AMOS - 1

Amos  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Amos' vision of God's Judgment

Amos’ Vision of God’s Judgment
A. From the obscurity of a shepherd's role Amos stepped out for a few brief moments upon the stage of history, to go down in its annals as one of its first and greatest reformers.
1. Having served the purpose for which he was called, he stepped back into that same obscurity from which he had come.
2. His clear insights into the conditions of his day, his indignation at the corruptions within a nation, and his courage and devotion to God have made him worthy of a place among the great.
3. Israel was corrupt from the top of its social and political stratum to the bottom. Amos cried out against these evils and pointed out to the nation its inevitable doom.
B. Amos' name means "burden-bearer," and he lived up to this name, for the Lord laid on him a tremendous burden of declaring God's wishes to an apostate Israel.
1. Amos bore the burden and fulfilled his mission.
2. Amos was from the village of Tekoa, located about six miles south of Bethlehem and eighteen miles east of the Dead Sea.
3. Amos tells us that he was a herdsman (1:1) and a dresser of sycamore trees (7:14). More will be said about this later.
C. The date of this writing is almost unanimously placed by scholars between 760-750 B.C.
1. Amos prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, king in Judah, and of Jeroboam II, king in Israel.
2. Thus, Amos' prophecies took place during the time recorded in 2 Kgs 14-15 and 2 Chr 26.
D. When you study through the book of Amos you will notice that the reasons Israel was in the horrible state they were was because of materialism, moral and political corruption, and religious corruption.
1. The Lord had brought His people out of Egypt and had given them a great land.
2. God drove out the inhabitants of the land and sent them abundant blessings.
3. But in spite of all of this, Israel failed God.
4. Instead of worship, adoration, and righteousness toward God, instead of love and concern for one another, they had become cruel, selfish, and rebellious.
5. Now it was time that they be taught the old paths and taught to walk in them.
6. Special note: “Thus saith Jehovah” is found 44 times
A. The Revelation of God’s Judgment (1:1-2)
1. “The words” of the Amos that we have recorded here are what Amos “saw” (suggesting a vision), through inspiration, was going to happen to Israel
a. This “earthquake” in the days of Uzziah is also mentioned by Zechariah (Zech. 14:5).
b. Nothing more is known of this earthquake than what is mentioned by these two prophets.
c. But it must have been of unusual significance and is probably mentioned as an example of the judgment of God in time past.
2. As the lion roars and his voice strike terror in the hearts of those who hear, so the Lord will “roar from Zion” or burst out as a furnace, producing terror in the hearts of the people.
3. Before pronouncing judgment upon Judah and Israel, Amos scans the world of his day and selects six neighboring heathen nations upon whom he declares God's judgment.
a. The point is that God will judge all. He will judge the heathen as well as His own people.
b. Each judgment against the six heathen nations and Judah and Israel begins with the same declaration, "Thus saith Jehovah; For three transgressions of …, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof."
c. This gives emphasis to the source of the judgment - God, and also signifies that their iniquity was full and overflowing.
B. The Recipients of God’s Judgment (1:3-2:16)
1. Damascus (1:3-5)
a. Their sin (v. 3): They have ravished the Israelite city of Gilead
b. Their sentence (vs. 4-5): Damascus will be burned, and its people will be enslaved
2. Philistia (1:6-8)
a. Their sin (v. 6): They sold God’s people into slavery
b. Their sentence (vs. 7-8): The Philistine cities will be torched, and the people will be killed
3. Tyre (1:9-10)
a. Their sin (v. 9): They have broken their treaty with the people of Israel and have betrayed them
b. Their sentence (v. 10): The city will be burned
4. Edom (1:11-12)
a. Their sin (v. 11): They have hounded Israel with the sword
b. Their sentence (v. 12): Their cities will be burned
5. Ammon (1:13-15)
a. Their sin (v. 13): They ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead
b. Their sentence (vs. 14-15): Their cities will be burned, and their people will be enslaved
6. Moab (2:1-3)
a. Their sin (v. 1): They have desecrated tombs, showing no respect for the dead
b. Their sentence (vs. 2-3): Their cities will be burned, and their people will be killed
7. Judah (2:4-5)
a. Their sin (v. 4): They have rejected the law of God
b. Their sentence (v. 5): Jerusalem will be destroyed
8. Israel (2:6-16)
a. Their sins (vs. 6-12)
1) Bribery (v. 6): They pervert justice with dishonest scales
2) Cruelty to the poor (v. 7a): They trample helpless people in the dirt
3) Immorality (v. 7b): Father and son sleep with the same woman
4) Hypocrisy (v. 8): They go to religious festivals in stolen clothes
5) Tempting the godly to sin (vs. 9-12): They cause the Nazarites to sin by making them drink wine
b. Their sentence (vs. 13-16)
1) They will groan as an overloaded wagon (v. 13)
2) Their enemies will defeat them (vs. 14-16): The runners, the warriors, and those on horses will be unable to get away
9. Remember, “these things happened by way of example…” (1 Cor. 10:11)
C. Lessons Learned
1. Our lives must be filled with a “Thus saith Jehovah” as was Amos (44 times), and as such…
a. We need to warn as did Amos
1) As the lion roars and his voice strikes terror in the hearts of those who hear, so the Lord will “roar from Zion” producing terror in the hearts of the people.
2) We must warn people of God’s judgment
3) We are a watchman… Ezekiel 3:16-21
b. We need to be a burden-bearer as AmosJeremiah 20:9; 1 Corinthians 9:16; Romans 1:14-17
c. We only speak God’s wordsColossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11; Titus 2:1
2. Sin waxes worse and worse
a. 2 Timothy 3:13
b. Once one starts down the road of sin things only get worse
c. In the OT straying from God always began with worship, and then continued to escalate
d. Today, straying away from God in any point will open the door to violate any of God’s word
3. Sin will not go unpunished
4. Judgment by fire
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