Summary: God has worked in unconventional ways and through unconventional people throughout history. Here’s a look at one and a modern application.
Clothes Don’t Make The Prophet
A. God rarely works His will in a conventional way. (Isa. 55: 8)
1. O.T. examples
a. He destroyed mankind with something they’d never seen, rain.
b. Deut. 7: 7-8
c. The crumbling of the Walls of Jericho
2. N.T. examples
a. Luke 10: 17 The 70 returns and are excited. Read vs. 21
b. Take the back seat. Luke 14: 7-14
c. He who losses his life for my sake shall gain it. Luke 9: 24
d. I Cor. 1: 21 & 25-29 Key word “foolish/foolishness”
3. God’s Angels (uh-oh)
a. Heb. 13: 2
b. What are they? Messengers from God doing the will of God.
c. They will not bring a new or contradictory message. Gal. 1: 6-8
B. Man has a way of making up his mind about things and then refusing to be confused with the facts/truth.
1. Didn’t this happen in re: Christ and O.T. prophecy?
a. What, no earthly kingdom?
b. What, no Prince Charming?
c. What, no Savior to kill those that oppress us?
d. What, only a chosen few to know and share in His birth?
e. What, no gold plated chariots for His arrival to His earthly base of operation?
2. Too many times we rely on perceptions and first impressions which can be eternally deceiving. In today’s lesson, I want to look at one by name and one that is actually a collective entity.
II. Body: Clothes Don’t Make the Prophet
A. Amos: has been described as one, who if he were alive today, would be wearing overalls, brogan shoes, and have callused hands.
1. He was from Judah but sent to Israel circa 760-750 BC.
a. This was a time of prosperity that rivaled that of Solomon’s day.
b. The poor were being exploited and again idolatry had crept in.
c. He was a shepherd and a fig harvester. Amos 1: 1 & 7: 14
1. Being a shepherd in that period wasn’t a noble occupation in the eyes of the world.
2. Financial success was a measuring rod of Heavenly blessings or one’s closeness to God in the society.
3. Amos didn’t carry much clout in his day among his people.
d. It was customary in this time for kings to raise up prophets/priests who would tell them what they wanted to hear. (Amos 7: 10-12)
2. Let’s briefly examine Amos’ prophecies.
a. In the sense that the destruction of all those mentioned came about, he fit the universal definition of a prophet.
b. He spoke the words God gave him but were they a new revelation to Judah and Israel?
1. No! Deut. 8: 10-20 & Deut. 28: 33
2. If they had studied their Torah instead of their bank accounts and their full bellies, their demise could have been avoided.
3. We’ll refer back to this later but for now let’s move on.
3. Points to Ponder
a. Only God would send a Rebel into Yankee territory to prophesy against them and protect the prophet from harm.
b. Just because the prophet didn’t meet their approval in regards to his message, looks or status didn’t mean his message wasn’t authentic and deserved careful consideration.
c. Two aspects to prophecy.
1. It is the regurgitation of words (to a specific audience) by a prophet that God spoke directly to for a specific purpose.
2. It can come from properly discerning truths God has given us indirectly in the scriptures. (indirect only in the sense that we have the recorded version of the direct words: the Bible)
a. Read Proverbs & Ecclesiastes and look back over your life and the lives of those close to you; you’ll see these truths have come true repeatedly.
b. See the application of the concept in Amos’ prophecy?
c. There is a scriptural, predictable blessing/consequence in obeying/disobeying God’s tenets. It’s not supernatural; it is fact and we can predict it with certainty.
B. What about the Modern Day prophets?
1. We have the complete Bible, why do we need prophets today?
a. A prophet is more than a seer.
1. He/she was/is God’s mouthpiece. (but we have the Bible!)
2. The modern prophet is a student of God’s word and (like the prophets of old) is able to warn of impending dangers.
3. Many modern prophets speak God’s unchangeable truths coupled with experience, not (supernatural) experiences.
a. Have you ever tried to prove God wrong? Could you?
b. Will you waste that wisdom or share it?
b. Many false prophets today claim new revelation from God but sadly it usually involves an exchange of cash for something.
1. Let’s refer back to Gal. 1: 6-8.
2. Salvation is free but it comes with a price. (Jo. 3: 16)
3. Putting monetary value on a “so-called” gift from God is a scary offense; remember Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8?