AMOS 2 A Nation On Trail
AMOS CH 2:4-3:15
A NATION ON TRIAL
CRIMINAL CHARGES LISTED!
A few years ago the U.S. opened its arms to a Russian Writer named Alexander SOLZHENITSYN. He had written a number of books exposing the Communist System for
what it is, a prison camp. Those in Government & Education were overjoyed that he came to
this country, until he gave is famous Graduation speech at Harvard. There he turned his
words upon the U.S. exposing the sins of our country & called for the U.S. to repent before
the Judgment of God fells upon our nation.
Prophets are not very popular. Solzhenitsyn to my knowledge has not been ask to speak at
He said there are two types of people:
those who are wolves = inhuman predators.
those who are prey = those who are misused.
People like to hear prophets when they point out the sin of other nations. But when they call
upon their own people to repent & turn from their wicked ways & turn to the living God,
people turn on them.
Today we have Charles Colson & Alexander Solzhenitzyn as modern day prophets.
They are not popular with some people because they cut to the heart & call sin sin.
Other people love them because they point out the sin in others.
How righteous a life you live determines how long this nation will survive!
Before a Judge hands down a sentence He lists the charges against the dependent & then pronounces the Judgment.
God the Divine Judge is listing the charges against Israel & Judah in ch 2.
The people loved to hear Amos' message in ch. 1 where he denounces the sins of the nations
But when he began to list the Charges God has against Israel & Judah, they change their tune.
THE CHARGES AGAINST GOD'S PEOPLE 2:4-7
Amos begins his message by recounting the sins of the pagans, & how God will judge them.
The People would cheer, they deserve it let them have it. Go God! Go Get them!
But then God Lists the charges against His people! Rom 2:1
"WHEREIN THOU JUDGEST ANOTHER, THOU CONDEMNEST THYSELF; FOR
THOU THAT JUDGEST DOEST THE SAME THING"
You think everyone else is so bad & you are so good, let me list the charges against you!
The Lord said I will judge you because you have despised the Law of the Lord. You have not kept My Commandments.
YOUR LIES HAVE LED THEM ASTRAY.
The word lies often refers to false gods. One who goes after a false god is led astray. Idolatry is self-deception.
They willfully turned their back on God & deceived themselves into believing a lie. You are either serving the living God or a false god. They deceived themselves into believing a false religion.
SOCIAL INJUSTICE V 6
The false god was money$$. They sold the people who would not go along with their evil practices of stealing, false measurements, lying, blackmail, kickbacks, bribery, political corruption, & murder.
If there was a righteous person in the community who stood up & denounced sin.
The corrupt business leaders & politicians organ- ized a sham, to sell that person into slavery to get rid of them.
My Father-In-Law was inducted into the army at the age of 39 because he took a stand against the bars selling beer to anyone under 21 which was the law. Because he took a stand on the side of the law he was called up because the bar owners were on the Selective Service Board.
WHAT AMOS CONDEMNS IS THE SURVIVAL OF THE SLICKEST!
THE CHARGE OF SELFISH GREED.
The rich bribed the corrupt police & Corrupt Judges. They went so far as to sell the poor for the price of a pair of sandals.
Now I don't think we need to look very far before we can see this attitude in our own nation.
A few years ago. The Cuban REFUGEES. People in Florida didn't look at them as helpless & needy & feel responsible to help deliver them. No it was How do we make money out of it "Let us sell their souls for $1,000 a head to bring them to Florida."
There are some LAWYER who exploit the needs of childless parents. Well, we'll get you a child for $5,000-$10,000.
We'll get a young woman pregnant & we'll sell babies. That's the way to make a profit."
What about MECHANICS who take advantage of people who have no idea of how to repair an car. Or if you are from out of state the price is doubled.
What about DOCTORS who perform unnecessary surgeries, only because they have a payment on their car, or boat.
What about the DENTISTS who fill good teeth without cavities, because they want to fill their pocket book.
What about the ABORTIONS preformed in America.
In Nazi Germany, at least, they were not paid for exterminations. Here we let people get rich by taking the life of the helpless, the needy.
This greed is even in the CHURCH. Some TV. Ministries.
A Russian peasant woman came from Siberia to this country after WW II. She owned some land here, but a church exploited her to give all her money to them in return for taking care of her. They took about $100,000 she had & put her off in a little home. In a couple of years they will put her on the welfare rolls. All this so they can have their "golden calf" building.
We have become an O-moral society. Anything that works is permissible no matter how wrong.
BANKS FORECLOSING on people who have never missed a payment.
