- Have you ever been punished for mocking the punishment of others? While you’re laughing at the discipline of your brother, your father or mother turns to you.
- Amos has been called out of his life as a sheep-breeder (1:1) to declare the Lord’s roar from Zion (1:2). He has proclaimed judgment of the nations (1:3-2:3). Now he turns his attention to the people of God.
Read Amos 2:4-16
- Punishment falls upon the covenant people too!
- God expects obedience. He notices those who walk among the covenant community, but live in corruption and perversion.
- We must acknowledge God as the righteous judge. How do we do that? We pray to him as the reigning King. We come to him in reverence and awe. We believe what he has revealed about himself.
- Lack of Morality (4-8).
- Lack of Gratitude (9-12).
- Lack of Escape (13-16).
Lack of Morality (4-8)
- v.4 Judah is condemned for rejecting God’s law. They were deceived by their own lies.
- Since the law had not been brought to the pagan nations, they were judged for sins against their conscience. What knowledge they had received, they rebelled against.
- Israel takes advantage of the poor and lives sexually impure lives. There was economic corruption (6b-7a) and sexual perversion (7b-8).
- Israel is judged for their treatment of fellow covenant members.
- Motyer mentions how Israel silenced the voice of revelation…
Amos…links the Judah and Israel oracles so that they stand together as an analysis of the sins of the church.
- Punishment falls upon the people of God too. In fact, their exposure to God’s law and their experience among the covenant people make them even more culpable for their disobedience. Their crimes were not only against fellow image-of-God bearers, but against YHWH!
- The visible church is not spared from God’s wrath (Matt. 7:21-23).
- Are you angered by your own lack of morality?
- Does your morality reflect battle scars or pristine unused armor?
- If we acknowledge God as a righteous judge, we won’t take our sin lightly. We won’t be so quick to compare ourselves to others and think we’re “safe” because they’re clearly much worse than us. “I’ve never done THAT!”
The implicit assumption is that Judah and Israel’s lack of morality is the result of a lack of gratitude.
Lack of Gratitude (9-12)
- They don’t acknowledge God’s provision:
- They ignore the fact that God rescued them from the Ammonites (9).
- They seem to have forgotten that God led them out of Egypt (10).
- They don’t care that God provided them with prophets and Nazarites (11-12; cf. Num. 6:1-21 Samson, Samuel).
- We honor those to whom we are thankful.
- We acknowledge their kindness.
- We receive their gifts and appreciate them.
- Religion responds to this news with, “Get your act together! Judgment is coming! Clean up your filthy conduct!”
- You might be thinking, “Yes, I see my own lack of morality and lack of gratitude. But, from this point forward I’m going to change…”
- That is a works-based righteousness. That is trusting in yourself. And frankly, it’s how many people justify themselves.
- It is to those people that God will say, “Depart! For I never knew you!”
- Are you angered by your own lack of gratitude? We must begin with repentance and faith.
- How do we repent? WSC Q.87; WLC Q.76
- When our lives are characterized by repentance we’re never complacent, we’re always striving for maturity.
- Now, don’t misunderstand me. Faith is resting in what Christ has done. But learning to rest is a struggle. The Bible often compares it to war.
Those who lack morality, gratitude, and repentance will also…
Lack of Escape (13-16)
- The just judgment of a holy God cannot be escaped.
- None will escape God’s wrath. The judgment of God upon the hypocrite will be both intensive (13) and extensive (14-16).
v.13 Stuart “Israelites will be frozen with fear when the attack comes.”
- Big Idea: No transgressor will escape God’s just judgment.
- Transgressors must be punished. The justice of God will be satisfied.
- Christians do not escape judgment, but every transgression is laid upon Christ in their stead. He bears the punishment for their iniquity.
- Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no long I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”
- Do I desire holiness? Have I grown complacent in dealing with my sin? Is my life characterized by immorality and autonomy?
- Do I minimize my sin with trite statements about God’s love to forgive? “I love to sin and God loves to forgive.”
- Am I rightly startled by the fierce judgment of God? Do I ensure that I myself am not the object of his wrath?
I must ensure I’m not in the Lion’s path of attack.
- Acknowledge God as the righteous judge
- Warn others
- How do we warn others?
- Evangelism is like flossing. I was never good at flossing until recently. My dentist in Mississippi helped: “You only have to floss the ones you want to keep.”
- Similarly, I would say, “You only have to warn the ones you want to see God save.” Who do you want God to save? Have you warned them of the coming judgment? You do know you don’t go alone right? The Holy Spirit has promised to give you the words to say (Luke 12:12; 21:15).