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The Roaring Lion's Mouthpiece

Amos: Let Justice Roll  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Theme: God calls ordinary people to proclaim Justice. Purpose: That we use our privilege to be responsible for Justice in the world. Gospel Connection: The Gospel is to be lived tangibly. Mission Connection: Serving in Christ's Name

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Amos 1:1–2 NIV
The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel. He said: “The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers.”
Introduction:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGgWaPGpGz4&feature=youtu.be
Read Amos 1:1-2
This is a very short introductory passage, but there are really to things we can learn from it that is important for us… The first is...

God Calls Ordinary People...

Amos Profile
Shepherd and Fig Tree Farmer - Shepherd of Shepherds - Middle Class, not poor.
From Judah vs. Israel
Different Centers of Religion
Perhaps Economically He was impacted by the policies of Israel.
Pastures Dried Up?
Why Amos? - Ultimately we do not know, but perhaps
He like middle management saw the injustices to those who work for him, caught in the middle.
An Outside Perspective - Not like the Prophets from Israel who were not listened to, or told the people what they wanted to hear. Not a professional prophet - It is not how he earned his money, so his message was free from conflict of interest.
He was not
I can identify a bit with Amos.
He actually Listened to his audience and worked to find out what was going on so he could tailor his message.
People who were not ministers who did great things for God.
April 4, 1968 - the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination.
The day before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on that bus, she was just Rosa. She wasn’t a hero then – she was just an ordinary person in a movement made up of ordinary people. It was only later that we would turn them into heroes worthy of worship as our way of silencing them.
2. The Unknown Rebel at the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests
The reforms of the 1980s had led to a nascent market economy which benefitted some people but seriously disaffected others; the one-party political system also faced a challenge of legitimacy.
The students called for democracy, greater accountability, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech, though they were loosely organized and their goals varied. At the height of the protests, about a million people assembled in the Square. - Wikipedia.
https://matadornetwork.com/bnt/10-revolutionary-acts-of-courage-by-ordinary-people/
God calls us as well ....maybe not exactly like Amos, but God calls us...
amos, but God calls us...

…To Proclaim Justice.

Story of Jeroboam II and Israel of that time.
We do not see the full connection yet…earthquake, the Lord Roaring like a Lion, the Shepherds Fields dried up, and Carmel Withering.
The Lord is Roaring = warning Israel that they are off track
Earthquake = A sign of Judgement to the nations, Israel included.
The Shepherds Fields and Carmel Withering are results of injustice.
So Amos is called to hold up the mirror to Israel and show them how they are not living according to God’s design.
Biblical Justice - Defined by the mostly Deuteronomy - God’s sense of Justice.
Best we can know is
Jeroboam II was very successful militarily and increased Israel’s territory = Jonah prophesied this would happen.
This brought great prosperity
However, that prosperity + Idol worship led to disalignment to God’s will = injustice. We will see later in the series what that injustice was,
Amos is called to hold up the mirror.
We are called to proclaim injustice.
What this often means in our context is to be vocal. Or make your voice heard. Or to take a stand.
We live in a society that is constantly protesting for social justice. - Amos will give us a picture of what Biblical justice is all about.
Marches, social media voting, de-friending, debates.
Best we can know is social media stuff is usually not productive, and yet there is a time and place for everything. - I would suggest asking God first when and where you should speak - This might be a lesson from Amos as he is directed by God and the strategy is not a march or a social media posts.
The number one way we can proclaim justice is to live it.

Summary

• Those who are able to work should labor to provide for themselves and for their families. This is God’s good design for humanity.

• The Bible does not favor service-based jobs or knowledge-based jobs, nor does it distinguish between so-called secular employment and sacred employment.

• Working and procreating are two ways in which humanity bears the image of God in the material world. Carrying out these duties is often referred to as the cultural mandate.

• Work has both an intrinsic value (seen in our design) and an instrumental value (seen in our production).

• Everyone is called to labor at a vocation. Through vocations God provides for the world, and people can love and serve their neighbors.

Conclusion: So far I have given you some vague introductions, simply put that God calls ordinary people to proclaim his justice. But it raises a bunch more questions that will be addressed along the way, like, What is Biblical justice? What does that look like in our world? And should Christians really be concerned about Social Justice? - The Rest of Amos will address those questions.
Reference the Reformed Confessions: The Reformed Confessions are statements of faith written to clarify the Gospel at times when the Church was in crisis. Heidelberg Chatechism: Q&A 62-64, 86, 91 Belgic Confession: Articles 24, 28-29 Canonos of Dort: Head V, Article 12 Belhar Confession: Article 4
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