(Part 7 of 21)
Amos 3:9-15… God talks of impending judgment…
Vv. 9-10… God judges openly, not in secret… When He is about to judge He sends word to the leaders of the nation. “Watch this.” In other words, He is saying, “Come and see what I do to those hypocrites who violate My word, My ways, My covenants.” Let God know your sins through repentance or else God will let your sins be known to the surrounding nations. Amos is prophesying, “Your enemies, Ashdod (“spoilers”) and Egypt (“that which troubles or oppresses”), are being summoned to witness what God is about to do to Israel.” That’s very powerful. Amos is pointing to these witnesses and is saying, “Look at the tumults, disturbances, violence, oppressions, and injuries through violence. You need to understand why I am punishing Israel.” God is saying, “My people do not know how to do right anymore.” This is happening right now in our nation. The nation does not know how to do right anymore. The nation’s sins have caught up to her; she has crossed the line. With our laws of liberty, people do not know what’s right or wrong anymore. Our nation used to be looked upon as the safest nation in the world.
Amos 3:11-12… “An enemy, even one surrounding the land, Will pull down your strength from you And your citadels will be looted” (NASB). The lion that roared in Amos 1:2 now feasts in Amos 3. When God backs off from a nation, even a small enemy can overwhelm it. Amos is prophesying that Israel is going into captivity (Assyrian captivity by Shalmaneser; see 2 Kings 18:9). Amos 3:12 tells of Israel being pulled to pieces as if a lion was biting off chunks of flesh. Very often we wonder, “Why does it seem that our nation is being pulled to pieces?” One who obeys the word of God can never be torn to pieces. This is a powerful truth: “[We] are kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:5, KJV), “and by the word of [our] testimony” (Revelation 12:11).
Amos 3:13-15… The idols that led Israel away… are the first thing that God judges. Every false religion is the first thing God targets. God will touch the very thing people worship. Even today’s churches will not escape because there is so much idol worship. God will visit the altars of “Bethel” (“house of God”). Jeroboam made Bethel Israel’s place of worship, installed false priests, and changed the word of God to fit his false program. Despite the preaching of Elijah and Elisha, Israel kept this false worship. (Jeroboam feared his people would return to Judah and to true worship.) Israel was over two hundred years old during the time of Jeroboam. Our nation is now over two hundred years old as well… what was once a bastion for freedom and for what is right is now full of godlessness and is repeating the errors of Israel in allowing so much false worship.
Remember… God is a God of justice… Are you seeing God at work in the book of Amos? National sins bring a national judgment. God will smite those who use religion for their own prosperity. Israel under Jeroboam did this. Possessions of luxury and idolatrous things are no match for God when His wrath is full and when He begins to roar. Having a big church is not a sign that you will escape the Lion’s roar. Note in verse 15 that winter houses and summer houses refer to prosperity gained through greed. Today the magazines are filled with how-to books such as how to increase your faith, how to prosper, how to strengthen your marriage, how to receive your healing, and much more. The writers charge big fees for their books and they are getting rich off people’s desire to know. God is pictured as an Evaluator and an Examiner in the book of Amos. God will review our performances as well… yes, yours. God will review our works whether good or bad. We need to examine what the Lord has done for us and how we responded. Are we walking in agreement with God? Is God walking on without us? Are we going on with Him? Are we, like Caleb, following the Lord fully? Our nation has been caught in a trap (snared). Many Christians today are also caught in a trap. The Lion is roaring. Remember Amos was called “the pain.” Has the preaching of “thus saith the Lord” become a “pain” in today’s churches? We must come back to God; substitutes cannot help us. Romans 11:22 says, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God” (KJV). God has been good to our nation. Will He continue to be good? Romans 2:4 talks about a people despising God’s goodness, yet it is God’s goodness that leads us to repentance. When God examined Israel, He reviewed His goodness to them, but instead of coming back to God they kept going on in their sins. They crossed the line.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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