The warnings of the Prophets are still relevant to us. There can be apostasy and judgment in the New Covenant era.
2.   The answer is to draw near to in Jesus seeking grace for forgiveness that He would help us in our time of need. That help is for sin, for temptation, for lack of faith. Draw near to Jesus.

Setting of Amos:
Jeroboam II in Northern Kingdom- (793-753 BC)
2 Kings 14- reigned 41 years and did that which is evil in the sight of the Lord.
Jeroboam saved Israel- 2 Kings 14:27 And the LORD said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.
Jeroboam also defeated Judah in battle taking back the cities of Damascus and Hamath.

Jonah ministered under Jeroboam II in the Northern Kingdom. 2 Kings 14:25

Uzziah (Azariah) ( in the Southern Kingdom (792-740 BC)
2 Kings 15, 2 Chron. 26
As long as Uzziah sought the Lord, the Lord made him prosper. 2 Chron. 26:5
Uzziah was strong.
         2 Chron. 26:5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.
         2 Chron. 26:12-16 He had a great and mighty army 307,500 men. He had engines on the towers, invented by cunning men, that could throw stones and arrows. And his name spread far abroad and he was marvelously helped and became very strong.
         He was prosperous indeed but could not main fidelity to God in the midst of his prosperity.

2Chr. 26:16   But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Blessing is very hard to maintain. From this we should sit up and take note.

         2 Chron. 26:17- 21When Uzziah is confronted by the priest, he grows angry and tries to burn the incense anyway and instantly becomes a leper and turns as white as snow and is cut off from the house of the Lord.

Two years before the earthquake

         In the opening chapters, Amos proclaims judgment upon God’s and Israel’s enemies. In Chapter 1, he pronounces judgment on
         v. 3-5- Syria at Damascus led by Hazael and Ben-hadad. Syria is the enemy, because they threshed Gilead with threshing sledges of iron.

         v. 6-8 Gaza and the Philistines because they carried into exile a whole people to Edom.

         v. 9-10 Tyre because they delivered God’s people to Edom.

         v. 11-12 Edom because they attacked their brothers.

         v. 13-15 Ammonites, because they ripped open pregnant women in Gilead.

Chapter 2 continues with judgment against Israel’s ancient enemy Moab, v. 1-3,  because they burned to lime the bones of the king of Edom.
But then things begin to take a decided turn. Not only is God going to judge Israel’s ancient enemies for their sins, He is also going to judge Judah and Israel for their own sins. As Amos begins to pronounce judgment upon Israel, he gets much more specific about their sins.
Judgment on Judah and Israel
         2: v. 4-5, Judah, rejected the law of the Lord, not kept His statutes.

         v. 6-8 Israel
         Social Injustice
1. sell the righteous for silver and needy for a pair of sandals, buy off the judge to condemn an innocent man. Men so pair, they cannot even pay more than a pair of shoes to buy their own freedom.
2. trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth
3. turn aside the way of the afflicted

         Scandalous behavior
4. a man and his father go into the same girl

         Gross Hypocrisy
5. lay down on pledged garments at temple- pledged garments were supposed to be returned before nightfall. But wicked men kept them and used them to comfort or warm themselves while at drinking feasts at the Temple.
6. drink wine in the house of God of those fined

God continues and reminds them of His faithfulness to bring into stark contrast their own unfaithfulness.

In Chapter 3, He tells them,
         v. 1- I brought you up out of Egypt. You only have I known, therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
Chapter 3:7 tells us that God reveals His will by His prophets. Even today the work of the Spirit bubbles up to gospel preachers so that there is a common and timely message from God to His people. But just as in Amos’s day, when things are good, people are not ready to hear and heed the word of the prophet.
         God condemns their behavior.
3:10- They do not know how to do right, declares the Lord, those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.
They are not interested in justice and doing right. They are interested in whatever accrues to their benefit and however it accrues to their benefit. They do not mind violence or robbery.
We, too, seem to be entering an era in which people literally do not know how to do right.

In Chapter 4, God brings a resounding testimony against them. He calls the rich woman the cows of Bashan on the mountain of Samaria. They are the ones who oppress the poor and crush the needy, who tell their husbands to bring them wine to drink. Sounds sort of like the Hollywood housewives.
They continue in sin while looking like they are religious.
4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:  5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
God hates this sort of religiosity without righteousness.

But God is patient, merciful and gracious. He warns them many times and gives them a chance to repent.

Chances to repent: God sent:
4:6- cleanness of teeth, hunger, famine
4:7- drought in dramatic fashion, rain here and not there, then there and not here.
4:9- blight and mildew and devouring locust
4:10-          pestilence after the manner of Egypt
         killed young men with sword- enemies
         carried away horses, loss of spoils in battle

Since they would not repent, he gives them a very scary warning

         v. 11  Prepare to meet your God!

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