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Amos 6 – 7

Amos 6

Woe to those who are at ease full of pride and trusting in there own ways;  and are not living by every Word of God.

Amos 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

6:2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?

Our people are violent and think that no evil shall befall them for our wicked deeds.  As the nation is violent so too the Ekklesia does violence against those zealous for God; condemning those who reject idols of men to live by every Word of God.  

6:3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;

6:4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;

6:5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;

6:6 That drink wine in bowls [using bowls in place of glasses for the great amount that they drink], and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

The physical leaders of Israel and the spiritual leaders of Spiritual Israel are not grieved for the condition of the flock.  Samaria was the head of Israel in those days and the United States and Britain are the head of physical Israel today.

The spiritual leaders have gone the way of the physical leaders in feeding themselves physical things and not seeking the law of God nor feeding the flock the spiritual things of God.

The day of our correction which we want to believe will not come upon us, is now near at hand.  God will cause our blessings to be removed and where there was plenty their shall be almost nothing. 

6:7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.

6:8 The Lord GOD hath sworn by himself, saith the LORD the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces [pride in ourselves]: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.

The Laodicean that departs from zeal for the law of his God shall be among the first to be corrected, and his organizations and all the grand monuments to his false traditions, pride and ego shall be destroyed and brought down to nothing.

6:9 And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.

6:10 And a man’s uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the LORD.

In our afflictions and sorrows we shall no longer glory in our self righteousness, for we shall KNOW that we have defiled ourselves with pride, idolatry and much sin and that we are suffering God’s wrath.

6:11 For, behold, the LORD commandeth, and he will smite the great house [the great corporate churches] with breaches, and the little house [small church groups] with clefts.

The houses [families and corporations] shall be brought down.  Can we plough rocks?  God will make our land as solid rock that it will produce nothing.

Leviticus 26:14  But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;

26:15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:

26:16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

26:17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

26:18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

26:20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.

Amos 6:12 Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall [bitterness], and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock [poison, death]:

6:13 Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns [conquered nations] by our own strength [we have victory by our own strength and God has not given them to us]?

6:14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the LORD the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath [from the Euphrates to the Nile] unto the river of the wilderness.

The affliction of that time will be multiplied to include all the nations today.

Our glorying shall be turned into shame; for we shall understand that he have gloried in a thing of no value, when we have gloried in our buildings, and our organizations, and our false traditions, and our idols of men.

These things are all vanity and nothing at all, perishing in their time. We and our leaders shall all likewise perish if we forsake the law of our God.

Only the Eternal and his Word stand forever!

 

Amos 7

God tells Amos he will send a plague of grasshoppers to eat up the main harvest

Amos 7:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth [the early summer growth of the main harvest was to be eaten by the grasshoppers]; and, lo, it was the latter growth [the growing main harvest after the spring harvest had been reaped] after the king’s [spring harvest] mowings.

7:2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.

Then Amos cries out to God begging God not to send this grasshopper plague  and God relents.

7:3 The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD.

7:4 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.

Then God says that he will destroy by fire from heaven like Sodom, and again Amos cries out for deliverance and God relents.

7:5 Then said I, O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.

7:6 The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD.

Then God determines to abandon Israel for all their sins against him

7:7 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the LORD stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.

God then declares that he will measure Israel and give them to the enemy [the Assyrians]

7:8 And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the LORD, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:

7:9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

Finally God declares that he will abandon Israel [and the religions that do not serve him] to the enemy and the sword.

7:10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel [the priest of the golden calves idols] sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.

7:11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.

The priest of the idols then told Amos to go prophecy elsewhere and to leave Israel alone

7:12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:

7:13 But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court.

Amos responds by saying that he does not speak his own words and speaks what God has called him to speak; indicating that he Amos has no choice in what is spoken or to whom.

7:14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit [figs]:

7:15 And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

The apostate religious leader then pretested against Amos, and called him to shut up and flee the land. Amos responds that he does not declare himself a prophet; but he must declare the message that God has told him to declare.

Amos then declares the fate of the religious leaders who would stop mouths from speaking the warning from God. 

