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The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
The Old Testament prophets were primarily forth tellers rather than foretellers.
They communicated the message of God to the needs of the day.
“Listen to the Major messages of the Minor Prophets’ is the title of the series we will be working through for the next few weeks.
Today we are talking about Amos, The Prophet of Tekoa
Amos 1:2 NKJV
2 And he said:
“The Lord roars from Zion,
And utters His voice from Jerusalem;
The pastures of the shepherds mourn,
And the top of Carmel withers.”
Amos 5:24 NKJV
24 But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.
Amos 5:14-24 NKJV
14 Seek good and not evil,
That you may live;
So the Lord God of hosts will be with you,
As you have spoken.
15 Hate evil, love good;
Establish justice in the gate.
It may be that the Lord God of hosts
Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
The Day of the Lord
16 Therefore the Lord God of hosts, the Lord, says this:
“There shall be wailing in all streets,
And they shall say in all the highways,
They shall call the farmer to mourning,
And skillful lamenters to wailing.
17 In all vineyards there shall be wailing,
For I will pass through you,”
Says the Lord.
18 Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
For what good is the day of the Lord to you?
It will be darkness, and not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion,
And a bear met him!
Or as though he went into the house,
Leaned his hand on the wall,
And a serpent bit him!
20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light?
Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?
21 “I hate, I despise your feast days,
And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
22 Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them,
Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
23 Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
24 But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.
In Jesus name we pray.
Amos was a disturbing man.
This first of the writing prophets does not ease his way into lecturing us.
He bursts upon us like an earthquake.
The mention a literal earthquake in Amos 1:1 is symbolically prophetic of the national problems that befell Israel in 722BC.
In Amos the notes that dominate are judgement and righteousness.
- The prophet Amos.
The times demanded a man of extraordinary commitment and qualifications.
Amos was that man.
He had a simple occupation.
Amos was a herdsman and dresser of sycamore trees.
His flock was made up of a breed of small, short limbed sheep that were known for their choice wool.
The sycamore tree produces a fig like fruit, important in the diet of poor people.
Selling his wool and his figs would take Amos to Bethel and Jerusalem, where he could keep on top of the happenings of the day.
He had a profound sense of call.
In describing his call, Amos said in essence, “Jehovah took me, He told me, He sent me.
I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son.”
He denied being a member of the professional prophets club, who for a price spoke what people wanted to hear.
His father was not a prophet.
Thus Amos had not inherited his office.
He identified himself with the true prophets.
He had a message from God.
As a result of his commission, Amos said in Chapter 7:16-17, Now therefore, hear the word of the Lord:
You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
And do not spout against the house of Isaac.’
“Therefore thus says the Lord:
‘Your wife shall be a harlot in the city;
Your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword;
Your land shall be divided by survey line;
You shall die in a defiled land;
And Israel shall surely be led away captive
From his own land.’ ”
The source of his message was God.
Moreover, there was a powerful simplicity about his words.
In some of the best words in the old testament his message was pointed and clear.
We have little difficulty understanding what Amos meant by what he said.
He had great courage.
Amos dared to confront the lion in his den, the king in his royal sanctuary.
This was an unheard of thing.
To come into favour with the people, the politician who wants to be popular denounces the opposition and the people and rulers of another land.
Amos was no mere politician.
He was a spiritual statesman, a seer.
He took his life in his hands to declare the words of God wherever, whenever, and to whoever God directed.
He had remarkable faith.
Amos believed there was a future.
In the face of the sin within the nation and the impending judgement on the chosen people.
Amos did not despair of the purpose of God.
He foresaw a time when God would build as in the days of old.
The future will see the plan, the purpose, and the dream of God realised not in the nation itself but in the remnant.
God will raise up the tabernacle of David in the kingdom of the future.
2. The prophesy of Amos.
In addition to the introduction in verses 1:1-2, and the epilogue in verses 9:11-15, the prophecy falls naturally into three parts.
Part one (Chapters 1 and 2) is introductory.
The title and the introduction describe n graphic imagery God’s power over all Palestine.
Then Amos surveyed the nations bordering on Israel.
Damascus, the Philistines, Tyre, Edom, the Ammorites, Moab, and Judah, to show that, as none of these will escape retribution for their sins, so Israel, for similar or greater sins, will be subject to the same law of righteous government.
A terrible military disaster will soon overtake them.
Part 2 (Chapters 3 to 6) consists of three discourses.
Each is introduced by the imperative, “Hear this word.”
This section of the book expands and enforces what the prophet had said with reference to Israel in verses 2:6-16.
In the first discourse (Chapter 3:1-15) there are four distinct lessons.
In verses 1 and 2 Amos disillusioned the people of Israel about their election.
This was not, as they supposed, an unconditional guarantee of their security.
To the contrary, this made their sins the more serious in their consequences.
