- Do you understand biblical judgment? Do passages like this make you uncomfortable? Honestly, I think that’s the point. If you can read about God’s judgment in a lackadaisical manner, you aren’t understanding it.
- Amos’ oracles of judgment have turned from the nations to Judah and Israel.
Read Amos 3:1-8
- It is confusing. It is unsettling. We haven’t made it to the comforting sections yet.
- These words are meant to convict us. The crimes the audience committed against God and one another continue in our day, and in our context.
- The Holy Spirit ensured Amos’ words were recorded for our benefit too. Not to understand the OT better, but to understand God better. The same God who judged Israel, will come in fierce judgment.
- Big Idea: The Lord will accomplish his purposes through judgment.
- The Cause of Judgment (1-2)
- The Purpose of Judgment (3-6)
- The Warning of Judgment (7-8)
The Cause of Judgment (1-2)
- v.1 “Hear this word”. They’ve tuned him out. Now that he’s no longer pointing his finger at everyone else – and his gaze is firmly fixed upon his audience – they’ve lost interest.
- Their lack of morality and lack of gratitude will be punished, especially if they decide to plug their ears and walk away!
- v.2 God is not capricious. His condemnation has warrant. There is a purpose in his judgment.
- We like grace, but not holiness. We want to know the joy of our salvation without knowing the fear of punishment.
- However, whenever we minimize sin, we minimize the cross that brought forgiveness. The cross doesn’t remove conviction, it shows us what our Lord had to endure to bring forgiveness.
- God is patient with sinners. He’s slow to anger. He is not swift to pour out his wrath. But he will not hold back his anger forever.
- As long as we are in a passage proclaiming judgment the primary implication is – Repent!
- Maybe you have missed the previous weeks, or maybe you have been here and you’ve heard me say something about repentance every week, yet, you have not taken the time to genuinely cry out to the Lord for mercy.
- I urge you not to put it off any longer. God’s patience will not last forever.
And there is always a…
The Purpose of Judgment (3-6)
- These rhetorical questions introduce chs. 3-6.
- v.3 2 People don’t just randomly start walking together. That would be extra-awkward (Illus: Prank videos “Holding Strangers’ Hands”).
- v.4a Lion’s don’t roar at nothing. They freeze their prey.
- v.4b A young lion cries out when it catches something.
- v.5a A bird gets caught in a snare because it is baited.
- v.5b A snare springs when it is triggered.
- v.6a The people in a city are filled with fear when they hear the trumpet’s warning.
- v.6b God has a purpose behind the disaster he brings upon a city. The Lord causes disaster.
- Each question suggests purpose.
- Some people like to think disaster occurs without any purpose. The sad devastation of natural disasters always serve a purpose.
- The danger is when people suggest they know those purposes, blaming certain kinds of sinners. But unless God sends a prophet, we won’t know the specific reason a disaster occurred.
- We shouldn’t, however, suggest God himself is unaware. God didn’t just know it would happen, he caused it to happen! God ordains calamity (Job, Jonah 4:2).
- Coming disaster turns us to the only one who can hold it back. Flip ahead to 7:1-3.
- Do you realize that our Lord Jesus Christ endured the Lion’s wrath that we might receive mercy? When the Lion roared, Jesus stood in front of us. He bore the Lion’s teeth and claws in our place, satisfying every bit of the hunger that justice demanded.
Coming disaster causes us to flee and warn others of its coming.
The Warning of Judgment (7-8)
- God owes us nothing. He didn’t have to reveal his “secret” to prophets. But, in his kindness, he warned us. He sent word of the coming judgment so that people would have the opportunity to repent (Jonah).
- v.7 The Lord revealed his purposes. He didn’t reveal everything. There are unfathomable mysteries (Rom. 11:32-33).
- v.8 The Lord’s roar strikes fear. When the Lord speaks man must prophesy.
- We must ensure we aren’t in the lion’s path. We don’t want to be the object of his wrath. But let’s take that further…
- What would you do if you noticed a lion roaring and charging toward someone else? Maybe they don’t hear the roar because they have headphones on. Are you going to stand and watch the lion take its prey? Won’t you get their attention – even rudely ripping off their headphones?
- Do we live in light of this reality? Are we struck by the power of God combined with the anger of God?
- I’d imagine our evangelistic efforts to be much more passionate were we to keep the image of a charging lion in our minds. Who cares if we offend them with the truth? At some point, our concern for their eternal destination will outweigh our concern for their feelings.
Amos couldn’t keep quiet, can you?
- Let that question sink in. It will probably sting. Let it make you uncomfortable.
- Maybe the Lord has placed someone on your heart who needs to hear this warning. Would you consider being the one to share it?
- This judgment specifically targeted a people who thought they were safe. They thought they had nothing to fear.
- Whether you are being encouraged to repent, or warn others of their need to repent, or both – know that you can only do so effectively if the Holy Spirit is working in and through you. So let’s ask for his help right now.