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Amos – Survey 3.

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

 

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Zechariah 1:1-6

Zechariah – The Gospel in the Old Testament!

Zechariah 1:1-6

Why would we want to study this book? Zechariah is God’s Word, just as much as is the Gospel of John! We shall see some very good reasons indeed, as we begin our study of Zechariah. Let us see:

  • The era in which the prophecy is set! In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, (November 520BC) Zechariah was prophesying during the reign of King Darius in Assyria.   There was plenty of outward religious work, but there was no inward change, no inward spiritual activity! During the time of Zechariah the people of God were deeply discouraged, and their level of interest in the work of the Lord was at a very low ebb. The book of Zechariah addresses this situation. It is A BOOK OF ENCOURAGEMENT!
  • The central personality of the prophecy! unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet Zechariah was most likely a priest at the temple. His grandfather was a man called Iddo, who is mentioned as a Levite in 12:4 & Neh. 12:16 But actually, this book is not about Zechariah!
    • It is about God remembering! The name Zechariah means, God (Yahweh) Remembers. So this book of Zechariah is not really about Zechariah it is about GOD! (This is the case with every book in the Bible!) And God’s work, ultimately is about God, rather than about us! Zechariah’s name and message was that GOD NEVER FORGETS! He will always exercise His grace, His covenant love (hesed) and He will never forget the people of His Loving Choice! Genesis 9:12-16  
    • It is about God revealing! For in the prophecy, God speaks to Zechariah in a series of 8 visions, telling him what is to come! Do you want assurance for the future? Read the Bible! Read Zechariah!
    • It is about God rewarding! God stepping into the lives of His people, to be a blessing to them! Even though they were unworthy of his blessing! Is it not interesting that God never set His blessing and love upon a worthy nation? He chose an unworthy people to be His!

So, Zechariah’s book is about God! What do we learn about God in these first few verses?

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A worm, a gnat, a fly, a hair, a raisin, a skin of a grape

 

A worm, a gnat, a fly, a hair, a raisin, a skin of a grape

(Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669)

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth!” Proverbs 27:1

Who can sum up . . .
the many possible deaths which are still lurking in his own body;
or the innumerable hosts of external dangers which beleaguer him on every side;
or the invisible arrows which fly about his ears continually!

Who can tell how soon he may have his mortal wound given him by one or another of them? Now, how sad would it be for a man to have a summons to appear before God in that eternal world, before his heart and life are savingly changed!

The life of a man is but a shadow, a span, a vapor, a flower, etc.

Though there is but one way to come into the world–yet there are thousands of ways to be sent out of the world!

We carry about in our bodies the material for a thousand deaths–and may die a thousand different ways in several hours. As many senses, as many members, nay, as many pores as there are in the body–so many windows there are for death to enter in at!

Death needs not spend all his arrows upon us. A worm, a gnat, a fly, a hair, a raisin, a skin of a grape, the stumbling of a horse, the trip of a foot, the pick of a pin, the cutting of a fingernail, the cutting out of a corn; all these have been to others, and any of them may be to us–the means of our death within the space of a few days; nay, of a few hours; nay, of a few moments!

Yet I am sure that the worst of deaths, shall but translate true believers . . .
from earth–to Heaven,
from a wilderness–to a paradise,
from misery–to glory, and
from mixed and mutable enjoyments–to the pure and everlasting enjoyments of God!

To a believer, “The day of death better than the day of birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:1-2

http://www.GraceGems.org

 

These are the Days of Amos…

Amos Survey 2

Text  Chapter  4-6

What was it like to live in the days of Amos, in Israel. Using Amos chapter 4-6, let’s conduct a survey of the state of that society:-

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Fig Trees and Mountains

Fig Trees and Mountains

Text. Matthew 21:18-21

It’s the very last week of Christ’s earthly ministry.  Jesus and his disciples were returning to the city on the morning after the cleansing of the temple. 18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city.  Matthew Henry reminds us of the poverty of Christ.  He would have had no sustaining breakfast before he left, and so he sought common food along the way, as the law permitted.  That’s when they encountered a certain fig tree..

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Fig Tree

 

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Amos – Survey #1

AMOS – Survey #1. 

Text. Amos 1-3.

Now we come to a larger book, and one of the better known prophets, AMOS.  We’ll look at the book over three separate studies, but remember these are just SURVEYS.  Let’s start at our usual point, and begin with finding out the basic facts.

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1. Background.  Amos 1:1  

So we being with the usual questions, WHO, WHEN and WHERE.

  1. Who is Amos?  Amos is NOT a professional prophet, something he makes very clear in Amos 7:14    He is a farmer, to whom God has given a commission and a call into his service.  Amos farmed near Tekoa, a region in Judah, where he breeds sheep and works in a fig orchard.  He is just an ordinary working man, who expects no financial reward from his ministry.   One commentator notes that his whole ministry may have lasted no more than a year.  .  
  2. When did he preach?  The date of Amos is very precise indeed. It was in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. A major earthquake had occurred in Israel c. 760 BC.  That’s very precise indeed!   Two kings are mentioned:-
    1. Jeroboam II, King of Israel.  
    2. Uzziah, King of Judah.  

So, there’s no doubt about the time frame of Amos’ ministry, and he was in very good company.  Hosea was preaching to the people of Israel at the same time, while down south, Isaiah was beginning his ministry, in the year that King Uzziah died.  Isaiah 6:1-9 It’s as if God is raising up a great witness, doing a work, promoting His people to revival.  

  1. Where is his ministry? His preaching (as we shall see next) extends well outside Israel and Judah, but it is all done from within the northern kingdom of Israel, – but Amos was born in the south, and lives and works in the south – but he has the nerve to come up north and preach at the people there!  You can well imagine how that went down!  Read  Amos 1:2,  God ROARS from Zion!  Jerusalem (the south) is preaching to Israel and Mt Carmel (the North) will crumble before God’s withering voice.

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Are Babies EVER an Inconvenience? Mt 19

The Value of Children (Born and Unborn)

Text.  Matthew 19:13-15

What value do we place on tiny human life?  

– The Jews of Jesus’ day had respect for the unborn and the newly born child, unlike the pagan nations that surrounded them.  The penalty under the law of Moses for infanticide was death. Leviticus 20:2 Needless to say the Israelites were disobedient.  Jeremiah 32:34-36   The penalty for the death of unborn children was just as severe.  Exodus 21:22-24  

– In Greek and Roman society, a much more ‘cultured and civilised place to be’ the murder of newly born children was considered barbaric and uncivilised, so a child would be exposed on a hillside or open place; it wasn’t considered murder, because who knew whether a passing stranger, or even a god might come along and adopt the child.  The reality was that the baby would die of dehydration, or be eaten alive by animals.

– Our modern society has greatly conflicting attitudes about children.  On the one hand we over-indulge our children. They are treated like little princes and princesses, yet on the other hand, life often seems cheap when it is still in the womb. According to the World Health Organisation, there are between 40 to 50 MILLION abortions every year.  The majority of those abortions are not for babies with no life expectancy, or for the health of the mother, but because having a baby is INCONVENIENT.  People want to sin without consequence for themselves.  The human right to have unrestricted sex on demand outweighs the right to life of the babies that inevitably result from that behaviour.  

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Expecting a Baby

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