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Minor Prophets with a Major Message - Part 1: A Lion Roars (Amos 1-2)

Minor Prophets with a Major Message  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We often wonder if God still cares about the nations and the affairs of this world. The answer is a resounding yes! This message looks at God's sovereignty over the nations as well as His care and concern for His people and their place in the world.

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INTRO

Does God still care about our world? Does He care about what is happening in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, China, the United States, or Turkmenistan?
Does it matter to God what the nations do? Does God see all the earth as His with the kind of concern we feel like He has for our nation?
Psalm 24:1 ESV
1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
Amos 1:1–2 ESV
1 The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. 2 And he said: “The Lord roars from Zion and utters his voice from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the top of Carmel withers.”

1) GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE NATIONS (Amos 1:1-2:3)

Syria (N) (vs. 3-5)
Brutality upon their enemies for the sake of personal profit and gain.
They had no concern for people. They were simply objects to be removed with brutal force.
Gilead was a region East of the Jordan and held a major trade route to the Red Sea region.
Because of their blatant disregard for people and their brutal treatment of humanity, their rulers would perish, their fortified cities destroyed, and their nation overcome by another.
Philistia (SW) (vs. 6-8)
They enslaved people and traded them like cattle.
They seized entire communities for the sole purpose of selling the people.
They sold them to Edom (line of Ishmael and ancient enemies of Israel)
Their disregard for humanity brought an overwhelming destruction of all of their ruling cities.
Tyre (NW) (vs. 9-10)
They are guilty of the same acts as Philistia, but even worse, they did this to an ally.
They not only abandoned an ally they betrayed that allies people into slavery in Edom.
They devalued those who they once regarded all the way to the point of removing their dignity as human beings.
As a result, they became the object of destruction in one of the most ruthless acts of conquest under Alexander the Great in 332BC.
Edom (SSE) (vs. 11-12)
Edom’s sin that brought judgment was unforgiveness.
It held a hostile grudge and hatred for Israel from day 1.
There was an intense bitterness that took delight in the people of Israel’s failure and hardship.
It wasn’t just about a nation…it was any person.
The result was the destruction of their most profitable cities.
Ammon (E) (vs. 13-15)
They were brutal in their attacks, even to the point of having sadistic treatment of women, even pregnant women.
They took delight in killing women, children, and preborn children, even their own, as a sacrifice to their false god, Molech.
In their view, human life held no value unless it was to their gain alone.
They would be conquered by Assyria and their leadership would be exiled and enslaved. Their fortified cities would be left in ruin and their people vulnerable.
Moab (SE) (vs. 1-3)
They were guilty of devaluing people, even to the point of desecrating the dead…especially a dead king.
Imagine if an enemy, as a way to terrorize people, dug up the remains of a deceased president and burned his remains. Imagine what it would say about an enemy if they did that to JFK.
As a result of their disregard and disrespect, they would cease to be a nation.
These 6 gentile nations still had to give an account to God, whether they acknowledged Him or not!
God still expected them to listen to the word of His prophet!
God still gave them a chance to repent by revealing His judgment against them. They showed no regard, thus God executed His judgement in His timing.
When you look at our world today, God is still sovereign over the rise and all of nations.
He still sees and knows and cares

2) GOD IS SERIOUS ABOUT HIS COVENANTS (Amos 2:4-5)

God now turns to His own people…The gentile nations were judged for their lack of concern for humanity, God is judging Judah for its lack of concern for Him.
They rejected the reality of God and accepted the lies of men.
God made a covenant with the nation He created:
If they followed His laws and His statues, they would prosper and succeed.
They would be a holy nation and a shining beacon to rest of the world.
If they rejected His laws and statues, God would remove His favor and they would fall and be corrupted like the rest of the nations.
They abandoned the covenant, therefore, God would leave them open to their own devices and they would fall to the Babylonians.
While the judgment of Judah is short and the remainder of the Amos focuses on Israel (the Northern Kingdom), we should heed the judgment against Judah.
When we surrender to God and become His, we must live in His ways.
Yes the blood of Jesus covers our sin and the grace of God keeps us from being consumed, but God will remove His favor from our lives and leave us to the consequences we choose by living apart from Him if we reject the lifestyles He has prepared for our good.

3) GOD IS SUPREME IN HIS STANDARDS (Amos 2:6-15)

God’s ways lead us to life. Rejecting His standards lead to destruction…as a person and as a people (nation).
God evaluated the contemporary state of Israel in Amos’ day and found them guilty of:
Injustice (vs. 6-7a)
They had corrupted their justice system so as to take advantage of the less fortunate and needy.
They had prioritized wealth and influence over treating all people with dignity.
Immorality (vs. 7b)
They were driven by their own lustful desires rather than practicing decency and honor.
They engaged in sexual idolatry and objectified women, teaching their kids to do the same, rather than holding regard for God’s holy standard and valuing His image-bearer.
Open idolatry (vs.8)
They used the outer garments of the poor as collateral. Rather than returning them at sundown, as was right in God’s law (Ex. 22:26 “26 If ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down,” ), they held it till they were repaid with extravagant interest.
They would parade the garments at altars to false idols and would take repayment in wine. They would then proceed to practice drunken rituals from the extortion with no care or concern to God.
God seek to remind them who He is and what blessings come from living according to His standards. (vs. 9-11)
Brought them to the promised land and drove out their enemies.
Freed them from Egypt, the mightiest global power at the time, and provided for them every step of the way…even when the way was made longer by their own disobedience.
Continued a relationship with them and continued to provide His counsel and word to them through prophets and Nazarites.
They rejected God and therefore have opened themselves up to a terrible future. (vs. 12)
They weight of their own sin would crush them. (vs.13)
There will be no escape for the compromised Northern Kingdom. (vs. 14-16).
They would not be able to save themselves because they refused to repent and get out of their own way.
In 720BC, Assyria would invade the Northern Kingdom and they would be no more. But God would still offer hope to the people, if they would but listen and repent.
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,

CLOSING

When we look at our world and ask, “Does God still care?” the answer is a resounding YES!
He is Sovereign over the Nations.
He is Serious about His Covenant.
He offers a new Covenant, bought with the blood of Jesus that offers forgiveness of your sin and brings you salvation.
His is Supreme in His Standards.
His way of life brings freedom and hope and is for your good in an evil world. Repent to Jesus and choose life rather than continuing to reject Him and dwelling in destruction.
Get out of your own way and choose Jesus!
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