If it will make you another dollar do it.
What about the LAWYERS they will represent you until they get everything.
What about the LAWYER who not only charges exurbanite fees, but triple charges.
He charges time for the case his is working on, time for the case that calls him on the
phone, and time for the case on his desk.
WHAT AMOS IS CONDEMNING IS THE SURVIVAL OF THE SLICK CROOKED.
THE CHARGE OF SOCIAL OPPRESSION V 7
They pant = to grasp, eagerly - runner pants for air.
The dust of the earth on the head of the poor.
The moral's of the politicians & bureaucrats were so rotten they devised a scheme were they
taxed the poor people for the dust & dirt on their body after they worked all day in the field.
Justice was usually dispensed by the City Elders who sat at the city gate. Instead of doing
their jobs of dispensing justice.
They sat at the gate & each person coming into the city was charged a dust tax.
They sat around trying to figure new ways to tax everyone but themselves!
A few years ago some business men tried to do a similar thing with solar energy.
They wanted to charge so much for each person that used the sun to heat.
THE CHARGE OF SEXUAL IMMORALITY V 7b
I don't need to explain this verse. A father & son would go to the same prostitute.
The fathers setting a bad example.
THE CHARGE OF BREAKING THEIR WORD V8
To make the abomination even worse, Amos says there was no difference between what they did in the legal & economic sphere & the way they operated the church & worshipped.
They would take the garments they received by deception.
The clothes referred to here were like overcoats people used to cover themselves when they slept to keep warm.
The people used them as security to borrow $5 for the day. The law forbid anyone from keeping the security blanket over night.
The law stated they had to return the coat by dark. But they didn't. The exploiters would take these beautiful garments & go to the places of worship with them to show them & lounge in them. The bankers, & leaders did not keep their word.
They were also using the garments as beds in the temples where they had sex with the
THE CHARGE OF DRUNKENNESS & ALCOHOLISM V8
They used the money from the trumpeted up fines to buy wine & they would drink in the house of God. Instead of worshiping God in his house they would go their to drink.
They were having to drink at church, They were addicted to it. Instead of the Joy of the Lord they had to have the Joy of booze.
He now gives a detailed account of their sin.
He mentions the Nazarites.
NAZARITES were raised up by God to protest against Canaanite culture & religion.
They were set apart by God.
They had a high standard.
They did not cut their hair.
They did not touch any grape product
They did not touch dead bodies.
God raised up the Nazarites & prophets from among the people of Israel to call the people back to God. They were the EVANGELIST
Unwilling to give up their sinful life & because the Nazarites preaching cut into their profits.
They made the Nazarites break their vows & drink wine.
A drunken society can not tolerate such a group in its midst.
Instead of turning from their wicked ways the people succeeded in bringing the EVANGELIST down to their level.
This is the way the world deals with those who take a strong stand or have higher principles.
They try to drag them down to the corrupt level of the world so they have no message & no one will listen to them.
Don't speak against sin you might make some one upset and that will hurt the offering!!
THE CHARGE OF IMMORALITY IN THE CHURCH V 8
The spiritual standards of that nation were so low that this sinful act was practiced not at the shrines of Baal but in the temples of Israel dedicated to the worship of God.
They were having sex in the Church beside the altar.
A while ago on one of the Morning T.V. programs, Good morning America or one of those, they had 2 Roman Catholic Priest.
One was arguing that 80% of the Priest were Homosexual.
The other was arguing no that was too high it was only 50%
They were not deploring the practice but arguing on the percentage in the church.
We see this now with the number of law suits, being filed against priests.
The sexual immorality that went on in the (pass the lute, pay the lady) Has been spread over the news papers & T.V.
Jimmy Bakker, Jimmay Swagard, Jim Fletcher.
Remember gentlemen. "The woman always tells." Jessica Haun, Jenifer Flowers.
II. THE DELIVERANCE OF GOD'S PEOPLE = A REMINDER
1. HE DELIVERANCE FROM THE ENEMY V 9
Having stated the Charges against Israel, the Prophet now recounts the gracious & marvelous acts of God on her behalf.
What has God done for Israel???
He saved them from execution at the Red Sea.
He brought them out of Egypt.
2. HE DELIVERED THEM FROM SLAVERY V 10
God saved the nation from slavery & made them a nation of King & priests.
3. HE GUIDED THEM /& PROVIDED FOR THEM V10
For 40 years in the wilderness God feed them with food.
supplied their water
gave them street lights at night
gave them shade in the day
kept their clothes from wearing out.
