Judah: The Backslidden Nation, Pt. 2

Hosea exposes the nation’s backsliding…

Hosea 9:3… Ephraim goes back to Egypt and eats unclean things. In other words, people go back to doing the things that God has delivered them from.

Hosea 9:16… Ephraim is stricken, and not only that, his roots dry up. His fruit (children) are murdered (v. 13) and many others are aborted in the womb. Hosea may have also seen our day and our nation.

Hosea 11:7… Ephraim was bent on backsliding. The word “bent” means “determined.” He still had a love for the Most High, but refused to exalt Him. Most backsliders care about the Lord but they love their evil ways too.

Hosea 12:1… Ephraim feeds on the wind and follows the east wind. The east wind is the doctrine that came from Babylon. “Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves [fruit] of our lips” (Hosea 14:2, KJV). Our nation knows that it is doing the same as ungodly societies that are all around them. Very few prophets stand before our politicians and prophesy the word of God.

Hosea 12:8… Ephraim prospers financially because he became crooked in business and said, “I did nothing wrong.” Many giant corporations have fallen because of this same attitude.

The prophets called for Ephraim and Judah to return. The countries were determined to backslide. Yet, God, in Hosea 11:8, says, “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim?” (KJV. God says that He chose mercy, because He is God and not a man.

Hosea calls for the nation to return to God…

Hosea 14:1… God lays it on the line. “You are fallen and a backslider because of your own iniquity. You have no excuse, you can’t blame others; you made your own decisions.” The nation needs to call sin, sin, and not bad habits or something that you will get over. Our jails are full because of sin. Our medical costs are rising because of sin. Sin without repentance can rob Christians of their power against evil.

Hosea 14:2… God shows His concern. “Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves [fruit] of our lips” (KJV). The Lord wants to help the backslider by giving him the right vocabulary. Often the sinner doesn’t know what to say. Our nation knows that it is doing wrong, and it doesn’t know what to say. Repentance has its own vocabulary. What does God want to hear from the backslider? “Take with you words.” Say to God, “Take away my sin, cleanse me, forgive me.” Hosea is saying, “Acknowledge your sin before God. Ask God to receive you again.” “Take me back, Lord.” Worship vocabulary comes after repentance. The backslider (v. 3) must recognize that the world (Assyria) can’t help him. You don’t repent by coming back on a “show horse”; i.e., making a big thing out of it. Repentance involves humility, remorse, being sorry, and often weeping. You don’t return carrying any good works that you may have done while you were backslidden. You are saved by God’s grace and by God’s mercy, not by your own works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Hosea tells what God will do for the returning nation…

Hosea 14:4-9… He heals them, loves them, and removes His anger from them. He refreshes them, He causes new growth, and He strengthens the nation’s roots. God enlarges them, gives them a new fragrance, brings a reviving into their life, brings a revival in their jobs and families, and brings new joys. He removes their desire to serve sin. They receive fresh prophetic direction. They are exhorted and shown that the way of the Lord is right. “You have been restored. Now walk in God’s ways.”

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Amos: Prophet Of Justice, Pt. 21

(Part 21 of 21)

Amos 9:7-8… God is saying to sinful people, “When you came out of Egypt and when you settled in Canaan, you were a redeemed people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood. Now you have lowered yourself to pre-redemption days. You are a lowered people.” Jeremiah 13:23 teaches, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” (KJV) In other words, the inability to change one’s skin was a symbol of Israel’s inability to change their evil ways. Note Amos 9:8“Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth.” The sinful kingdom was the ten tribes of Israel; Judah was spared. Verse 9 teaches that the ten tribes were scattered over all nations. There is no record of them ever coming back under Ezra or Nehemiah. Judah went into Babylonian captivity and came back. On earth, God chastens to make us sons. It is here on earth that we must learn obedience. “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

V. 9… Note the first hint of restoration… Israel was sifted as grain in a sieve. Israel was the chaff; Judah was the seed that was saved. True seed always survives. When God judges, the true seed is protected. Note v. 10… Israel said, “The evil [judgment] shall not overtake nor prevent us” (KJV). No matter how good things look or how successful a nation is temporarily, God says, “All the sinners of My people will die by the sword” (v. 10). Those are strong words from God.

