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Amos – Survey 3.

28/04/2019

Amos Survey – 3 

Text.  Amos chapters 7-9

In this last survey of Amos, we will learn about the visions that he received from God, how his outspoken words landed him in BIG trouble, and ask the question, “What’s the worst kind of famine?”

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Famine

 

1. Amos Gets Visions from God!  Amos 7:1-9, 8:1-3

God gave Amos a series of direct revelations – visions about Israel.

  • The Locusts. 7:1-3    It was the late crop, the crop that would feed the people. after the king had taken his cut.  The locusts swoop, – they even eat the grass on the ground, so that the flocks have no grazing.  Everyone will starve,
  • The War of Fire. 7:4-6  When fire falls upon Israel, it is a symbol of God’s judgement, and again you can see how devastating the judgement is, for this fire not only consumes the land, but dries up the seas.
  • The Plumb-Line. 7:7-9  God is measuring the ‘uprightness’ of his people.  He has standards – the LAW – and it is by the plumb-line of the law that God measures them but when Israel is measured, she is very far away from the vertical standards required.
  • The Summer Fruit. 8:1-3. It’s summer, and the sun is beating down, and the fruit in this basket would very quickly become rotten.  Israel is like that basket of fruit.  Rotten, and over ripe, and ready to be binned.  

In all of these visions, God warns Israel that they are COVENANT BREAKERS.  Yet see how God deals with them.

  • Amos PRAYS for sinners!   See Amos 7:2 and v5, When Amos is not preaching to these people, he is praying for them!  He raises his voice in heartfelt prayer for his hearers, that God might forgive them and spare them.
  • God answers his prayer by allowing time to repent! So the Lord relented concerning this. “It shall not be,” said the Lord.  It happened on more than one occasion – Prayer for sinners, God’s patient, long-suffering answer.  2 Peter 3:9   

Amos got a series of direct revelations, – visions – from God. WE WON’T!  In our day, God has spoken to us finally in His Word, Hebrews 1:1-2  God has finally spoken, and all the messages of the OT have been summed un in Jesus.

 

2. Amos Gets Into BIG Trouble.  Amos 7:10-17

The conclusion of the plumb line prophecy that the king would die by the sword was TREASON – in the eyes of the authorities – and it should be reported to the highest person in the land – the king himself!

  • The Accusation of the Priest.  
    • His complaint to the king. The underlying accusation is that Amos is trying to overthrow the monarchy, that he is engaged in politics, on behalf of the southern kingdom.  He complains that all Amos’s words are damaging to the nation.  
    • His command to Amos.  So Amaziah orders Amos to get out of Israel.  Mistaking him for one of the well paid professional religious leaders, who say just exactly what the people want to hear, he orders Amos to go home to Judah and earn his living as a prophet down there.   
  • The Defence of the Prophet.  In defence of this accusation, Amos points out that he is not a professional prophet “I was no prophet, Nor was I a son of a prophet,” – in fact, he hadn’t even been to seminary or Bible College! And, he is NOT GETTING PAID TO PREACH!   7:14 But I was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit.

Did Amos stay and continue to preach, or did he go home?  Most commentators think that Amos’ ministry in Israel lasted only a very short time, before he returned home to write his book. 

 

3. Amos Gets Serious about FAMINE.  Amos 8:11-14

In a sermon in Chapter 8, Amos speaks about a coming famine, which God himself will bring upon the people.  It is a FAMINE OF THE WORD OF GOD!  How could that be worse than physical drought or famine?  Because without the Word of God, sinners perish in a lost eternity.  Mt 10:28. Look at the visible church, where the preaching of God’s word is becoming very scarce indeed…

  • They WANDER. v12. – from experience to experience looking for some form of spiritual satisfaction or fulfilment.  They are exactly what Paul warned us NOT to be in Ephesians 4:13-14  So they RUN, v12. There is a panic among them.  
  • They FAINT. v13  In their quest for the next big spiritual experience, they will grow weary, for when they grow tired of the entertainment and the excitement, and they want the next adrenaline rush, and the next … until eventually they are exhausted. 
  • They FALL. v14  They drop by the wayside, realising that whatever they are trusting in, if they are not grounded in the Word, they have no foundation for their faith, and they collapse and are eternally lost.

Could it be that because of our sin and waywardness, God is withholding his Word from our nation?  

 

4. Amos Looks Ahead.  Amos 9:11-15

Amos’ final word is that God will restore David’s fallen tent. 9:11-12  Now the questions that we need to ask are, why will God do this, and when?  Amos is telling us that true worship will be restored and that blessings will flow from that restoration.  

  • Why is restoration needed?  The correct way to worship had been laid down very strictly by God in his word.  God does NOT accept unauthorised worship. He is holy, and he demands that we approach him with reverence and awe and humility.  
  • When will restoration happen?  Not in the days of Amos.  The Temple in Jerusalem would fall to the Babylonian invaders in 597BC, and it would be rebuilt in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah after the return from exile.  BUT It won’t happen in our days either.  There was a ‘restoration movement’ among the charismatics back in the 1980s and 90s, when they were trying to introduce wild idiotic dancing into the worship of God.  The rationale was that they wanted to ‘restore David’s tent’ – and ‘David danced before the Lord with all his might,’ so therefore we should dance too…  2 Samuel 6:14 It was nonsense of course.  An excuse for carnality in worship – an appeasement of the flesh.  It WILL happen in Glory.  There will be a day when our worship of God is perfect and complete.  It’s not now, it’s in the ‘not yet’ – when the saints are gathered around the throne, singing praises to their redeemer and Lord.  The blessing described will be for God’s people, after the Day of the Lord, in the New Jerusalem.  Rev 5:11-14

So, our survey of Amos is complete!  Perhaps some day we will look closer at some of his sermons, his warnings and his prophecies.

© BobMcEvoy May 2019

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