Amos: Justice and Righteousness on the Pathway
Hear God’s Call to Return Amos 3:1-15
July 7, 2019
Intro: There were some great things that we have learned from the Revolutionary war.
Freedom and independence in never easy.
Sometimes you have to stand and fight.
Even though independence is great you always need a little outside help.
A victory is not the end of conflict but working together makes us victorious always.
One thing we can never forget is that – We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Our leaders and our citizens seek to be diligent to keep our nation true to our Declaration of Independence. We can never forget from whence we came and never stop seeking the best for our citizens of this nation.
Today we will see that the nation of Israel was forgetting from whence they came and to correct that it required God’s involvement. They had a purpose and a long history under God’s leadership. Following God was a problem for them and a problem for the nations around them..
Amos has a strong message from God to deliver to the people of Israel. This is a hard, strong message that he was asked to bring. As we hear what Amos said to Israel let us be sure and hear God speak to us. They were having trouble with God’s purpose for them. Since they were God‘s children they should have expected His discipline. Israel was terrible witnesses to the Holiness God. That poor witness would have a profound impact on their neighbors.
Let’s not miss Amos’ address to us today. God called us. He is involved in our lives and He calls us to influence our community.
Hear God – He Calls
3 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.”
Amos begins by clarifying why he is speaking to Israel on the behalf of God. It is pretty clear that God is giving a strong warning. Israel and God are family and God has every right to correct them.
Have you ever had your parents say, “I am your Father.” or “I am your mother.”, before they chastise you? God calls them family and reminds them what he has done for them. I brought all y’all out of Egypt.
God reminds the people of Israel that He chose them from all of the people of the world to be His special people. Not because they were good but because He is good. Not because they deserved it but because He wanted to demonstrate His love for all people.
Why did God chose you? What are you bringing to the table? He chose you because He loves you. He desires to bring you life and hope. He wants you to be a part of His family and His team that helps others to know Him.
God called Israel and He calls us. When we say, “Yes Lord.”, He becomes more involved in our life.
Hear God- He Intervenes
God begins to transform us. He begins to develop a relationship with us. He instructs us on His ways. He demonstrates His love to us by sending the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. The Holy Spirit is or comforter, challenger, helper, and power. He will convict our heart or spirit when we are not following Him as we committed to do.
The Holy Spirit had not yet come to indwell the lives of God’s people but God still spoke to the people – through laws, worship, priests, and their prophets. Amos brings a strong message that God is about to make a major correction if they don’t repent. Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” He has good reason to address them in such a strong way.
I love the way Amos says this.
3 Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?
4 Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey?
Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has captured something?
5 Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground when there is no bait in it?
Does a trap spring up from the earth when it captures nothing at all?
6 If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble?
All of these questions except the last have the same answer, “NO!”
God is saying I want your attention. The fact that I am sending Amos to you should tell you that I need your attention.
Because you know that when you see two people travelling together, they have planned their trip.
A lion only roars when he has captured his prey. And his cubs make yummy sounds when they are eating their kill.
Birds don’t land in a trap if there is no food to entice them. Traps don’t spring unless an animal triggers it.
Here is the bottom line, If God is speaking to you He has a darn good reason. If God is going to speak He will send His Word through a prophet. Amos says , Guess what? Here is God’s Word.
He goes on to say, there is no fear or anxiety inside a city unless a warning trumpet is sounded. The people within the nation of Israel would stop and take notice if a warning trumpet was sounded. Amos is sounding the trumpet for God and they had better take notice.
God’s judgement nor His discipline will come without some warning or message. He tried to be nice but Israel would not listen. So now he must act. The Lion has roared.
Will Israel repent and respond to Him.
How is God intervening with you? Is it during your quiet time? How about when you are in worship or Bible study. What about during a life crisis?
These are some ways God intervenes our lives. The messages that I bring or other preachers bring is God speaking to our hearts.
