If God Be Against Us

Amos 3:1-15
Romans 8:31 tells us
Romans 8:31 KJV
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
But the title of the sermon today reflects what happens if the opposite is true.
Israel, at this point when Amos is speaking, has found herself in a very dangerous position because of their sin.
They were founded as a nation ruled by the Laws and principles of God’s Words and revelation.
They had godly leaders in their past who led them to do as God commanded them.
And although their leaders of the past were not perfect men, in fact many sinned openly, over all they desired to follow God.
But there came a day when they listened to others who were not of God.
Others who wanted Israel to follow a different path.
A path that made them more like the other nations around them, the nations that worshiped other gods,
I have to tell you I see a very shocking and disturbing similarity between Israel at this time in their history and America at this time in our history.
I might take a moment to say that there are, if you will, three groups of people that have been Chosen by God:
all humankind - God formed you in your mothers womb, and you have been chosen to be born.
God formed every person in their mother’s womb
Every living soul is fearfully and wonderfully made, and was chosen to have life.
Israel - God's chosen family
Christian's - Gods chosen individuals
but like Israel, America was founded by those who follow God, we were founded on Judeo/Christian principles.
We were founded on the Word of God.
We had godly leaders, who were not perfect, in fact some have openly sinned, and yet they desired to follow God.
But we have allowed people of the surrounding realms, those who follow after Satan and follow after His plan for the destruction of all that God has created, we have allowed them to infiltrate our nation, and sway our people to false gods.
gods of immorality
gods of political correctness
gods of materialism
gods of low character
We, as Christians, have yielded our way, our standing before God, and now our children are full force going after the gods of this world.
We call moral what is clearly defined as immoral in God’s Word.
We have for far too long, as the Church of the Living God, focused solely on the grace and mercy and love of God, and that’s good, but we have left behind the fact that He is a God of Justice, Righteousness and Judgment.
Israel finds themselves on the threshold of judgment.
Amos, a sheepherder, from the Southern Kingdom of Judah has been sent from God to declare this Oracle of Judgment to this nation to the North.
In this passage we see three key aspects of God’s Judgment in this chapter today that I want to look at.
Now I believe in expository preaching, I believe we need to be very careful not to take scripture out of context…and although we must interpret Scripture accurately and carefully... interpretation without application brings the truth of God’s Word to an untimely death in our hearts and minds.
Interpretation without application does not change lives.
And so we are going to look at these verses for what they say, and we are going to interpret them according to their historical interpretation.
We are, however, also going to apply these verses to our lives and the lives of those around us, so that we can see how this Scripture passage is profitable to us.
So, Let’s begin by looking at the first aspect of God’s Judgment:

I. God’s Judgment is Fair

1 Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, Against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
God calls out to the Children of Israel, reminding them of what He has done for them.
He has delivered the entire nation from slavery in Egypt, He has given them a home, a land to possess.
In verse two we see two Key Words that we want to pay attention to:
The first one is the word:

A. Know

In this one word he reminds them that He has chose them (you only have I known of all the families of the earth).
This word known is an intimate word, more than just to have a mental knowledge of them, but it speaks to a deep relationship and covenant.
The Bible even uses this word to speak of the intimacy between a husband and his wife.
Genesis 4:1 KJV
1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
This is the same word that God uses when talking about knowing this family above all the families of the earth.
He has chosen them - He has Known, He has protected, He has helped, He has led this chosen people.
By the way, We too are God’s chosen people and we are known of God.
1 Corinthians 8:3 KJV
3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
We too have been chosen by God.
1 Peter 2:9 KJV
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
The same condemning question must be asked of those who profess Christ but do not do as He commands.
How can we then turn away from Him after all He has done for us?
Galatians 4:9 KJV
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
So the first Key Word in this verse is Know, the second Key Word I want you to notice, seems kind of odd after the first Key Word, but the Second Key Word is:

B. Punish

Because Israel has turned away from God...
Because they have, after knowing God, have turned to idols… God says Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
The Hebrew word punish in this verse literally means to visit.
It can be a visit to bring good, In some verses it is a good visit - I will visit them, meaning He will bring blessings.
However, it can also be a visit to bring bad.
I remember as a child, my mom telling me, “Go to your room until your dad gets home.”
And I remember my dad visiting my room.
It was not usually to bring good.
The context of the verse determines the interpretation of this word, and there is no doubt that God means that He will be punishing His children.
God’s mercy is great!
But there comes a point in every father’s life when He sees that mercy is not what His child needs, punishment is needed.
We are the children of God!
How can we expect any different from God, than what He brought to His children of Israel.
God’s judgment is Fair, He knows us better than anyone else, and if we continue in our sin, he will visit us…he will punish us.
Hebrews 12:6 KJV
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Let me say in no uncertain terms, If you are a child of God, and you decide to live in unrepentant sin, God will visit you with punishment…with chastisement!
You have been given much, and much will be required of you!
God’s Judgement is Fair!