Amos 9:11-15: “I will restore the fallen house of David” (v. 11, KJV) Restoration of the tabernacle of David… There is something more here than the restoration of Davidic worship and praise. He is looking at the Davidic covenant as seen in Psalm 89:20-37 and 2 Samuel 7:11-16. The Lord told David that He would make him a house. He was talking of Christ the Messiah coming, and through Him, the church. Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). In Luke 1:30-33, the angel is talking about Christ; the prophecy says, “The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David” (v. 32, KJV). The church is the continuation of the house of David. God promised restoration in Acts 3:21; however, the restoration is as the prophets have said. People today try to restore things that the prophets never said. God is only going to restore what He said through the prophets. Present-day Israel is in the land of Palestine because God said it would be. But the real truth is that their restoration is in the house of David through Christ and in the church. The Davidic covenant brought David’s house to Christ and the church is in that house. We are “in Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-22). Note also that the ruins of the fallen are rebuilt, but now in Christ.

V. 12… God’s will is going to be done in every nation… God isn’t worried about Communism, or Islam, or America’s wealth, or China’s billion people. The church will have dominion over the economic systems, financial systems, health systems, agricultural systems, political systems, etc. Revelation 15:4 says, “For all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest” (KJV). Zechariah 14:17 teaches that if there is no worship, there will be no rain. In the book of Revelation, the nations that saw God’s judgments decided that they would worship.

What happens in the day of restoration…

A) The government will be upon the shoulders of Christ (Isaiah 9:6) and His seed. Theocracy returns; i.e., God rules, Jesus reigns. All will be ruled by His voice (not a democratic voice). This is New Testament truth. The Holy Spirit was given for this very purpose. And yet, we still do our own thing.

B) The church will return to its calling of manifesting God’s glory in all the earth. The church is His body. God gave three bodies, the flesh that will die (2 Corinthians 5:1-10), the resurrection body that never dies (John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:22), and the church which is His body on earth that carries out the will of God.

C) In the day of restoration, the gifts and callings of God will glorify the Lord like they are supposed to. Today, man is exalted and man grandstands.

D) Psalm 23… David says, “He restoreth my soul.” We surely need this. David knew that the spirit part of us is the part that touches God and the part of us that God touches. When the spirit is right, everything else will be right.

E) The land begins to produce as God meant it to be (Amos 9:13-15). Never-ending planting and sowing.

In the book of Amos, only Judah survived… God roared, examined, reasoned, sorrowed, reproved, repented, judged, and restored. He wanted Israel to know that they were to be a people separated to Him. He wanted them to know that sin, unless repented of, brings judgment and death. He wanted them to know that He sends mercy, correction, and grace before He sends judgment. Thank God for the seven pictures of God that Amos portrays. Our nation needs to learn the lessons that are seen in the book of Amos. I don’t know just what kind of judgment America will face. In the Old Testament, God always raised up a hard and cruel nation to judge sin.

Will America return to God? Can the tide of evil be stopped?

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Amos: Prophet Of Justice, Pt. 20

(Part 20 of 21)

AMOS 9:1-10… In this chapter we see Amos’ last picture of God–God restoring, but after the judgment. Amos sees the Lord in chapter 9, not the message. God’s message to the ten-tribe nation was over. Amos sees the Lord in His judgment stance and issuing orders to judge. His mercy, long-suffering, and grace had reached its end.

V. 1… “I saw the LORD standing upon the altar: and he said” (KJV). This was heaven’s altar. Was this heavenly altar a reminder of the finished work of redemption? There is no shedding of blood in heaven, because the sin problem was dealt with on earth by Christ. Heaven has only one altar, the altar of incense or the worship altar. Question… Is this a picture of God giving out judgment from the seat of worship? In Psalm 68:1, we see that praise and worship bring out the actions of God that cause His enemies to scatter. The first thing that God judged was not politics, but religion. God is interested in what is happening in churches far more than what is happening in Congress. Judgment came because of religious wrongdoing. Israel was double-dealing, lacking in righteousness. They replaced the living God with golden calves. If we have a false altar, that is where God is going to show up. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:17-18)

V. 1… Standing indicates that action is imminent. When God stands, nations fall. Jesus stood when Stephen was martyred and it may be the spark that causes judgment to fall on the temple in Revelation 3:19-20. Jesus was standing outside of the Laodicean church with judgment in mind. “Repent and open the door to me, and I will come in and fellowship (or else you will face rebuke).” In Amos 9:1, anger is released. Psalm 7:11 says, “God is angry with the wicked every day” (KJV). We never think of this side of God. We dwell on His love, grace, and mercy all the time. This is great… but in Romans 11:22, we are exhorted to “behold therefore the goodness and severity of God.” Hebrews 10:30-31 teaches that vengeance belongs to God and that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” There comes a time when mercy is withheld. When grace is taken for granted by the continuation of sin, God’s anger knows no limit.

