Summary: Amos had a message for the entire world, but Israel was in for a real surprise.
I. As I considered the first couple of chapters of Amos, the message that he seemed charged to bring to Israel was really,
A. “Don’t be too proud of yourselves.”
B. “Your not really that much different than those outside the family of God.”
C. I suppose that is a message that more than one prophet was charged with bringing however.
II. As an example, I would like us to consider for a moment the story of David.
A. David was a righteous man; a man after God’s own heart.
B. By 2nd Sam 12 David has been after another heart though.
1. David and Bathsheba had an affair
2. Bathsheba became pregnant
3. David mad attempts to cover up his deed
a. He brought her husband home from the war to “comfort” his wife.
b. The husband however was committed to not finding pleasure, before his men did.
4. When plan A failed, David had Urriah sent to the front lines, and then had the army withdraw, and Urriah was killed.
C. Now God sends Nathan to tell David a story,
1. There were once two men; one rich and one poor
2. The rich man had everything he could dream of; but the poor man had only one little ewe lamb.
3. The rich man needed a lamb for a party, but rather than take one of his many, he took the one from the poor man, leaving him with nothing.
D. David, being a righteous man, burned with anger, “The man that did this deserves to die” he stated.
E. Essentially Nathan says,
a. “Don’t be so proud.”
b. “You are that man.”
III. Not a very comforting or positive message.
IV. In the New Testament, Christ stated the same concept in Matthew chapter 7
A. “Before you judge the speck in your brothers eye,
B. Don’t be so proud,
C. First go and remove the log out of your own eye.”
V. That is the basic message of these first 2 chapters of the prophet Amos.
VI. If we look at a map of the areas that Amos is speaking to it would look like this.
A. Now that map is just a bit difficult for you to make out, so allow me to take the map out, and simply show you the areas that Amos addresses, in the order that he will address them.
B. Now remember that Amos is from Tekoa, which is actually in Judah, just south of Jerusalem.
C. Amos’ first stop is Damascus; followed by Gaza (which is Philisita,) Phoenicia (also called Tyre), Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah, and last but not least, Israel.
D. Now Anna had an interesting question as she looked at this map.
1. “Why didn’t he work his way back from Damascus to his home town?” she asked.
2. Excellent question, why indeed.
The Real Recipient was Israel
I. I believe there are some important concepts to consider in these two chapters, but I believe perhaps one of the most important is that while all the messages are real, and all the prophecies are accurate, God’s true intended audience was actually Israel.
A. Israel was God’s chosen nation.
B. The Israelites were God’s chosen people.
C. It was Israel that claimed to not just follow a god, but to really follow Yehweh, THE God.
D. And yet if you look at all the words, to all these nations, something very interesting happens when you get to the words to Israel in chapter 2, verse 6.
1. Most of the other prophecies were only 2 or three verses long.
2. The message to Israel comprises the longest section of all.
II. What first caught my attention in the prophecy of Amos were the first words to each nation, “For three sins of ______ even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.”
A. We might well expect that God would pronounce judgement on those that do not follow Him.
B. I could envision that, but what might we expect when God is speaking to those that He has specifically called out from the other nations to be His; maybe something like,
1. Now pay attention to what I am going to do to those that do not follow me.
2. Look and pay attention.
3. Get yourselves straight or I will be forced to act.
C. But look at what chapter 2, and verse 6 says, “...For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.”
1. Those are the same words.
2. The same exact judgment.
3. The only difference you might possibly see is that the explanation is a little bit more lengthy.
III. Here is the picture,
A. Israel is basically sitting in the middle of all these other nations,