Today most leaders and elders of the Ekklesia say the same thing, saying:  “Keep silent and do not warn the people, do not tell us we are sinning and will be corrected for we are God’s church.” 

I say: Surely God will remove his blessings and protection from us for our idolizing and exalting of men and false traditions above the Word of God!  Today, we like ancient Israel are full of idolatry and will receive the same correction!

7:16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.

7:17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city [probably out of starvation and desperation during the fall of the nation], and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.

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  1. Reading Amos 7 shows that the wickedness of Israel and its idolatrous priests were not the only things God was evaluating. He was evaluating the attitude of His servants towards those on whom He pronounced certain doom. It is easy for those who can plainly see the errors of others to despise those others whose sins they plainly see (instead of despising the sins which God has so plainly shown those faithful servants but not yet made evident to those who are sinning).

    In Amos 7:1-6 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings.
    And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
    The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD.
    Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.
    Then said I, O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
    The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD.

    God was not kidding around when he pronounced those original curses upon His people for their sins, however, he was evaluating the response of His faithful servants. Such testing of the faithful is not without similar examples from God’s word:

    In Genesis 18:16-33 we can read of Abraham’s reaction to God’s revelation that He intended to destroy all of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (which at that time would have included his cousin Lot and all of his descendants. Without saying so directly, Abraham pleads for the lives of his close kin and God accepts his bargain and eventually saves Lot and his two daughters.

    After Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the 10 commandments God told him:

    Ex 32:9-10 “And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
    Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

    Just ponder that proposition from God for a minute and you will realize that had God done so it would not have broken His promise to make of the descendants of Israel a great nation because Moses too was a descendant of Israel. Yet Moses reaction was not to seek personal promotion, it was to exalt and glorify His God and beg for mercy to those who deserved death:
    Ex 32:11-14 And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
    Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
    Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
    And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
    We further learn:
    Deut 9:19-20 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also.
    And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.
    Similarly, God could have still preserved the line descended from Aaron even if Aaron was slainsince he had sons to carry on such work.
    Jeremiah wrote an entire book of the Bible (Lamentations) consisting of grieving over the horrible punishment that will come upon the spiritually wayward people of Israel for their wickedness.
    There seem to be several lessons here:
    1. Whatever their other personal faults were, God’s faithful servants deeply cared about the sure fate of the wicked in their midst. That didn’t blind them to or diminish their disgust for the vile sins of these people, but it did show that they could differentiate between the sins of the people and the ultimate potential of the people themselves once they were repentant and forsook their sins.
    2. The true servants of God realize their own insignificance and sins and as such they can empathize with what others less spiritually knowledgeable than they are going through:

    Moses protested that he could not speak effectively so God gave him Aaron to be his spokesman. (Ex 4:10-16)

    Isaiah protested that he was a man of unclean lips, God concurred, and cleansed his lips, after which Isaiah was a willing instrument in the hands of his maker (Isa 6:5-8).

    Paul (who wrote more books of the New Testament than anyone else)considered himself the least of all apostles because he at one time in his spiritual ignorance persecuted God’s faithful brethren. (I Cor 15:9-10)

    So as we look at the clown posse of prospective candidates vying to be president of the US,
    the obsession of the nation with professional sports, and the vulgar and filthy entertainment that marinates this culture, and their endless wars of acquisition, can we be disgusted with the conduct of our people and desire their deliverance from their sins as well?
    As we witness the “nothing burger” evangelism (instead of telling people their sins), obsession with marketing designed to increase both head count and funds to the corporate fellowships of the COG’s, and the clinging to vain customs (such as polluting the weekly and annual Sabbaths and following the rabbinic calendar (instead of relying on the guidance of scripture), can we remember that we, at one time, were just as spiritually ignorant and that we have not yet become sinless (see I John 1:8-10)? Or do we make the same mistake as the Pharisee? (Lu 18:9-14) God’s prophets are speaking to the faithful every bit as much as they are speaking to the spiritually wayward. We would all do well to listen and heed their messages.

    Tim McCaulley
    Jacksonville FL

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