In verses 3-8 the prophet reasoned that since no event occurs in nature without sufficient cause, the appearance of a prophet with such a message indicated that God had sent him.
In verses 9 and 10 Amos, with fine irony, suggested that even the heathen could bear witness that the sins of Samaria deserved God’s judgement.
In verses 11-15 we see the foe at the door.
Only a small remnant would escape.
Alters and palaces could perish together.
In the second discourse (Chapter 4:1-13) the prophet addressed two groups.
In verses 1-3 Amos rebuked the women of Samaria for their self indulgences and cruelty.
He predicted their tragic end.
In verses 4 and 5 the prophet sarcastically turned to the people at large, mocked them to continue in their ritual since they trusted in it to save them.
In verses 6-11 Amos expressed surprise that Israel should have neglected to heed the five fold warning of famine, drought, blasted crops, pestilence, and earthquake.
In verses 12 and 13 Amos ended this discourse, hinting darkly that God would soon resort to more extreme measures.
In the third discourse (Chapter 5:1- Chapter 6:14) there are three parts.
Each draws out, in different terms, the moral grounds of Israel’s impending ruin and ends with a similar outlook of invasion or exile.
In verses 1-17 the prophet sang his eulogy over Israel’s fall.
In verses 18-27 he rebuked tose who desired the “day of Jehovah,” for if they continued in their present sins, it would be a day not of deliverance but of misfortune.
In 6:1-14 Amos addressed a second rebuke to the leaders of the nation.
Part 3 (Chapter 7:1- Chapter 9:10) consists of a series of five visions, interrupted in 7:10-17 by the altercation that took place between Amos and Amaziah.
Each vision is followed by explanatory comments.
Their purpose is to reinforce, by means of effective symbolism, the truth that the judgement he had already predicted could no longer be averted.
The visions are the devouring locusts, the consuming fire, the basket of summer fruit, and the smitten sanctuary.
The epilogue (Chapter 9:11-25) promises a brighter future.
3. The preaching of Amos.
Where Amos preached, How long his ministry continued, or just what response he received, except for that of Amaziah, we do not know.
There was no revival, and judgment was not averted.
But several distinct themes appear in his preaching.
A. The imminence of judgement.
Amos’s first words were, Amos 1:2, “The Lord roars from Zion,
And utters His voice from Jerusalem;”
In Amos 3:8, we read, “A lion has roared!
Who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken!
Who can but prophesy?”
To one accustomed to the ways of the desert, the roar of the lion meant that the animal was even then leaping upon its prey.
In like manner the prophet saw God coming in judgement, from which there could be no turning back.
B. The union of justice and righteousness in daily life.
It is possible to find one of the keys to Amos’s preaching in the words, in Amos 5:24, “But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.”
This union of justice and righteousness in daily life was a burden on his heart.
C. The sovereignty of God.
Amos saw God as personally in control of all the world.
He is not only the God of Israel, but of the whole world.
God is the Lord of history, of nature, of the nations.
Amos viewed God as dealing out punishment impartially to all nations according to His standards of righteousness.
D. The true meaning of God’s election of Israel.
In popular Israelite theology, God’s election was an unconditional guarantee of their security.
In a key passage (5:18-20) the phrase “Day of Yahweh appears.
This expression grew out of the hope that the day of Yahweh was the day of salvation to the people of God.
This meant not only the glorification of Israel but also included the total defeat of Israel’s enemies.
Amos preached that because of their sins, the day of Yahweh would be a “day of darkness,” that is, of destruction and exile.
It was to be the end of the northern kingdom.
E. Privilege imposes responsibility.
As a specially chosen people, Israel must be doubly accountable to God.
Their prosperity was not a sign of God’s favour.
Their place of privilege was not an assurance that all was well.
The people were not safe in their affluent society.
F. The curse of unconcern on the part of God’s people.
In the marketplace Amos observed the indifference to the crisis of the poor.
In the palaces he could see no thought given for the oppressed.
Even in the sanctuaries the deepest needs of the downtrodden were ignored.
Amos’s most devastating condemnation was aimed at this callous disregard for the rights and necessities of others.
G. The basis of true religion.
The externals of religion were apparent, but they were divorced from any relationship to moral obligations.
H. The message of hope.
This is a secondary theme throughout the prophecy.
Verse 5:4 says, “Seek me and live.
Verse 5:14 says, “Seek good, and not evil, that you may live.”
The possibility of repentance and deliverance still existed.
Amos’s theology of hope sounds most clearly in verses 9:11-12.
Israel Will Be Restored
11 “On that day I will raise up
The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,
And repair its damages;
I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom,
And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,”
Says the Lord who does this thing.
Even though God was to make an end of the northern kingdom, He would not give up the people He had chosen.
The hope of Amos is fulfilled in Christ in his kingdom.
Amos’s warnings are as applicable today as they were back when he preached.
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
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