(Part 18 of 21)
Amos 7:10-13… When the plumb line showed up it stirred up the Amaziahs of the land. Amos was rejected and lied about to the political authorities and governmental officials. “The land is not able to bear all his words” (v. 10, KJV). It’s no different today. All Amos did was to prophecy the words of the Lord that said, “Return to the Lord or face judgment.” Many of God’s preachers and prophets are rejected when their message becomes God’s plumb line. We need a few more plumb line messages today. Amos was told, “Go back to Judah and prophesy there; eat your doctrines there. We don’t want your plumb line messages here” (v. 12). It’s very dangerous to rebuke Amos-like prophets with, “Don’t prophecy in our church. This is my territory. Stay out of our business.” Amaziah may have been trying to prevent the king from hearing the truth. It may be that the king would have repented and changed the course of the nation. Amaziah would have been smarter to procure an audience for Amos with the king, but Amaziah would have lost his religious leadership had the king repented. Perhaps he was trying to save his living. Chasing away plumb line preachers will not solve the problems of the unrepentant.
Vv. 14-15… Amos testifies about his call and appointment from God. He tells Amaziah that God sent him on a mission and that he was obeying his God. “God gave me a prophet’s ministry; I was faithfully following the flock when the Lord took me into His service.” That’s the key to being called upon by God for the work of the ministry.
Vv. 16-17… Because Amaziah was in direct rebellion against God, in a priestly office forbidden by God, and because he rebuked Amos the prophet, Amaziah would go into captivity, his children would be killed, and his wife would have to resort to harlotry to survive. God has tough words for those who rebuke His prophets.
Amos 8:1-3… The Lord reassesses… and continues His conversation with Amos. God was saying to Amos, “Israel was as the last fruit of summer; the harvest is over. What do you see, Amos?” “A basket of summer fruit,” says Amos (v. 2, KJV). God tells Amos the end had come; there was nothing left to preserve. There were no more stays of judgment. “The harvest has passed, the summer is ended”… and the nation had not returned to God (Jeremiah 8:20). Sin, when it is finished, brings death (James 1:15). The nation had pressed God and provoked Him for too long; now the time limit for repentance had come to an end. Joy was now turned into terror. The nation was not able to speak because of the horror they were seeing. Their songs were now songs of wailing. Previously they had sung songs of blasphemy; now they sung songs of death. In our nation, God has been rejected by the Supreme Court. Prayer and Bible reading have been banned in schools. The Ten Commandments have been taken down off the walls of our public buildings and the nation is paying heavily for its sins. Terror is on the streets. “We are living in a new age,” said a former vice president in a speech. Yes, that “new age” now consists of unsafe streets, drugs, pornography, abortions, homosexuality, crime, and scandals.
Vv. 4-6… These verses describe how the populace received Amos’ words. Their attitude was, “Well, Amos, we heard what you had to say, but now we must get back to our business.” They were anxious to get back to business, wishing the Sabbath was over so they could go back to buying and selling and cheating–all of this without regard to the pending judgment of God. Today, in our nation it’s “business as usual” with no thought about God or the coming judgment. Market days are more popular than the Sabbath. They would rather conduct business than worship. The nation loathed the Sabbath (worship days) because it made them feel guilty for their sins. Vv. 4-6 tell how the nation conducted its business. People raced against each other to be the first to cheat the poor. God sees it all.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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