Amos: Country Prophet- Pt. II
Oracles Sermons, Visions
Oracles Sermons, Visions
Our Country Prophet, Amos. A shepherd and a gatherer of sycamore fruit (Amo7:14-15). God’s unlikely prophet to proclaim judgment on many nations and on God’s people, especially Israel (Northern Kingdom) A few reminders before returning to the survey.
The sections of the book:
The Oracles (chp. 1-2) - concerning sin, judgment on eight nations including Israel
We looked at this last week, the pronounced judgment forthcoming on the surrounding nations Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon and Moab, as well as Judah and Israel
Focus really was on the Northern Kingdom Isreal for their covenant breaking rebellion and unfaithfulness.
The Sermons (chp. 3-6) - concerning the sin and judgment of Israel
This is where we are going to be today.
There are 3 sermons in this section, each start with “Hear the word” in chapters 3, 4, and 5
Outline for today
The doom (3:1-15)
The depravity (4:1-13)
The dirge (5:1-6:14)
This is what to come next week, Lord willing but wanted you to have it as a reminder for your notes
The Visions (chp. 7-9) again, this concerning the sin and judgment of Israel.
(Transition) So lets look together at these sermons, in general)
Doom, one of those feel good words, right? Wrong, it means death destruction or some other terrible fate. This is the fate of judgment coming on Isreal, so let’s journey, survey together.
Amos defends his right to prophesy against Israel (vv.1-8)
Lord has spoken against Israel (vv.1-2)
1 Hear this word which the Lord has spoken against you, sons of Israel, against the entire family which He brought up from the land of Egypt: 2 “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
Why is the judgment coming against Israel (v.2)?
God is a righteous judge and judges in righteousness and in truth. They had the benefits of being the chosen, recipients of the law, and the words of the prophets, yet they still chose to sin, rebel, to break the covenant.
Some rhetorical questions (vv.3-6)
In this section we have 7-questions that are asked that have very obvious answers, so are they really rhetorical questions, look and consider.
3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? 4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing?
5 Will a bird fall into a snare on the earth, where there is no trap for it? Will a snare spring up from the earth, if it has caught nothing at all? 6 If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
Amos speaking God’s words, that judgment does not come unjustly or without warning, you were warned. God does not do things, bring judgment, without warning first giving opportunity to repent and return.
More on the logic of the 7-questions are found in the next two verses.
Can a prophet but not speak? (vv.7-8)
7 Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets. 8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?
What warnings did God give and how did the warning come (vv.7-8)
The warning came through the spoken words of the prophet like the roar of a lion that should have brought fear on them. The prophet can but speak the oracles of God.
Israel’s doom (vv.9-15)
9 Proclaim on the citadels in Ashdod and on the citadels in the land of Egypt and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria and see the great tumults within her and the oppressions in her midst.
10 “But they do not know how to do what is right,” declares the Lord, “these who hoard up violence and devastation in their citadels.”
God calls for Ashdod and for Egypt to come see the great tumults, great wickedness, sins of Israel. They will receive the judgment by being plundered and taken into captivity.
11 Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “An enemy, even one surrounding the land, Will pull down your strength from you And your citadels will be looted.”
12 Thus says the Lord, “Just as the shepherd snatches from the lion’s mouth a couple of legs or a piece of an ear, So will the sons of Israel dwelling in Samaria be snatched away— With the corner of a bed and the cover of a couch!
13 “Hear and testify against the house of Jacob,” Declares the Lord God, the God of hosts. 14 “For on the day that I punish Israel’s transgressions, I will also punish the altars of Bethel; The horns of the altar will be cut off And they will fall to the ground.
15 “I will also smite the winter house together with the summer house; The houses of ivory will also perish And the great houses will come to an end,” Declares the Lord.
They were going to be plundered by an adversary, thought not said who, Isaiah says it would be Assyria. Only a remnant would survive. Judgment will come on the altars of Bethel (place of idolatry brought in by Jeroboam). Destruction will be from the top (great houses, luxurious houses) down.
(Transition) there is sermon one. What is the point of a sermon? Hear, learn, respond, apply. So what is God’s intention for them through this sermon? To one more time tell them what is coming so they would be in fear, repent and return.
From doom, that came from depravity (moral corruption,wickedness). Now the sermon pronounces the why.
The cows of Bashan were insatiable (vv.1-3)
So here we have Israel (living in the regions of Samaria) let’s see how they were living
1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink!”
2 The Lord God has sworn by His holiness, “Behold, the days are coming upon you When they will take you away with meat hooks, And the last of you with fish hooks.
3 “You will go out through breaches in the walls, Each one straight before her, And you will be cast to Harmon,” declares the Lord.
What does God promise and why in (vv.2-3)?
He promises they are going into captivity (they will be taken away) because of His holiness they had to be
They were oppressing the poor (v.1) and crushing the needy (v.2)
Instead of helping others they were crying out for their own desires (v.1) and they were going to suffer the consequences (v.3) captivity.
Sarcastic words on worship (Am4:4-5)
4 “Enter Bethel and transgress; In Gilgal multiply transgression! Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days. 5 “Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known. For so you love to do, you sons of Israel,” Declares the Lord God.
They were not worshipping in a manner or place they were to worship. So this is laced with sarcasm for they were offering false worship.
Think about it, can we offer false worship today? Can we deviate from God’s order, God’s plan to something else?
Their call to repentance by God to this point has been rejected (vv.6-13)
6 “But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities And lack of bread in all your places, Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
You find they did not respond to famine, they did not return to Him
7 “Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you While there were still three months until harvest. Then I would send rain on one city And on another city I would not send rain; One part would be rained on, While the part not rained on would dry up.
