Summary: Like He did with Israel, God is in the business of afflicting the comfortable. When we are at ease in Zion, He sometimes has to shake us up with righteous affliction.

1. Introduction (6:8)

2. Afflicting the comfortable—(what does righteous affliction look like?)

a. Afflicted bodies (6:9-10)

b. Afflicted buildings (6:11)

c. Afflicted brains (6:12-13)

d. Afflicted borders (6:14)

3. Conclusion

a. We know what God’s righteous affliction looks like—how do we avoid it?

b. By waking up and acknowledging our past and present sins

c. By waking up and repenting

d. By waking up and serving Him

i. With our bodies

ii. With our buildings

iii. With our brains

iv. Within our borders

AMOS 6:8

Last week when we covered verses 1-7 of this chapter, we looked at God’s pronouncement of woe on Israel. Back in verse 1, He said, “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.” In our passage tonight, He continues that pronouncement of woe. A statement of grief and anguish and mourning. Grief and anguish and mourning over the fact that He is going to have to judge His chosen people. Judge them because they are at ease, complacent. They’re comfortable and laid back and not looking to God. They’re fine with the way things are and only look to God for what He can do for them to make them even more comfortable. After all, they’re God’s chosen people, right? Well, yes. But look at what He told them here in verse 8. God swore by the very essence of who He is that He abhorred the “excellency of Jacob.” That meant that despite Jacob’s seed being His chosen people, He hated what they had become. In this prophetic passage, God tells Israel that despite their status as His chosen people, He was going to deliver them into the hands of their enemies. And then He goes on to outline the affliction He’s going to bring on them as a result. Like He did with Israel, God is still in the business of afflicting the comfortable. When we are at ease in Zion, He sometimes has to shake us up with righteous affliction. To put it in today’s language, sometimes God has to rock our world to wake us up. Tonight, I want each of us to wake up from our ease in Zion. I want us to wake up before God wakes us up. Before He shakes us up with His righteous affliction. In order to do that, we’re going to look at four righteous afflictions God brings on His complacent people. Now, I’m listing these in the order they appear in the text. That doesn’t necessarily mean that God runs down them in order like a checklist. Sometimes He only has to afflict one area before we wake up. Sometimes He afflicts all the areas at one time. The order isn’t what you need to remember. The afflictions themselves are. With that in mind, one type of affliction He brings is afflicted bodies. Look with me in verses 9-10:

AMOS 6:9-10

God can afflict the bodies of His complacent people. The picture this prophesy paints is an ugly one, isn’t it? It brings to mind some of the great plagues of the past. Like the Black Plague of the 14th century. Or different bubonic plagues around the world. We don’t really use the word plague any more, do we? It’s not nearly scientific-sounding enough for us. Instead, we use the word “pandemic”. Things like the bird flu or other types of flu scare us. But, so far, they’re nowhere near the level of destruction of one of the historic plagues. And they’re no where near the level of destruction God said He would afflict Israel with. You mean to tell me that God brings disease and pestilence? Sometimes. At least that’s what this passage says. Sometimes He brings it. Sometimes He just allows it. But all the time, He is in control of it. Why? Because He uses it for His purposes. In this case, He was using pestilence on Israel to wake them up. He was using it to spank them. Why do you spank your kids? To afflict them. To afflict them in order that they won’t do something really harmful to themselves. God told Israel that He was going to afflict their bodies. He was going to afflict their bodies so they would wake up. Because if they didn’t wake up and begin to truly serve God, He would eventually have to judge them. And in the big scheme of things, God’s affliction is a cake-walk compared to His judgment. Look at how He describes the way He will afflict their bodies. He pictures groups of people quarantining themselves together in buildings. Then one-by-one they all die. But people are so scared of the pestilence, they are even unwilling to deal properly with the dead. As you read of the plagues throughout history, that is common with all of them. Whole buildings are burned in order to avoid contacting the contaminated dead. Now, here’s the ironic thing. What is Israel’s attitude toward God in this whole thing? They say not to mention His name. That sounds strange to us doesn’t it? From our perspective, we can look at that two ways. If God were to bring a pandemic on us, who would most people look at to fix it? Government? Science? Probably. But what would the “religious” folks say? Remember, these Israelites were “religious” people. What do we say most of the time when something tragic happens in our lives? Oh, Satan’s attacking me. Hmmm, do you ever think we give Satan too much credit sometimes? Do you suppose that God might be trying to get your attention for some reason? Maybe the first question you need to ask is not, Why is Satan attacking me like this? Maybe the first question you ought to ask is, What is God trying to teach me through this affliction? Remember, either He caused it or He allowed it. Israel didn’t do that. They said, “Hold your tongue—don’t bring God’s name into this.” Don’t ask Him what’s going on. Don’t look to Him in humble repentance. Just burn your dead and move on. God afflicted the bodies of His complacent people to try to wake them up. But they slept on. So He afflicted their buildings. Look with me in verse 11:

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Federico Molera

commented on Jun 20, 2015

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