II. God’s Judgment is Fixed

Here Amos begins a series of statements to emphasize the point that Judgment is inevitable.
We are going to look at each of them to see what He is saying…but a loving God is warning His rebellious people that Judgment is Fixed - It is inevitable.

A. He Speaks for Caution

God doesn’t want judgment for His children, but it is inevitable if they do not repent!
He says...
3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
It is assumed that you cannot walk together and go two opposite directions.
And he walks with me and He talks with me…Well truthfully God never changes His direction.
The best way to say it is “And I walk with Him and He talks with me.”
God wants to walk with you, but you have to be going the same way as Him.
I just got back from camp, and I was privileged to have all of my kids there with me.
When I am going somewhere and one of my kids runs up and catches up with me and walks with me and talks with me as I go somewhere…I’ll be honest…I’m a softy, it thrills my heart!
But how can we walk with our Father if we are not in agreement…if we are not going the same way our Father is going?
4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey?
Will the lion roar if their is no prey there…no they roar in times of hunting.
It’s an “of course not” statement.
Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?
No, of course not, A young lion, though hungry doesn’t cry out, but when he sees the mother coming with the prey then you can hear the crying.
5 Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him?
Snare and gin are two different words meaning a trap.
Does a bird fall to the ground in a trap, when there is no trap set for him?
No of course not! There needs to be a trap in order to catch a bird in a trap.
Shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?
Do you remove a trap before it has caught anything?
Typically not! Of course not!
6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid?
The trumpets blown in the city warned those within the walls that danger is coming.
I hear you had a tornado warning while we are at camp!
It can cause a feeling of unease and fear, especially for those who are not use to them.
If the trumpets are blown, will the people not be afraid…of course they will!
Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?
Of course this word evil is not speaking of sin, it is speaking of destruction or something bad happening to a city.
Does God not allow or prevent things from happening?
Is it not all in His hands? Of course it is!
7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, But he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
he will not judge or punish without speaking through His prophets, through His Word, through His revelation first!
God speaks to His servants the prophets, he warns His people of the destruction before it comes…will we hear?
Peter and John told the High Priest,
Acts 4:20 KJV
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
8 The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
Once again the image is given of the lion roaring.
The day of judgment is here, Listen!
It is inevitable, if we don’t repent!
But notice one thing about these great noises that are spoken of in these verses...

B. He Speaks for Change

He’s not speaking just to hear himself speak!
Each of these noises are a call out from God for His people to repent and change their ways so that judgment no longer needs to come.
Had the children of Israel changed their heart, God would have healed their land.
If America will change their heart…hear the call of warning…God will heal our land!
2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
It is God’s people who need to repent!
It is God’s people who need to humble themselves!
It is God’s people who need to pray!
It is God’s people who need to seek His face!
It is God’s people who need to turn from their wicked ways!
If God’s people will repent, God has promised that He will hear from heaven, He will forgive their sin and He will heal their land!
We need our land healed today, do we not?
It starts with God’s people and our hearts!
Hear the roar of the lion - Let it be a warning for us to do as God has commanded us!
Hear the peal of the trumpet - Take heed to the warning and repent!
The Judgment of God is Fair, Not only have we been given much…but we have been given the warning above it all…it is fair!
The Judgment of God is fixed for those who do not repent…rest assured It will come!
So listen to the trumpet!
And then we see in this chapter the third aspect of God’s Judgement...

III. God’s Judgment is Full

9 Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, And in the palaces in the land of Egypt, And say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, And behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, And the oppressed in the midst thereof.
Amos calls to the foreign countries to come and see trouble that Israel is in, especially Samaria.
Because the Children of Israel have shown...

