Summary: Amos warned the people not to wait with glee for the Day of the Lord. It would not be a good day for them. We must watch ourselves lest we get whacked by Jesus too.

Are you ready?

-The old Monday Night Football song featured Hank Williams Jr. singing, “Are you ready for some football”?

-The obvious answer for most viewers was a resounding, “Yes!”

-It used to be that those Monday Night games were absolutely worth waiting for

-They were premier matchups of equally matched teams bound to have some wonderful surprises and some extraordinary highlights

-In our texts today, we see a premier matchup of teams that are not equally matched in the least but there are still bound to be some probably not so wonderful surprises but some extraordinary highlights

- Let’s take a look at our texts for today. Let’s start at the beginning with the prophet Amos.

-Amos was one of the first prophets to serve Yahweh (not long after that of Elijah and Elisha) during the reigns of King Uzziah (who reigned from 792-740 B.C.) over the southern two tribes that comprised Judah and King Jeroboam II (who reigned from 793-753 B. C.) over the northern ten tribes called Israel. The main part of his prophetic ministry probably happened from 760-750 B. C.

-This was a time of great prosperity in Israel. King Jeroboam II was evil in the sight of the Lord but won some big military battles, restoring the original borders of Israel. Uzziah was a much better king. He built up a quality fighting force to beat back the Phillistines. He had a well-trained 300,000 man army but his successes led to much pride which brought about his downfall.

-Along with the great wealth and prosperity came, as usual, idolatry, extravagant indulgence, immorality, corruption of the judicial system and the oppression of the poor.

-Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it?

-Apparently, there were many in Amos’ day that looked forward to the day when God would return to make everything right, especially when their enemies threatened their national survival

-There were many who looked to God to deliver them from their adversaries but only half heartedly

-Kind of like the folks that you see reading statements during the sentencing phase of a trial. The family members of the dead victim will get up and rant about how God will certainly exact His revenge on the convicted murderer. I’m sure in their pain they wish that it came true but do they really know what they are asking for? The same judgement may come upon them, especially for their lack of forgiveness.

-How about us?

-Are we guilty of the same offenses?

-Don’t you hope that the police officers will snag the guy who dangerously races past you on the highway but then turn around and pray that there aren’t any police patrolling the area when you are late for work?

-Don’t we expect everyone to get out of our way as we drive down the road but then we get irritated when someone tailgates us when they want to get by us?

-You know, we do double standards all the time. We are experts at it because we are good at justifying.

-One of my seminary professors says, “Justification is inevitable.”

-When we do wrong, we all try to justify our actions to ease our consciences and save face.

-But ultimately all self-justification gets blow away by the holy, righteous, perfect demands of God’s law

-If you break God’s law it will not be good for you. It will be like at Amos says, “It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear.”

-With Halloween on Friday, it reminds me of all those gruesome super scary but super funny (in a way) Halloween movies. The person thinks that they are safe only to find out that Jason or Freddy Kruger is standing right next to them.

-God’s going get you no matter where you try to run or hide.

-It is inevitable.

-However, at the end of our text, Amos says, “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream.”

-How easy is it to stop a river?

-It’s impossible

-When they built the Hoover dam in 1930, they had to divert the Colorado River through four diversion tunnels through the Boulder Canyons walls, joining the water with the Colorado River downstream.

-You can’t build a dam on a river that continues to move and expect it to stand.

-It’s impossible.

-That is because water flows and so does justice and righteousness

-Especially that of Jesus

-Normally, when we think of justice and righteousness, we think of laws and rules and getting what you deserve.

-However, when the terms are used in the Old Testament they are often used as synonyms for mercy and compassion.

-And that is why they roll

-God, because of His great love for us, sent His son, Jesus to roll.

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