Amos: Prophet of Justice, Pt. 15

(Part 15 of 21)

Amos 6:3… Reckless with their future… God is protesting because they are “carelessly putting away the evil day.” They presumed that judgment was a long way off. They assumed that it was somewhere out in the future but not near at hand. They presumed that God would never call them to account for their ungodliness. They kept on sinning and making merry, believing that the “evil day” was a long way away. When Israel confessed that judgment was far off, they were blind to the closeness of the coming Assyrian captivity. When we put off the word of God, prayer, and true worship, we unknowingly invite the enemy to come and sit in the place of God. Notice the words “cause the seat of violence to come near” (KJV). They pushed off the day of reckoning with the Lord, and at the same time, pulled in violence. In other words, Amos was saying, “Do you think that you can eliminate God’s coming judgment by putting it out of your thoughts and lives?”

Amos 6:4… Reckless in appetite… The things that Amos mentions are not sinful things in and of themselves, but Israel’s recklessness can be seen in how they placed their happiness in carnal things. They wanted the best of everything, in abundance, to satisfy their desires. God protested and criticized them because He had been left out of their plans. He wanted to be their joy and their rest. He wanted to satisfy their desires. He wanted the people’s appetite to be towards Him. Jesus exhorted us to seek first the kingdom of God and the things necessary for life would be added (Matthew 6:33). We never seem to learn. In 1931 in Samaria, excavations revealed the luxuries of that time. Beds of ivory, sculptured pieces, and much more were discovered. The sad thing is that the excavations also discovered “religious relaxation” and the free-flow of moral corruption. The “good life” wasn’t so good after all.

Amos 6:5… Reckless in music… Note the words “like David.” They were mocking the “temple sound,” David’s worship music. They polluted what David had consecrated. David had sanctified his music to God, but Israel used the “temple sound” for their idols. They may have used David’s music, but they couldn’t produce David’s spirit.

Amos 6:6… Reckless in concern… “They are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph” (KJV). In Psalm 80:1, the kingdom of Israel was called ”Joseph.” There was no concern for their nation. In Genesis, the brothers ate and drank while Joseph was in the pit and later sold. Amos tells the nation that they are insensitive to the nation’s concerns. And what about our nation? How concerned are we about its citizens and its welfare? It is right to be concerned for our lives when we are deserving of God’s judgment, but are we letting the rest of nation go down because of our selfishness? The Christian must be concerned for the land. Like Cain in Genesis 4:9, too many are saying, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Joseph represents those who have vision, sensitivity, and concern for the nation. Israel’s prosperity so drugged them that they could not hear the protest God was making. Today, our nation is bled dry because of the sins of greed, drugs, excessive welfare, and the sense of entitlement. These are bankrupting the nation.

Amos 6:7-11… Because they recklessly abandoned God, now God abandons them… People who spurn God often discover that His divine justice prevents Him from moving to help them when calamity comes. When you put yourself first in everything, God puts you first into captivity, and there is nothing He can do to stop divine justice from taking its course. God could have delivered Israel like He did in times past, but Israel wanted to block knowledge of the true God. Remember how Jeroboam set up false worship to prevent his people from returning to Jerusalem to the worship at the temple? God said through Amos, “I abhor the excellency of Jacob” (v. 8). They had put feasting first; now God was removing their provisions. God is not against banquets, but when people banquet while mocking God, they make themselves ripe for judgment. In verse 8 the word “excellency” refers to exaltation of pride. God even hated their citadels (palaces and buildings). People in our day build big and costly churches, thinking that it is proof of God’s blessing. I don’t think that Amos would have put a bumper sticker on the rear of his mule that read, “Smile, God loves you.” God loves us enough to save us and forgive us when we repent of our sins. Amos brought a different message: “God abhors… God hates.” Israel was now facing a holy God. They were not going to get away with their arrogance and pride. God abhors pride. It was Lucifer’s sin and he did not get away with it. Neither will we. Today we hear a lot, “God approves of us as we are.” That is not Amos’ message to a sinful generation. Neither is it his message to our nation. We need to look at what made this nation great. It was the freedom to worship God. Our nation was built on biblical principles. We need to look at the truths that set us free. We need to thank God for all the gifts He has put in this nation and say, “Lord, these gifts are Yours; we treasure them. You blessed us with them and we choose to glorify Your name and Your presence by living righteously in times like these.” If God brought Amos’ nation into existence and they failed in their responsibility to protect it, He has the right to cause it to cease to exist. Psalm 127:1 says, “Except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

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