4. HE PREPARED THE PROMISED LAND V 10
The conquest of Canaan was accomplished not by the Israelites but by their God.
The hornets song describes how God chased out the inhabitants.
III. THE DEFIANCE OF GOD'S PROVISION
A. REJECTION OF GOD'S WORD V 11
B. REJECTION OF GOD'S MESSENGERS V 12
You EVANGELIST & preacher go to Africa or South America & preach but don't preach
at us. Don't you know we are a Christian nation, We are chosen as a special nation by God.
Go condemn the heathen. We are civilized.
IV. THE DEFINITENESS OF GOD'S PUNISHMENT V 15
In Ch 3:1-3 The Lord reviews what He has said in Ch 2
A. JUDGMENT CANNOT BE RESISTED READ V 3-5
Amos is using logic.
Two men don't accidently walk together in an open field.
He shows that in the world of nature everything has meaning.
v4 When a lion has killed its prey it roars.
When a lion roars you know he has its prey = Everything has a cause & effect.
You understand that in nature.
Why don't you understand that in the Spiritual realm.
Why don't you understand that in the Moral realm.
v6-7 The prophet moves to the human area.
When an Air-raid warning sounds, aren't the people frightened.
Are the surface to air-missiles fired at nothing??
When you hear anti-aircraft guns firing doesn't that mean the enemy is near.
Amos is showing that in the world of man everything has meaning.
A Minuteman missile does not fire unless someone pushes a button.
An anti-aircraft gun does not fire unless someone puts his finger on the trigger.
A bomb does not drop from an airplane unless someone opened the bomb door.
If you can understand all of this why can't you understand that the crises come from God as a message.
The crises don't just happen by accident.
A Bear trap does not spring by itself, neither does a famine come by accident, nor does a flood or drought, nor does a nation fall by accident.
The Israelites knew the meaning of each thing Amos mentioned but they failed to apprehend the significance of the Word of God.
Someone has called prophets "GOD'S STORM BIRDS" because the very presence of a prophet was a warning that God was coming in judgment & they should prepare to meet Him.
v9 God is calling; Hay! you boys in Egypt, Hay! you Philistines;
Do you want to see a good show? Come on over to Samaria & sit on the Mt. sides.
God's not going to show you an old war movie but He is going to show you the real thing.
Sit up there on the Mt. with your field glasses & pop corn & watch what takes place.
Even though you are from a pagan country you will be shocked by what you see.
In v 9-10 The Lord Charges Israel.
Your places are filled with loot stolen or seized by violence or corruption.
Israel your prosperity depends upon robbery & oppression.
v 10 Israel you are so Spiritually sick you don't even know how to do right if you wanted.
The only way to cure such a sickness is drastic surgery.
I AM GOING TO CUT YOU OPEN & GIVE ALL THAT LOOT TO SOMEONE ELSE.
The ruin of your nation will be complete-as complete as the destruction of a lamb caught by a lion, from whose mouth the shepherd rescues only two leg bones & an ear.
Is difficult to translate. But the prophecy is addressed to the luxury-loving Play-Boy nobles of Samaria who hide under their beds when the invaders come.
Amos gives no hope of a reprieve.
He mentions BETHEL the royal shrine like Westminister Abbey in Britain. BETHEL meant "OF GOD" & God will destroy his own house.
There will be no place of refuge for Israel on the day of Judgment.
The rich had two houses = Warm winter house Cool summer house
They had decorated their houses with inlaid ivory with gold leaf or precious stones much of the fine furniture contained carved ivory. The Parade of Homes.
Amos is condemning this excessive luxury.
Amos says all this luxury will be swept away. The expensive houses may have protected you against the hot & cold of the weather.
BUT WHAT WILL PROTECT YOU AGAINST THE JUDGMENT OF GOD.
Judgment cannot be avoided v 13 God says I will press you down like a grain truck that is
Or I will bring judgment upon you like a road packer rolling over you, You will be flattened
out like a pancake.
C. YOU CANNOT ESCAPE THE JUDGMENT OF GOD. 2:14-16
The infantry, the Artillery, the Cavalry will not stand, they
will drop everything & run for their lives. How will you be saved?
This passage has some dreadful teaching for those who do not personally know God
& for those who are out of fellowship.
Israel was God's chosen nation, but they turned from worshiping him to becoming all
wrapped up in making $ $ $ any way they could.
God does not condemn money or luxury except if it becomes your main aim in life.
God will bring judgment upon us for the wrong use of money power, justice, & time.
What is your attitude toward $ money?
What is your attitude toward God?