Summary: The visions of Amos - God’s Warnings - Locusts, Fire, A Plumb Line, and Ripe Fruit
Dakota Community Church
May 23, 2010
As we wrap up the final three chapters of the book of Amos (Which in all honesty could take several weeks) we will be looking at some important recurring scriptural themes. These will include:
• God’s warnings of impending judgment – the visions of Amos
• God’s mercy triumphing over judgment
• Human opposition to God as judge and to His messengers of judgment
• Ultimate fulfillment of justice
• Salvation of a faithful remnant
1. God’s warning – locusts, fire, a plumb line & ripe fruit
1 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the second crop was coming up. 2 When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, "Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!"
3 So the LORD relented. "This will not happen," the LORD said.
4 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. 5 Then I cried out, "Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!"
6 So the LORD relented.
"This will not happen either," the Sovereign LORD said.
7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. 8 And the LORD asked me, "What do you see, Amos?"
"A plumb line," I replied.
Then the Lord said, "Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
9 "The high places of Isaac will be destroyed and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined; with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam."
1 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2 "What do you see, Amos?" he asked.
"A basket of ripe fruit," I answered.
Then the LORD said to me, "The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
3 "In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD, "the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!"
“Many, many bodies flung everywhere!”
Should God really be doing this kind of thing? Flinging bodies around; let’s be honest this offends our modern sensibilities. We read the Old Testament and think, “God is a horrible bully.”
How do we arrive at wrong conclusions? We begin with our opinion and look for counterfeits.
We are supposed to begin with the Word of God and bend our opinions to it, studying the original – the revealed word.
The problem is we have lost the understanding of just how serious sin is.
With that gone we cannot arrive at an accurate picture of justice.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
Notice how we are wired for the law. Pre-fall that is all we needed; just obey the one law!
The promise was DEATH – now.
Open treason against God is JUSTLY punished by death.
Try that anywhere on earth – tell the reigning authority that you will not serve it, that you will go your own way.
It is the mercy of God that allows any of us to keep breathing.
25 "Yet you say, ’The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed he will die. 27 But if a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will save his life. 28 Because he considers all the offenses he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ’The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
30 "Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!