Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Amos III- More Warnings

Amos III- Sermon Notes

Amos III- More Warnings
         June 7, 2015

         We are talking about huge judgments upon an entire land, famine, war, drought, storms, earthquakes. Can we tell that each person who suffers under these calamities does so because of his particular sins?

Luke 13:1   There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

The Bible clearly teaches that God brings calamity to remind us of our sinfulness so that we will repent and not perish!

Chapter 5 is full of woe. The judgment is determined.
         v. 1 Fallen no more to rise is the virgin Israel
         v. 3 ninety percent will go out in exile
         v. 10 hate him who reproves in gate and abhors him who speaks the truth
                  trample on the poor, exacting taxes of grain
         v. 12 afflict the righteous, take a bribe, turn aside needy in the gate
         v. 14 seek good and not evil
         v. 15 hate evil, love good, establish justice in the gate so God might be gracious
         v. 16 there will be wailing for I will pass through your midst
         v. 17 Woe do you who desire the day of the Lord

         While such injustice goes in the midst of God’s people, God is increasingly vexed. He tells them that He v.21, hates and despises their feasts and takes no delight in their solemn assemblies. He tells them, v. 23 stop singing psalms and hymns! Instead, v. 24 let justice roll down like waters, righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
         He reminds them that He v. 25 did not need sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness. And pronounces judgment, v. 26 take your false gods into exile, sikkuth and kayyun.

In chapter 6, we realize that present blessing is no time to take spiritual ease. And their wealth and power did not protect them from a quick and devastating downfall.
         v. 4 Woe to those at ease and comfort
         v. 5 who sing idle songs and invent instruments
         v. 6 who drink wine in bowls and anoint with fine oils

         Their wealth and leisure did not help them when the enemy invaded. It was those leading people, in particular, that the Assyrians carted off.
v. 7 the rich and mighty were the first exiled
         v. 13 you find no place for rejoicing because you think you have received all this wealth by your own doing

In chapter 7, we see the character of God who is slow to anger and willing to relent but who will eventually act when there is no repentance, no obedience.
         The LORD relents then judges.
         v. 1-3 God is preparing locusts at first spring grass but Amos interposes and God relented.
         v. 4-6 God was preparing fire and Amos interposed and the Lord relented.

         But finally God measures them and they are found wanting.
         v. 7-9 The Lord holds a plumb line against Israel and Samaria. Israel is a wall but God stands on the wall and drops a plumb line to measure them. They are off kilter, out of vertical, and need to be torn down.

Accusation of Amos by Amaziah
         The so-called prophet, the false prophet, does not want to hear the Word of the Lord. It is too harsh. It is too judgmental. It is too unfriendly. It is too rigid. It is too sure. It is not nice. Go preach somewhere else. Go home. No one here wants to hear you!
         v. 10-13 Go back to Judah and prophesy there but not here at Bethel for it is the King’s sanctuary and a temple of the kingdom (N. Kingdom dominion). Amaziah is essentially saying that we do not want the Word of God here in the king’s presence.

         But Amos cannot refuse to speak that which God has told him to say.
         v. 13-15 Not a prophet nor the son of a prophet but a herdsman and dresser of sycamore fig trees.
The implication was that Amos was not looking to be a prophet but that he was called to it by God. He cannot refuse to speak God’s words.

God’s Judgment on the False Prophet
         7:v. 16- 17 Your wife shall be a prostitute, your sons and daughters shall die by the sword, your land shall be divided up with a measuring line, you shall be banished to a heathen land, and Israel shall go into exile.
         The false prophet becomes an analogy for Israel.

Chapter 8
         v. 1-2 Basket of Summer Fruit- word for end and summer fruit sound alike.
God is bringing the blessing of Israel, like summer fruit, to an end.

