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Summary: Fellowship is dependent upon doctrinal fidelity. Whether co-operation in evangelism, in missionary advance or in worship, all fellowship depends upon doctrinal fidelity.

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“Do two walk together,

unless they have agreed to meet?” [1]

God had blessed His ancient people. However, despite His rich blessings, they chose to rebel. God makes it clear that He is left with no option except judgement. The question selected as the text for the message today, is actually one of a series of questions the prophet asked of the people. Look at the full account of questions posed to the people.

“Do two walk together,

unless they have agreed to meet?

Does a lion roar in the forest,

when he has no prey?

Does a young lion cry out from his den,

if he has taken nothing?

Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth,

when there is no trap for it?

Does a snare spring up from the ground,

when it has taken nothing?

Is a trumpet blown in a city,

and the people are not afraid?

Does disaster come to a city,

unless the LORD has done it?”

[AMOS 3:3-6]

Let’s look at each of these questions, answering them as we read them.

“Do two walk together,

unless they have agreed to meet?”

The obvious answer is, “No, assuredly not!”

“Does a lion roar in the forest,

when he has no prey?”

Again, the reader who is even somewhat conversant with the lions of the Judean desert would respond, “Of course not.”

“Does a young lion cry out from his den,

if he has taken nothing?”

Yet again, the expected answer is, “No, emphatically no.” Just so, the next two questions, included for emphasis demand that the reader respond with a resounding “No!”

“Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth,

when there is no trap for it?

Does a snare spring up from the ground,

when it has taken nothing?”

At this point, there is a change in the questions asked. Almost without warning, Amos changes the question to one which anticipates a positive response.

“Is a trumpet blown in a city,

and the people are not afraid?”

Of course, those living in the city would be fearful should the warning trumpet be blown—it would mean an enemy had been sighted. Then, the prophet poses a final query that again demands a positive answer.

“Does disaster come to a city,

unless the LORD has done it?”

When disaster strikes a city, God has permitted it.

There is a progression from a general question that seems almost innocuous or academic, to a question concerning meeting two animals, to a question of birds and a human trap, to a final climactic question concerning confrontation with Holy God. The theme developed as each question is posed in turn is disaster—especially for the one confronted by the question.

In this message this day, I am focusing on the initial question. It is the most general of all the questions. Bear in mind, however, where God’s interlocutor is moving. He is warning Israel of a disastrous meeting because they have rejected God. The questions posed could readily be applied to the western world in this day.

FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS — Some years ago, a fellow pastor asked why I had not attended any ministerial meetings in the community in which we lived. I knew him to be a good man who loved God; I knew that this pastor wanted to honour the Lord God. I also knew that he was terribly frustrated that his congregation was scarcely interested in the things of the Word. When he approached me with his question, I asked if he truly wanted to know my reason, or whether he was merely making polite inquiry. He assured me that he genuinely wanted to know why I had not accepted any of numerous invitations to attend a ministerial meeting.


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