- Amos has warned the deaf nation of Israel about their moral and religious hypocrisy.
- We’ve seen the first three of five visions Amos received:
- Plague of Locusts (1-3)
- Judgment of Fire (4-6)
- The Plumb Line (7-9)
- The Lord relented from destroying Israel after Amos intercedes in the first two visions.
- However, there is no such relief mentioned regarding the vision of the Plumb Line, which dealt with the ground of judgment.
- In tonight’s passage we see a confrontation between the priest of Bethel, Amaziah, and the prophet of God, Amos.
Read Amos 7:10-17
- Amaziah’s desire for self-preservation led to the loss of everything.
- Amaziah Warns Jeroboam (10-11)
- Amaziah Rebukes Amos (12-13)
- Amos Prophesies Against Amaziah (14-17)
Amaziah Warns Jeroboam (10-11)
- Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (hypocritical worship 4:4; 5:5), warns King Jeroboam of Amos’ message.
- Amaziah interprets v.9 as a direct prophecy against Jeroboam. But Amos was referring to “the house of Jeroboam.” Jeroboam himself would die naturally (2 Kings 14:29).
- Amaziah embellishes some of the details and gets others wrong in order to create the impression that Amos is stirring up an open political conspiracy against the king.
- Amaziah emphasizes the political threat and leaves out the religious judgment (against himself). It was a misrepresentation of Amos’ message and purpose.
- If the land was not able to bear the words of Amos, Amaziah and the people were testifying of their rejection of God’s Word.
- It is our collective responsibility to honor the Word of God. The congregation selects qualified elders and they take vows of ordination.
BCO 8-3 It belongs to those in the office of elder, both severally and jointly, to watch diligently over the flock committed to his charge, that no corruption of doctrine or of morals enter therein. They must exercise government and discipline, and take oversight not only of the spiritual interests of the particular church, but also the Church generally when called thereunto. They should visit the people at their homes, especially the sick. They should instruct the ignorant, comfort the mourner, nourish and guard the children of the Church. They should set a worthy example to the flock entrusted to their care by their zeal to evangelize the unconverted and make disciples. All those duties which private Christians are bound to discharge by the law of love are especially incumbent upon them by divine vocation, and are to be discharged as official duties. They should pray with and for the people, being careful and diligent in seeking the fruit of the preached Word among the flock.
After warning the king…
Amaziah Rebukes Amos (12-13)
- Apparently the king didn’t cooperate with Amaziah (no royal edict). So he rebukes Amos himself.
- Amaziah Tempts Amos:
- Preserve your life (go, flee) Hurry!
- Find greater success (Judah) They’ll listen because they hate us!
- Live in security (eat bread there) Make your living there.
- The people would’ve highly respected Amaziah, so regardless of the priest’s motives, which were likely financial, these were no small temptations for Amos to hear.
- But Amos trusts in the Word of the Lord which gave him the authority to say what he had said and will continue to say.
- Amaziah’s temptation of Amos reveals the idols of his own heart:
- Self-Preservation – The desire to maintain your reputation at all costs.
- Success – Achieving money, position, or power without regard for calling.
- Security – Confidence that resources will be there in the future.
Then it was Amos’ turn to speak.
Amos Prophesies Against Amaziah (14-17)
- Amos’ Authority:
- Vocation – He was never in it for the money. Not a prophet before, nor from a family of prophets.
- Revelation – God gave him a message.
- Commission – God sent him on a mission.
- Then he details the exile’s effect upon Amaziah’s family.
- How will the exile impact the family of the priest?
- Because they rejected the Word of the Lord.
- Wife’s only recourse for survival will be prostitution.
- Sons and daughters will be slaughtered.
- Their land will be captured.
- They will die on pagan soil.
- Amaziah’s family is a snapshot for all Israel.
- Amos’ response to Amaziah’s temptation is
Motyer I have a vocation from God to obey, a word from God to speak, a work from God to do.”
- The man of God knows God’s calling upon his life and it provides him with the strength and resolve to persevere.
- Amos was falsely accused by a religious leader. He was rejected by the people he came to warn. Yet, he carried out his commission in obedience risking his own life.
- Of course, it reminds us of another Prophet, One who not only spoke for God, but who spoke as God. One who was falsely accused of blasphemy by the religious leaders and rejected by the people who called for his crucifixion. Yet, He was obedient even unto death, death on a cross.
- Jesus is the better Amos who not only warns of impending judgment, but bears that judgment in our place.