What happens if you are a Christian and don’t do anything to grow in your relationship with Christ? The fact that you are not working on your spiritual life should be a warning from God right off the bat. Ask yourself why you don’t do any of these activities to strengthen your spiritual life. Then get right with God. If you are His child expect His intervention.
What are the signs that you are not as focused spiritually as you once were? How do you know that you have stepped into something you should not have? How do you know when God is speaking to you?
Have any of you had to answer these questions in an interview?
*Where are you going to be in 5 years or 10 years.
*How will you maintain your edge as a employee at our company.
These questions let the company know how motivated you are and they motivate you to make plans for your future success and to do things that help you stay current in your industry.
It is a warning that you will be held accountable to the company for the way you become equipped to be a benefit to the company.
God is planning for us to be transformed. He will disciple us or discipline us to transform us if we are His children.
If you are being discipled or disciplined God is doing it. Do you know when He using your spiritual habits, His church or some problem to transform you?
The Lion has roared have you heard Him? Have you already repented? Do you see what He wants you to do?
If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it?
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?
Most pastors and preachers see themselves as God’s prophets and priests for the world today. God leads us to speak for Him. We are to lead, challenge, and correct God’s children from His Word as the Holy Spirit leads us. God intervenes in our lives the same way as everyone else. Pastors like all believers must respond to God’s intervention in their lives.
Amos says, “The Lion has roared”, who will listen? He has roared respond to God’s involvement in your life.
Say yes to repentance.
Say yes to a new task.
Say yes to following Him more closely.
Say yes to becoming a part of church family.
Hear God – We Are His Witnesses
Israel was chosen by God to be the instrument where the whole world learned about God and learned how to live in relationship with God. Amos has come because they were not being God’s witnesses. They were not being His witnesses because they refused to follow and were out-in-out being rebellious. Moses tried to warn them.
Deuteronomy 4:7-9 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? 9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
They didn’t do this. Thus, God is assembling Assyria and Egypt to come and notice His chosen people. Assyria and Egypt were a people who had seen God’s protection and deliverance of Israel. They were not God’s chosen people but God is bringing them in so they can see why God is about to bring judgement on Israel.
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.”
Tumults means confusion or chaos. Oppressions refers to they way the leadership was treating the poor in the land. They have done wrong so long they don’t even know how to do good.
The citadels were the place of protection. The wealth of the city for the good of the city was to be stored there as well. But violence and devastation were stored up in the city. This commentary on Israel was why God was giving warning to Israel.
When Egypt and Assyria can come and be witnesses against how bad Israel has become it sounds like Jesus words from Matthew 11:20-24
20 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon is occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24 Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”
All of these years later and Israel is still not following.
He tried to ward them saying…
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.”
Israel’s wealth made them comfortable for a while but their wealth did not give them peace with God. It did not create in them a pure heart.
God has called us to be His children. He has called us to live in relationship with Him. He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.
He wants us to know Him. He wants us to live in an abundant relationship with Him. He wants to bless us as we walk with Him daily.
In Jesus we are to abide with God everyday. To live faithfully before all people who walk the same pathway we walk. If we walk that way people will see Jesus and will want to follow Him. This is what Israel was supposed to be. They were to be an example and an expression of a “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” I Peter 2:9
We are witnesses, people who really are walking with Jesus. We are witnesses not window dressings. We are not to be manicins in the mall, that look perfect from a distance but would crumble in real life. The extent that we know Jesus is manifested in all we do. That is how we are to walk. Don’t think about being a good witness, think about being a faithful follower. If you are becoming a faithful follower you are being a great witness for Jesus.
Please don’t to repent and respond to God’s new call. There is so much to your relationship that you will miss.
This is what God has called us to do. He bought our salvation with His life and has every intention to discipline and disciple His children so that we are His effective witnesses for His righteousness and justice on the pathway.
The Lion has roared today will you surrender to God’s call? Will recommit to the call you first surrendered to in Christ?
We need this and so do those on our pathway.