8 “So two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water, But would not be satisfied; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
They did not respond to drought, they did not return to Him.
9 “I smote you with scorching wind and mildew; And the caterpillar was devouring Your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
Scorching pestilence, and they did not return to Him.
10 “I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
Plague and war did not budge them, they did not return to Him.
11 “I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
Fire, destruction, and yet they did not return to Him.
12 “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”
Who is bringing the judgment on them and why (v.12)?
God is bringing int on them because they did not repent and return to Him.
13 For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind And declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness And treads on the high places of the earth, The Lord God of hosts is His name.
His name is Lord God of Hosts!
3 “I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment.
Judgment coming because of their iniquity. He is just and His desire was for them to repent and return, but they would not. Now was the time for judgment and it was going to be severe.
(Transition) so in the light of their warnings because of their depravity, no wonder the last sermon was a lament.
A dirge is a lament, a mourning. This lament, dirge the sermon is filled with God’s lament, call, promise, warning and extent of destruction to Israel.
A lament (Amo5:1-3)
1 Hear this word which I take up for you as a dirge, O house of Israel: 2 She has fallen, she will not rise again— The virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; There is none to raise her up.
3 For thus says the Lord God, “The city which goes forth a thousand strong Will have a hundred left, And the one which goes forth a hundred strong Will have ten left to the house of Israel.”
Who has fallen according to (vv.1-2)?
Israel has fallen not to rise up again.
What will be the results (v.3)?
There will only be a remnant left
A call for repentance (Amo5:4-15)
Keep in mind this starts with a dirge, a lament not for what has happen, but what is going to happen, there was still some hope, if they would repent and return.
4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel, “Seek Me that you may live. 5 “But do not resort to Bethel And do not come to Gilgal, Nor cross over to Beersheba; For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity And Bethel will come to trouble.
6 “Seek the Lord that you may live, Or He will break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel, 7 For those who turn justice into wormwood And cast righteousness down to the earth.”
Do you see a common theme in (vv.4-7)?
Seek the Lord, so in other words turn to Him, repent. Seek Him, repent so you may live.
8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion And changes deep darkness into morning, Who also darkens day into night, Who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the surface of the earth, The Lord is His name. 9 It is He who flashes forth with destruction upon the strong, So that destruction comes upon the fortress.
The dirge comes with a reminder who God is, His creation, His power, and His destruction too in (vv.8-9)
10 They hate him who reproves in the gate, And they abhor him who speaks with integrity. 11 Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.
Think about it for a minute, who is the “they” in (v.10)?
The they is who is being addressed going back to (v.1)
What do they do (vv.10-11)?
They are abusing the poor by high rent and taxation while they are living in luxury
12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes And turn aside the poor in the gate. 13 Therefore at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.
More charges are brought (v.12) can you see them?
Transgressions and great sins
Described as distress the righteous
Turn away the poor
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said! 15 Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the Lord God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
God calls through the prophet for them to repent, seek good, not evil, to hat evil, love good, establish justice
A coming Day of the Lord (Amo5:16-27)
There is a day of the Lord coming and let me read it and pull a few things from it for your notes.
16 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, the Lord, “There is wailing in all the plazas, And in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They also call the farmer to mourning And professional mourners to lamentation. 17 “And in all the vineyards there is wailing, Because I will pass through the midst of you,” says the Lord.
The day is coming and the people will be wailing, crying int the plazas (the streets) and in the fields
18 Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, For what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you? It will be darkness and not light; 19 As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him, Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him.
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?
It will be a day of darkness, God is appauled by their false show of religion when they should be living righteously and justly.. read on and see that
21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.
23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. 24 “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Oh, and the reminder they had done this before, acted as if doing the right thing but were not, and then you see the promise of the captivity into Assyria (Damascus)
25 “Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? 26 “You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves.
27 “Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
A warning (Amo6:1-7)
I know our time is very limited by now, but I think if you bear with me we can read these last two sections quickly, draw a conclusion and call it a night
1 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion And to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, The distinguished men of the foremost of nations, To whom the house of Israel comes.
2 Go over to Calneh and look, And go from there to Hamath the great, Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are they better than these kingdoms, Or is their territory greater than yours?
3 Do you put off the day of calamity, And would you bring near the seat of violence? 4 Those who recline on beds of ivory And sprawl on their couches, And eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall,
7 Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles, And the sprawlers’ banqueting will pass away.
Don’t trust yourselves, trust God for greater than you trusted themselves and it did not turn out good for them.
A description (Amo6:8-14)
8 The Lord God has sworn by Himself, the Lord God of hosts has declared: “I loathe the arrogance of Jacob, And detest his citadels; Therefore I will deliver up the city and all it contains.” 9 And it will be, if ten men are left in one house, they will die.
10 Then one’s uncle, or his undertaker, will lift him up to carry out his bones from the house, and he will say to the one who is in the innermost part of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” And that one will say, “No one.” Then he will answer, “Keep quiet. For the name of the Lord is not to be mentioned.” 11 For behold, the Lord is going to command that the great house be smashed to pieces and the small house to fragments.
12 Do horses run on rocks? Or does one plow them with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into poison And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood, 13 You who rejoice in Lodebar, And say, “Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?”
14 “For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord God of hosts, “And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath To the brook of the Arabah.”
Judgment coming because God hates pride, arrogance. The coming judgment was going to be severe and God was going to use a heathen nation to bring the judgment.
Oh I wish we had some more time tonight, but I think you can get the idea of the overview of Amos from his sermons that followed his oracles, next week we will look at the visions.