That You Might Live
That You Might Live
1. Read Text: Amos 5;12-24.
(1) He was a rough individual. Little fanfare, but lots of substance.
(2) Amos lived in Judah, but prophesied to Israel during the days of Jeroboam II (793-753 BC).
(3) The spiritual condition / moral condition of the people was pitiful.
A. 2:4 – This is what the Lord says: For three sins of Judah, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because they have rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed.”
B. Amos 6:1-5.
C. Amos 2:11
(4) The people were dead in their sin and hardened in heart, and had little or no concern for anything or anyone other than themselves. God’s judgment was imminent.
I. Examining The Text.
1. God knew how manifold (many) and how mighty the people’s sins were (vv. 12-13).
(1) God’s law obligates me to  be right with Him, but also  be right with mankind.
(2) Justice, not only avoids doing the wrong thing, but it will do the right thing.
(3) Context = taking care of the needy and disadvantaged. The poor couldn’t get a fair hearing in court, unless they could pay the bribe.
(4) Situation was so bad / corrupt that a prudent man would not say a word, because that would more than likely make the matter worse!
2. God’s preference = that you would seek something else (v. 14-15)!
(1) Ever seen a criminal/drug addict that could have been a brain surgeon, if he had just put forth the same energy/determination towards education that did crime/drug
(2) Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it… (Psa. 34:14)
(3) Abhor that which is evil… (Rom. 12:9).
(4) Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good… (1 Thess. 5:21).
3. God’s great displeasure (specifically with their worship) – (vv. 21-23).
(1) God hates certain types of worship. PERIOD!
(2) Worship absent of Biblical faith and true love of God is to the human eye, not easily discerned, but God’s eye sees it in an instant.
(3) From God’s point of view, when people offer acts of worship, but all the while ignore the heart of God’s law/commandments, and have no real love for God… God says the worship is empty and He doesn’t want to be around it. Offensive!
(4) Worship must absolutely consist of the “right” acts (burnt, grain, fellowship offerings), BUT “right” acts are always wrong without proper spirit behind them.
4. V. 24 – one way to transform your worship = live differently. Be different.
II. Extracting The Lessons.
· What are you trying to do preacher, scare us about the judgment of God?
1. Sin separates you from God.
(1) In this void, God’s abilities are not weakened but they are limited by His nature.
(2) In the separation, God ceases to hear your prayers (Isa. 59:1,2).
(3) God has demonstrated His love towards you (Rom. 8:5-8). Loving evil and refusing to do that which is good must injure God / displease God.
(4) Amos tells these people that God, despite the peoples songs and prayers, has refused to listen to them. Not because He doesn’t like song/prayer! Because He doesn’t like them regarding wickedness in their hearts.
2. It is not wrong to be concerned about whether or not certain activities are acceptable / authorized in worship! It is critical, but it is also every bit as critical for us to be equally concerned about our heart / spirit / life evidence.
(1) V. 24 – God doesn’t want a trickle, on/off stutter of these qualities (justice and righteousness). God wants them to be a never ending stream in me.
A. God doesn’t want a “performance.”
B. God wants a willful transformation.
(2) If God didn’t know any better it would be different, but He knows, and when worship is offered as nothing more than a ritual, or is offered with unclean hands…
(3) Read Isa. 1:15-17.
3. Life is a two way street (moral or immoral, love good or love evil, purity or unclean, godly or ungodly…).
(1) God, calls you through Christ and the gospel, to a life of loving good.
(2) God asks you to let the blood of Christ transform you into a different / better person.
1. Even the best of us can grow complacent or careless when it comes to our spiritual well being. Oh, there’s no way we would love evil and hate good, or at least that is what we tell ourselves, but the reality is otherwise.
2. Illustration: I’m not sure you will find this meaningful or an illustration that you feel applies accurately to the lesson, but I’m trying to make a consideration and application from contemporary events in our nation: 2004 the tsunami struck Asia killing more than 220,000 and Americans contributed a heartfelt 1.92 Billion. Then a host of other disasters over the years… May 2, 2008 - a tropical cyclone hits the coast of Myanmar (Burma). According to AP – 130,000 dead; 56,000 missing; May 12, 2008 – An earthquake strikes China. To date it is estimated 51,151 dead; 29,328 missing; 300,000 injured; 5,000,000 homeless; 4,000 orphaned. Reports are that aid is essentially trickling in from the USA. What’s my point? One catastrophe touches a nerve; galvanizes us; motivates us…. A series of catastrophes, and we become paralyzed, desensitized, disinterested, detached. Easy to walk on by as if it was nothing.
3. Sin very quickly separates us from God and paralyzes us. Sin becomes a series of sins and then a lifestyle of living with sin, if not enjoying a life in sin. This is followed by us on an existential (experience of existing) level of somehow thinking that we are not so bad… better than the murderer… or that God is somehow unconcerned with me… BUT in reality it doesn’t matter. God knows fully what the situation is. God has told us that He will not accept such. God has shown us what to do to correct such things in our life. AND God has told us what the end result will be if we do or if we don’t.