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Amos

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Minor prophet discord

Intro

Amos is a fascanating book. Not only for its message but also its means.
Unlike the other prophets Amos was a simple shepherd.
The other prophets were well trained and well educated, which one can easly see in their writings.
Let me exoplain a brief about insparation.
2 Peter 1:21 ESV
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Insparation does not bybass the human brain.
The writers of the bible were not robots simply writing down whatever they were told.
In insparation God uses the intelect, education, mannerism and even idiosincrities of the individual writers.
after all:
1 Corinthians 14:32 ESV
32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.
What this means is when God uses a highly educated and inteligent man like Paul, you get breathtaking writings, flowing with metaphors, imergry and complex sentence structure.
For example: Ephesians 1:3-14 is one long sentence, or periodic sentence, that is gramatrically perfect.
The prophets, like Paul, where educated, highly inteligent men.
Then you get Amos.
Amos was a holy man, but notan eliquent one.
He wa a man of the sun, wind and rain. He was man familier with hardship and heavy labour.
So where the other prophets might say:
Isaiah 1:18 ESV
18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Amos goes straight in with:
Amos 4:1 ESV
1 “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, ‘Bring, that we may drink!’
Isiah would be Durban North, Amos is an Umbilo man.

Book Background:

Good governance in both Juda and Israel had created a common pitfall.
It was a time of peace and plenty, full barns and ripe fields.
Now that might sound perfect, but time of plenty have a nasty habit of creating apathy.
It is one thing to call on the Lord in a time of trouble, but another thing to call on the Lord in times of peace.
There is a saying: :”Good times make weak men” and it is true spiritually as well.
The writer of proverbs knew this to well:
Proverbs 30:7–9 ESV
7 Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: 8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, 9 lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
Unfortinatly, the former had come true and Israels fullness caused them to forget God.

Message:

Seek The Lord

That phrase is found over 30 times in scripture. And it is found multiple times in Amos.
Amos 5:4–6 ESV
4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live; 5 but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing.” 6 Seek the Lord and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
What does it mean to seek the Lord?
The prophet Isaiah answers that question:
Isaiah 55:6–7 ESV
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
To seek the Lord, is a lot like repentance.
It means:
1: To change our thinking and abandon our our sinful thoughts.
Disobedient christians are not not thinking about God, they are thinking wronglyt about God, about sin and about life.
To many people God is a comfort blanket, someone who will always be there to cheer them up and make them feel better.
But they forget that God is holy and that sinner will reap what they sow and they forget:
Psalm 1:1 ESV
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2: After turning away from our wrong thoughts, we then turn towards God.
Key in this understanding sin.
Let me give you aa story.
walking on the beach.
what went from a romantic moonlight walk became a hidious scream of terror and us running up the beach.
What changed it? What factor was introduced that changed it?
Light.
It was rthe light of my tourch that reavel the roaches and created disgust.
God is light.
John 1:5 ESV
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
my torch did not create the roaches, they were always there, the light just revealed them.
liewise: When God switches on the light of his holiness he will reavel in our lives what has always been there:
Amos 5:12 ESV
12 For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate.
God is not a comfort blanket for our feelings. He is the Savior of our souls!
And the only question that remains is: Are you comfortible walking around amoung the roaches of sin?

Why Should we seek the Lord?

Amos gives us 3 reasons:

1: Seek God so you can have life.

Amos 5:4 ESV
4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live;
There are only 2 paths can a man can walk on: The broad path which leads to deth or the narrow path which leads to life.
Jesus said:
John 14:6 ESV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
When Jesus asked hi disciples if they would ver leave him they said:
John 6:68 ESV
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
Jesus also said:
John 10:10 ESV
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
If you wre in the sea from a ship wreck and a helicopter came and you saw it throw a life ring into the water, you would seek after that ring with all you might - because you will drom but if you seek it and find it, you will live.

2: Seek God and you will not be disapointed by an experience

This one is so important.
Look what Amos tells the people:
Amos 5:4–5 ESV
4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live; 5 but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing.”
He says plainly: Seek the Lord.
1: But dont go look for the Lord in Bethel.
Bethel means house of God. It was the place Abraham pitched his tend when God game him the Abrahanic covenant. A place of significant spiritual importance.
2: Also dont go looking for the Lord in Gilgal.
Gilgal was the place the 12 stones where erected after Israel crossed the Jordan - a place of spiritual significance to the people.
3: Dont go to Beersheba.
Beersheba was where Abraham dug his wells in the promised land, also a place of spiritual significance.
God is saying: Dont go to places to find me.
Dont go to Bethel to find me because you cant live in Bethel. Dont go to Gilgal to find me because you cant take the 12 stones with you when you go home.
Let me explain:
There are millions of christians who are in spiritual life support.
And it is both their and the churches fault.
Imagine a person in hosptual on life support.
They have a machine breathing for them. A manchine pumping their heart for them. A machine filtering their blood for them.
Techicnally in tht bed they are alive, But what would happened if you took them home without all those trappings?
They would die.
Churches have become ICU’s for christians on life suppirt.
In the building:
The lights are dimed and there are no distractions.
The 12 person band is on their 35th run on the 2 verse song - its been going for hours.
The purple and blue lights bath the stange in mystical glow.
The smoke machine gently blows calming mist over the people.
In that setting, you have a katharic spiritual experience. Its amazing.
But then the band stops, the light come on and you have to go home to your low paying job, nagging children, leaking geyser and empty friedge.
What happeness when you leave “Gilgal” or “Bethel”?
Can you take the smoke, lights, hypnotic music with you?
No.
and the result? That wonderful experience you had cannot be with you.
Why does this happen? because people seek after an experience and do not seek after God.
If God cannot be found in your bedroom with just you, the Holy Spirit and the Bible then God cannot be found at a concern or a crusaid or a special meeting, or a “ourpouring” event.. or whatever these people call these things.
Let me tell you straight:
You dont need lights, music or atmostphere to seek and find the Lord.
Acts 17:27 ESV
27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,

3: Seek God because Judgment is Coming

Amos 5:6 ESV
6 Seek the Lord and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
Have you suddenly needed a documant urgenty and you simply cannot remeber where it is? You try to think when you last had it, and where you put it.
You know that if you dont find it you are going to be in serious trouble.
Remeber how the terror motivated you?
You looked everywhere! You even looked again in places you already looked. You cancled plans that day, you diddnt take a break to go have lunch.
You probiblky even said: I am not going to sleep untill i find it!
Fear and terror.
Thats why you looked so hard.
Well my friends Amos tells us that God is going to break out like a fire and there will be none to quench it.

Conclusion:

Sometimes we need an Amos.
I harsh wake up call to put our priorities in order.
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