Vv. 1-5… These verses teach that when there is no repentance, God will find you out. You cannot run and hide from God (Psalm 139:7-12). God was angry when Korah rebelled against Moses (Numbers 16). God was angry when Uzzah touched the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6:7). God was angry at the men who looked into the Ark (1 Samuel 6:19-20). After fifty thousand died, the people said, “Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God?” (KJV) What about today? There are people like Korah, who stand against God-appointed leadership. Our day is filled with people who touch God’s anointed. On June 4, 1983, a word of the Lord came to me that said, “Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are mine… not “so-and-so’s.” Many in our day will yet cry out, “Who is able to stand before a holy God?” No one can worship God correctly if they cannot see that God is holy. God’s anger in the Old Testament wiped out whole armies using hailstones, plagues, blindness, confusion, and earthquakes. When God gets mad, it’s bad. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 says, “Fear God . . . for God shall bring every work into judgment” (KJV). When Christians learn to “fear” a holy God, they will want to live in holiness. In Amos 9:1-5, when God began to judge, there was no use in calling a “praise session” or calling for the elders of the church. It was too late. What God begins, He finishes. Note… in these verses, God talks of people who are looking for escape by digging and hiding underground, escaping by air to space stations, by climbing to the tops of the mountains, by scuba diving. Even if they go into captivity, God says, “I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good” (v. 4). Israel had shouted the prophets down, and now they had to face God. When the judgment is done, God will say, “I did it. I came against My people, not the devil.” Note vv. 5-6: It’s the Lord of Hosts that touches the land and floods the land. Note also v. 6… “It is he that buildeth his stories [margin, spheres, ascensions] in the heaven.” This is an interesting thought; I believe that there may be different levels of spheres and ascensions in heaven. John 14:2 teaches, “In My Father’s house are many mansions [rooms, dwelling places] . . . I go to prepare a place for you.”

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Amos: Prophet Of Justice, Pt. 19

(Part 19 of 21)

Amos 8:7-10… God has a good memory… God does not forget the works of the nation. “The land [population] will tremble,” God says. God will not pass over unconfessed sin. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9, KJV). Amos 8:8 suggests that natural disasters can be signs of God’s disapproval of a nation’s sins. (Note Genesis 6 and the flood, and Genesis 19 and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.) God told Amos that the coming Assyrian attack would be as a flood coming over the land. He tells Amos that the sun and moon will be darkened; i.e., as the sun has reached its zenith, so the nation has reached its zenith and the time of darkness has come. “Your light is cut off,” God is saying. In verse 10, God tells Amos that Israel’s worship festivals will become festivals of mourning. Their songs will be songs of lamentations. God describes it as a bitter day. The word “turn” as used here means “to turn over as you would turn over a pancake.” The nation was being turned from being a blessing to being a curse.

Vv. 11-14… “Behold, the days come” (v. 11, KJV). In chapter seven, Amos talked God out of natural famine and a natural drought. Now Amos prophesies of a spiritual famine and a spiritual drought. A famine of the Word of God is more severe than a famine of bread. Not hearing from God is the worst thing that can happen to a nation. Instead of destroying the natural crops and water, God now withholds the Word and the blessings of the Spirit. When God wanted to destroy the bread through the locust plague and with fire, Amos begged for God’s mercy and God changed His plans. God showed Amos the plumb line and let Amos see that the nation was not measuring up; therefore, He must remove His Word and His Spirit. When we attempt to trade with God, we try to save the natural (temporal) at the expense of the spiritual. Israel traded the temporal judgment (locusts and fire) for no Word and no Spirit. God wanted to leave them with the Word and the Spirit. Today, it’s not any different. We prevent God from using natural judgments by saying, “Lord, don’t hurt our flesh by making us suffer.” God will heed our requests and then put us against the plumb line. When we fail to change, He takes away the spiritual. Today, many preachers say that hardship, poverty, and failure are of the devil. They are so prosperity conscious that they can’t see that it may be the work of God trying to get people to change their lives. Many preachers today deny that a God of love would send floods, earthquakes, pestilence, and disease in order to try to save a nation. They want to keep the natural and risk losing the spiritual. As Christians, we must believe that nothing can come into our lives without God’s permission. Job could not have been given Satan’s boils without God’s permission. We are the children of God and not of the devil. We are the heirs of God and not heirs of the devil. If you think that the devil’s finger is being laid on you, think again. It may be God’s finger turning you from wrongdoing. God loves us enough to correct us. Like our parents used to say, “Eat your vegetables.” Israel had many prophets, but like Amos, they were rejected, lied about, and persecuted. God says, “I will remove them from you, but you will have a famine of hearing the words of God. God didn’t say that He would destroy the Word in their midst… He said instead that He would remove it from them. He didn’t say that there would be a famine of the existence of the Word, but that there would be a famine of hearing the Word.

