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Today in our study of the Minor prophets in the OT, we look at Amos.
Amos is one of those books that we read and we are left wondering how does that fit with Jesus?
It’s a hard message Amos is given.
Amos is one of those books that we read and we are left wondering how does that fit with Jesus?
Here this from Amos 2
And again from Amos 4
There’s more.... but first, let’s pray.
Amos 2:
Lord Jesus, as we study your scriptures, use your words today to encourage me or to challenge me; amen.
Sometimes bad news comes as a total shock… My crashing into the 280Z
But those times are rare… usually you should have known...
Have you ever had to deliver bad news?
Picture this, you are inside you apartment enjoying some time with friends.
Actually you are pretty excited to have your boyfriend… a true dreamboat come over and hopefully take you out on the town.
You hear some commotion outside, but can’t imagine it’s anything important....nothing exciting happens around here anyway
...Getting fired… late again then over sleeping...
When a loved one gets ill
...I remember when my dad told me he and my mom were separating.
It’s true sometimes bad news comes out of the blue… but usually, bad news can be predicted if we were paying attention.
And that’s what makes it so bad, you should have known… or you did know and just ignored the signs.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some warning lights?
Some gauges on our dashboard that would indicate when bad news was coming?
Minor Prophets play a significant role in God’s message to his people.
These are short books in the Old Testament that contain warnings of coming judgement and salvation for God’s people.
These minor prophets were charged with a big message, God’s love.
You could summarize God’s intent in these books, just like the whole of scripture as God saying… I LOVE YOU!
Today we look at Amos.
We don’t know much about him.
We do know he was from Tekoa, about 6 miles south of Jerusalem in the nation of Judah.
We know Amos was one of the first of the prophets of God.
Sometime around 760-755 BC.
It’s believed his ministry was only about one year.
We aren’t sure of the details, but it’s believed he was a rancher or farmer of some influence.
He left Judah and went to Samaria, the capital of Israel.
Amos was one of the first of the prophets of God.
It’s believe his ministry was only about one year.
Sometime around 760-755 BC.
We aren’t sure of the details, but it’s believed he was a rancher or farmer of some influence.
He left Judah and went to Samaria, the capital of Israel.
I titled today’s message “Burdened Love” because that’s what his name means, “burden” or “to burden”.
You see at this time in Israel, things were going well.
During the reign of Jeroboam, we know that Israel was blessed.
Their enemies Egypt and Syria had internal problems keeping them focused on domestic affairs rather than causing problems for Israel.
This followed the rule of Solomon.
The people were enjoying affluence, eating their meat and drinking their wines while listening to new music.
The women are preoccupied with drink, putting demands on their husbands to keep their liquor cabinets stocked.
New homes with expensive ivory decorations are being build, some people have additional summer and winter homes as well.
Business is booming.
Worship attendance is good.
Sacrifices and offerings are rolling in.
The people feel secure in Samaria.
They are proud of their city and their nation.
They had an “Israel is number 1” mentality.
You might say it was a lot like the US today… at least in the sense that their material wealth was greater than the other nations at the time.
Into this, walks Amos, the rancher.
Amos, the burden.
His burden you might say is a message from God. what else would cause him to leave his country and travel to Israel.
What would cause him to become a bearer of bad news?
He wrote in verse 2 that it was the voice of the Lord like the roar of a lion that sent him… Not a quiet whisper, not a quiet urging, not a dream, but the roar of a lion.
Don’t shoot the messenger.
Out of towner telling the truth
And at first his words are well received.
He begins in Chapter 1 &2 with proclamations against the nations surrounding Israel.
Damascus - brutality
Gaza - sale of captives
Tyre - slave trading
Edom - hostile toward Israel (Jacob and Esau)
Ammon - Attack on Gilead
Moab - war w Edom
Amos even declares judgement against Judah saying that they had been deceived.
We can imagine that the people of Samaria would be in agreement here… yea you tell em.
You are right!
Then he turns his focus to Israel for their willful disobedience.
Israel - willful disobedience
They knew what to do.... and refused to do it
and to Israel, God proclaims
He goes on.
Ever hear that?
Go to your room, and wait for your father to get home.
Amos is declaring that the end is coming… not the “day of the lord” they are hoping for, but rather a “day of judgement”.
In fact this would happen within the next 40 years through the hand of the Assyrians.
The Israelites would be conquered and scattered never to be restored.
What is it that they have done that would bring about such judgement?
In the passages I read at the beginning, he said… go ahead… sin all you want… then come back and make your grand offerings.
They live one way and worship another… this is an offense to God.
*Worship of God is to be an extension of how we live.
What exactly did they do?
Amos describes what he is seeing as he travels through the country side and the city.
Here’s one description:
Amos 5:11
There was a culture of taking advantage of the poor… In other passages Amos describes them as laying on the coats taken as security for loans to the poor.
When we think of poverty, we usually think of it as an object of charity.
We are to be charitable toward the poor.
I’m not diminishing charity.
One of the most significant ministries I’ve ever been a part of was focused on meeting the needs of the poor.
at the minimum you would say it was ignoring the needs of the people around them.
I remember one year taking my son on Christmas Eve to Baltimore.
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