A. Complete Rebellion

Because there was a complete and total breakdown of relational behavior How they treated each other...
And they have shown a complete abandonment and rejection of holiness.
10 For they know not to do right, saith the Lord, Who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.
They have gotten so bad that they don’t even no how to do right.
They do nothing but store up violence and robbery everywhere.
It is a complete breakdown of normal behavior in their society.
They are lead by materialism and violence, instead of equity and compassion.
They do not know how they ought to treat one another.
There is a complete relational breakdown in their society.
So because of this utter and complete abandonment of God’s Law and God’s plan for them they will receive unto themselves:

B. Complete Ruin

11 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; And he shall bring down thy strength from thee, And thy palaces shall be spoiled.
So the punishment that is being proclaimed here is total loss.
They will be surrounded, they will be brought down, and their palaces will be spoiled.
They sat in comfort in their prosperity, but soon all of that will be gone.
12 Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; So shall the children of Israel be taken out That dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.
The Lord declares that there will only be a few, a remnant that remain in Israel once the rest is devoured.
He says this through the image of a shepherd picking two legs of the lamb from the lions mouth, or a piece of an ear.
13 Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, Saith the Lord God, the God of hosts,
14 That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Beth-el: And the horns of the altar shall be cut off, And fall to the ground.
15 And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; And the houses of ivory shall perish, And the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord.
God calls for them to hear what He is saying, He will visit (punish) the transgression of Israel.
He speaks of the altars of Bethel and the horns of the Altar being cut off.
He is speaking to their corporate worship.
This is a reference to the fact that Jeroboam I having tried to mix the worship of the God of Heaven with gods of the nations around them.
Jeroboam made two golden calves and caused them to be worshiped along side the Lord in Bethel.
As the people became more wicked, the more their worship became worship.
External forms of worship are worthless if personal and corporate holiness are lacking.
It doesn’t matter how much worship happens in this church…
we can have the best singers for miles around,
we can have the best instrumentalists for miles around,
we can have great preaching…if we can ever find a great preacher…but none of it will matter if we are not living holy lives.
All external forms of worship are worthless if holiness is lacking.
What inevitably happens is the worship becomes compromised and more like the world,
This often happens so that we don’t get under conviction for our lack of holiness.
Jeroboam invited the Canaanite gods to be worshiped along side God, and God was not happy.
Like Romans says in:
Romans 1:25 KJV
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
This always leads to confusion.
God says,
15 And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; And the houses of ivory shall perish, And the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord.
It doesn’t matter how prosperous you become…God will bring judgment upon those who do not repent.
Amos a true prophet of God spoke the truth as God revealed it to the rebellious and idolatrous nation of Israel.
There were prophets, priests and kings who all were supposed to know and follow God’s Law, God’s revealed Word.
But they didn’t.
Today we have many false prophets preaching a false gospel.
A gospel of prosperity, a gospel that says:
everything is alright,
you can live how you want to live,
we just need to love one another
America has left her Lord, that helped them in her beginning!
If we do not change, we will be judged.
Many Christians today are content just coasting along life and being lukewarm, but God hates lukewarmness
Revelation 3:16 KJV
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
I have seen it over and over again.
Christians who were once on fire for God, their families active in church, serving and growing in the Lord.
I’ve seen them get tired, or get discouraged soon they begin to criticize others that are still going strong for the Lord, and before long they are dropping out.
I wish I could show to you the lives of these that were once so strong in the Lord, but have drifted into sin...
families torn apart
bitterness ruling their heart
children became have addicts
just a shell of the person that they once were.
Bitterness has ravaged their faces
Oh how important it is that we stay strong in the Lord!
Stay strong in your walk with God!
Stay pure in your worship with God!
Keep serving the Lord!
God cares about how we treat each other!
God cares about how we worship him!
It matters to Him!
If we will not listen, If we will not repent Gods judgement will be fair - We have been warned!
God’s judgment will be fixed - It is inevitable…it will come we will not escape and yet he warns so that we will repent.
and God’s judgment will be full - it doesn’t matter how prosperous our nation is…if we don’t repent of our wickedness we will be judged.
If you do not know the Lord as your savior today, you face an eternal judgment.
Hebrews 9:27 KJV
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
every man, woman and child will stand before God and give an account for what they have done with what God has revealed to us.
If you do not know the Lord as your Savior please come and talk to me after the service and settle it today!
If you do know the Lord, have you yielded to Him as the Lord of your life?
Or are you living in rebellion?
You cannot continue to run from God, and not expect judgement to come.
come back to Him and be all in…He is waiting for you to repent!
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