Vv. 12-14 describes how people will walk, ride, and fly, searching for a message from God, going from north to east, but they will not be able to find it. God did not say from north to south; Judah was to the south and they were hearing from God. East was Babylon country; Eastern philosophies were the order of the day there. The Israelites would rather have starved by wrong words than go to Judah where God was speaking. Israel hated Judah. God’s Word is often in the place where we don’t want to go. In verse 13, it was the young people who thirsted for reality. This could be the reason why so many young people were on the streets looking for excitement. In verse 14 God struck down their idols. Things that people prize are often struck down.

Amos 7-8… Put America in the place of the ten tribes of Israel… and see how America fits. Our nation is in deep trouble. There is still time to repent. Spiritual famine is worse than natural famine. Unrepented sins can cause a lot of trouble. False doctrines are sending many people to hell and to a Godless eternity. When the land suffered famine and drought in Elijah’s time, God did not take him out of that tribulation, but He fed him and gave him water to drink. Today, there is a lot of “escapist” teaching. God can preserve Spirit-filled men and women who love and adhere to God’s Word.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Amos: Prophet Of Justice, Pt. 18

(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

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Amos: Prophet Of Justice, Pt. 17

(Part 17 of 21)

AMOS 7-8… In these two chapters God repents and reassesses what He had planned to do. Remember… we are seeing pictures of God at work in the book of Amos and not judgment. Yet judgment is there.

Amos 7:1… “This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me” (NIV). A locust judgment. This judgment was to come after the first crop was harvested. This first crop belonged to the king. The locusts were to eat the second crop, the people’s food. The “best” crop was harvested as evidence of God’s abundance and mercy. God doesn’t judge until after He blesses. Small insects like locusts can destroy an entire harvest. In Joel 2:25, God called the locusts His great army.

V. 2Amos pleads for God’s grace and mercy. “O God, don’t do it, forgive them.”  God listens to praying prophets who are filled with compassion. Even though Amos was giving Israel a serious word, he wasn’t enjoying it. Some prophets enjoy preaching down judgment, doom, and condemnation. Amos was giving a heavy message, yet here he is pleading with God. “Lord, let up, slacken up, or else the people will not be able to survive.” In verse 3, the Lord repents. Amos didn’t receive a pardon for the nation, but he does get a reprieve from the locusts. Israel will have enough food from the harvest. God did not say to Amos, “I will not judge them.” He just wasn’t going to judge them via the locusts. God is willing to hear intercessory prophets and He will grant mercy, if there is reason behind the request.

V. 4… The Lord shows Amos His next judgment, which was “judgment by fire.”  This was more severe than judgment via the locusts. This would dry up the water supply and burn their homes. The locust judgment would have dried up their bread. Drought judgment is very severe. When fires devour the land, great devastation is left. In verse 5, Amos intercedes again, “Oh, Lord, no, because they’ll not be able to recover.” In verse 6, God repents again. The nation gets another reprieve. God however, has not changed His mind about judgment. He changed His approach as to what He was going to do. Whatever He does will be right and righteous. One righteous man prayed, and the nation was spared two separate judgments. Abraham’s prayer won a reprieve for Lot. Elijah’s prayer brought needed rain. Our nation needs praying prophets to turn the nation around. God relented of what He was going to do because Amos interceded.