         The true nature of the horror of the coming judgment.
         v. 3 So many dead bodies!
         v. 4 trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end.
         v. 5-6 they do not honor holy days, the new moon or the Sabbath
long to sell and make a profit by dishonest gain.
Make the ephah small and the shekel great.
Buy the poor for silver
The needy for a pair of shoes
Sell the chaff with the wheat
         v. 7 God will not forget these wicked deeds

Judgment Looming
         v. 9 Sun go down at NOON, dark in broad daylight
                  feasts into mourning, songs into lamentation
         v. 10 Mourning as for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.
         Remember that Joel was quoted by Peter as the Day of the Lord. That day is a day of judgment, God dividing the wheat from the chaff. Here, Amos refers to the crucifixion of Jesus as such an event, as well. This language is picked up by the new testament writers when referring to the cross. This, too, is a Day of the Lord. It is judgment upon the wicked but judgment upon the wicked is always vindication for the righteous.
         v. 11 A famine of hearing the word of the Lord is coming.
         This was Israel’s recurring problem as it is ours. We prefer our own way to God’s way. We must hear and heed.
Chapter 9
         Destruction of Israel
v. 1-2 If they did into Sheol, there shall I take them. If they climb up to heaven, I will bring them down.
v. 4 I will fix my eyes upon them for evil and not for good.
v. 8 God will destroy but not utterly destroy Jacob.

         v. 11 The booth of David restored
         v. 13-14 Ploughman overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows.
                  The gist is that there will be such great abundance that as soon as the fields are plowed there is a great harvest. As soon as the fields are sown, the wine is produced. There is an abundance of bread and wine!
         v. 15 When the Lord plants you will never be uprooted.
Amos 5:25-27 Have ye offered to me victims and sacrifices, O house of Israel, forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Raephan, the images of them which ye made for yourselves. And I will carry you away beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, the Almighty God is his name.
Quoted in Acts 7:42, 43, by Stephen in his long speech before he is martyred.  Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices [by the space of] forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
In Amos, it referred to Samaria, who had not remembered the God who brought them up out of Egpyt. They forged for themselves false gods and worshipped them instead of Yahweh.
In Acts, Stephen is condemning the Scribes and Pharisees for the same sin. Instead of worshipping the one true God in Spirit and in Truth, they have fashioned false gods after their own image. This is why they are unable to see Jesus as the Just One who was to come.
He accuses them of killing the children of Israel, rather than saving them. They took up Moloch and Rephaim, false gods that required child sacrifice. In Jesus’s time, the Jews were not literally doing child sacrifice. Never the less, they were destroying the children in that they were not teaching them correctly of the One True God and His only Begotten Son. Stephen condemns them as guilty.
This rings true in our day.

Amos 9:11,12 In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and will rebuild the ruins of it, and will set up the parts thereof that have been broken down, and will build it up as in the ancient days: that the remnant of men, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, may earnestly seek me, saith the Lord who does all these things.
         Quoted in Acts 15:16,17 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
         In Amos, the passage clearly refers to the times of the New Covenant when the Kingdom of Messiah shall come.
         In Acts 15, it is quoted by James defending Paul and Barnabas’s ministry to the Gentiles. In fact, this is the turning point in gospel ministry to the world. It is here that we see that the face of the church is dramatically turning. The Jews are the first to believe. But in so doing, we learn that it is Christians who are in the kingdom of God, not Jews. There is neither Jew nor Greek, but one new man, Christian.
         No one needs to be a Jew to enter the Kingdom of the Messiah. The Kingdom of the Messiah is not Israel. It is the whole world.
         The message from Amos is clear both in the Old Testament and in the New. God is ever faithful. Those who remain in Him will be blessed by Him in the eternal kingdom of Christ. However, there is a certain expectation of judgment, even in Christ. God will judge those who turn from Him and live in unrepentant sin. He calls us to a life full of forgiveness but He does expect us to walk in that forgiveness. Judgment begins at the household of God so it is vital that we get our own house in order.
         Let us repent first and show our neighbors and our nation how it is done. First with words and then with actions.
         Let us pray. Our Father in Heaven, forgive us for sinning against You. Forgive us for refusing to hear the voice of the prophet when he confronts our sins. We confess our complacency in abundance, our lack of thankfulness, our sexual sins, our cold heartedness against the poor and needy, our psalm singing while refusing to believe the words, our prayers while hiding our sins from You, our drunkenness and drug addictions, our complaining and grumbling while in the midst of abundance, our bad example to our children. Father, forgive us for such sins. Grant us a place of repentance that we may turn to You in Jesus rather than run from You in our own flesh. Return to us for blessing and cause us to lead your people and this nation in repentance so that You will stay Your hand of chastisement and bless us with Your countenance, through Jesus Christ, our only Savior. Amen.

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