Moral Reformation (Amos 5:14-20)

Moral Reformation (Amos 5:14-20)


  • Amos’ scathing judgment has climaxed into a lament. Last week we saw that a person void of moral transformation lacks the experience of true faith.
  • Seeking the Lord involves living for the Lord.
  • That means we recognize who He is and what duty He requires of us.
  • WSC Q. What do the Scriptures principally teach? A. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man.
  • To know God is to know what He requires.

Read Amos 5:6-13

Motyer It can be the faithful pastor’s task to sow doubts in the minds of those in his care. It is a thing which requires wisdom.

  • To possess a misunderstanding about how God works, is to possess a misunderstanding about God’s nature and character.
    1. Seek Moral Transformation (14-15)
    2. Lament Divine Threat (16-17)
    3. Heed Divine Judgment (18-20)

Seek Moral Transformation (14-15)

  • “Seek good” (14) is set alongside “hate evil” (15).
  • Pursue justice, put an end to injustice.
  • These commands are followed by possibilities of life, enjoyment of God’s presence and grace.
  • “Joseph” represents the Northern Kingdom (his sons make up the majority of the tribes there).
  • Christianity never pits morality against faith.
  • Their faith must be accompanied by a moral reformation or it proves to be superficial.
  • It may already be too late for the people to receive God’s mercy, but they will certainly have no hope of receiving it if they remain the same.
  • Seeking God will be accompanied by fleeing evil.
  • Action (seek) is combined with emotion (hate/love). Action comes before feeling.
  • Delight should accompany duty, but it won’t always motivate/spur duty. Duty remains even without delight. Generally, enjoyment will follow obedience.

In addition to seeking moral transformation they would need to…

Lament Divine Threat (16-17)

  • Lamentation/wailing will apply to everyone. Professional lamenters and farmers join in the despair. Rich and poor lamenting the same fate.
  • We aren’t told what brings about their mourning, only that it would be complete. Everyone from the greatest to the least would be affected.
  • Amos uses language from the Exodus Passover (Exod. 11:4; 12:12). But rather than bringing judgment upon a foreign nation, God is going to judge Israel.
  • What was once a cherished promise has become a death threat.
  • What would usually result in covenant renewal, had become a covenant curse.
  • Genuine threats remain relevant under the New Covenant as well!
  • Earlier in the service we read Hebrews 10:19-39. I want us to see vv.28-31 in particular as it relates to this idea of covenant curse/threat.
  • You are not immune from the threat!

Seeking > Lamenting > Heeding

Heed Divine Judgment (18-20)

  • Earliest reference to the “Day of the Lord,” which they misunderstood:
    • Amos tells them to fear the Day of the Lord rather than desire it (18). A shocking reversal!
    • Their disaster is inescapable (19).
    • It will be a day of darkness, not light (20).
  • The purpose of these verses is to kill the false hopes of Israel. They are looking forward to the Day of the Lord as if it is good news for them.
  • God will destroy his enemies on that day. But, the thing they misunderstand is that they had become God’s enemy.
  • Israel had believed bad theology:
    • As God’s people, they believed they would never become the victims of God’s judgment.
    • They thought performing their religious duties provided immunity from judgment.
    • They were morally bankrupt and trusting in their shallow acts of piety.

But, if we’re honest, how often does that describe us?


  • To possess a misunderstanding about how God works, is to possess a misunderstanding about God’s nature and character.
  • There is a genuine spiritual battle taking place. Striving for theological precision and exposing damnable heresies may not be politically correct or socially acceptable, but it is loving!
  • Jesus didn’t refrain from harsh warnings.
  • Failing to warn others who have a false view of God is a sin of omission.
  • One of Satan’s greatest tactics is to silence Christians with fear of offending. We live in a culture that is far too easily offended. Now is not the time to be quiet.