AMOS 7:7-9… The plumb line… Amos had turned God from judgment. He now shows Amos why He must continue with the judgment. In chapter one, the nation had crossed the horizontal line. Three strikes and you are out. Now God shows a vertical line, a perpendicular standard. The plumb line gives a straight line. God was showing the nation that He had built them up straight, and because of sin, they were now off-plumb or off-center. The plumb line in Scripture was also used in tearing down (2 Kings 21:13). If  something is off-plumb, it has no reason to exist. Isaiah 28:17, 34:11, and Lamentations 2:8 speak of the plumb line as a part of the destruction of cities, houses, and lands. With God, when a thing does not measure up, it is marked for destruction. The plumb line was used in surveying to decide what goes and what stays. God’s judgments have vertical lines too. The plumb line becomes God’s tool that shows what is not square and that which will be judged. That which is righteous (square), will be spared. God puts His plumb line against a His church as well. The churches that are not square and vertically upright will be judged. God does not build leaning towers of Pisa. God’s standards are upright, square, plumb, and level. God’s government has measures that it abides by. God says to Amos, “Well now, from your viewpoint the locusts and the fire looked bad; now let’s put the plumb line against the nation’s works. Let’s see, Amos, just how far the nation has gotten off-plumb and off-course.” God puts Israel’s system of worship against the plumb line and it clearly shows why He wants to shut it down. A lot of times we too think we are doing right until God puts our works against His plumb line. Our nation needs to put its programs, its actions, its religious practices against God’s plumb line. We must measure all our works by God’s standards of righteousness. However, like the ten tribes of Israel, we rationalize everything we do wrong and make excuses for ourselves. We need to pray, Lord, bring on the plumb line.” In verse 9, God removed the false religious systems where Baal was worshipped.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Amos: Prophet Of Justice, Pt. 16

(Part 16 of 21)

Note Amos 6:10-11… The message here is that the devastation will be so great that not even “making mention of the Lord” would be of value. They were not to breathe out the name of the Lord, lest He hear it and it make Him aware there was someone yet alive. Now that’s judgment. If a man had a large family, it would be a miracle if there were any survivors. Remember, God is reproving and protesting in Amos 6. Amos is saying that sin warrants judgment. Pride warrants judgment. I don’t think we really know sin, unless we see what moves God’s hand to judgment. Sin is not some theory. History teaches us what sins moved the hand of God to judge nations and peoples. Here in Amos 6, God wipes out ninety percent of the population. Only a tenth, a remnant, is left. For us to understand sin, we need to understand God’s judgments. Religious sin is as bad as non-religious sin. People today say, “There’s no such thing as sin, it’s all in a person’s mind.” People today take no thought of the possibility that, because of their sin, God may abandon them. Today, preachers who preach the judgment of God are considered old-fashioned, legalistic, or “not up with the times.” Jesus preached about sin and the wrath of God more than He preached about blessings. How little we know of the wrath of God. We have lived under the message of grace and blessing for so long that we have forgotten what faces the sinner. Genesis 6:3 says, “My spirit shall not always strive with man” (KJV). Oh, what a price people will pay for their sins… especially when they find out the price Jesus paid for their deliverance.

Amos 6:12-14… The Lord protests through parables… There are certain things that you can not do such as “run a horse on rocks” or “plow on rocks.” You cannot violate the basics of nature. So God asks Israel, “What made you think you could violate the moral and spiritual laws of God?” If you plant seed in rocky soil, the plants wither (Matthew 13:20-21). He showed them that their perversion of justice was not equal to God’s righteous justice. Note verse 13… “Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought” (KJV). This is a phrase which describes a place called Lo Debar. Jonathon’s son Mephibosheth lived there. It means “nothing there” or “a place of no pasture.” God is saying, “There is nothing there in the place you have put your trust.” Because of their rejection, God will press them from Hemath to the wilderness. In other words, right out of their nation. God is saying, “It is futile to misplace your confidence.” God has fixed laws. “Then when lust [sin] hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin” (James 1:15). The ten-tribe nation tried to plant on rocky soil and failed. Many of the young people of our nation are dying today because they are planting in rocky ground. Amos was seen as a ”pain” in Israel because he was prophesying the Word of God. God is long-suffering, but the nation left God with no other alternative than to come with His righteous justice. In verse 12 God tells them, “Ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock.” Both are poisons. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Amos tells us that God’s grace is balanced with God’s justice.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved