Summary: Despite the fact that mankind continually rebels against God, He consistently displays His love and desire for personal relationship by speaking.
1. The first truth about the way God speaks concerns the man God speaks through
2. The second truth about the way God speaks concerns the days God speaks in
3. The third truth about the way God speaks concerns the Word God speaks
There was a middle aged woman who had a heart attack and went to the hospital. They had to do surgery and while she was on the operating table, she had one of those near-death experiences. She saw a long tunnel with a bright light at the end of it. The light spoke and she realized it was God. When she realized it was Him, she asked Him if her time was up. God spoke to her and told her, “No. You have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live.” The next thing she knew, she woke up in the recovery room. Knowing that she had that much longer to live, and wanting to make the best of it, when she recovered, she went to see a plastic surgeon about some cosmetic surgery. She got a nose-job, a face-lift, liposuction and a tummy tuck. She had the doctors unsag all the sagging places and tighten up all the loose places. When she recovered from all that, she went to the cosmetologist. She got her hair dyed, her new face painted, her new body tanned, and her nails done. After everything was coated, painted and dried, she left the shop. After she walked out of the door, she started to cross the street and got run over by a bus and killed. When she got to heaven, she questioned God. “I thought you said I had another 43 years left?” God squinted up His eyes and said, “Oh, that was you—I didn’t recognize you!” The moral of the story is, watch out if you think you’re getting a private word from God. It might change your life, but you’ll probably get run over by a bus anyway. People are hungering to hear a private word from God, aren’t they? Just turn on so-called Christian TV sometime. Most of the folks on there are talking about some private revelation they got from God. And they say you can get one too if you send your money to them. Look at all the shows on TV that deal with psychics and mediums. If you want to sell a book, say that your writing about some secret message you have from God. It’s a shame that even happens in Christian bookstores. Two of the biggest sellers in Christian bookstores over the past several months were written by people who claimed to have gotten extra-biblical personal revelation. One guy took a trip to heaven and came back to write about it. And another guy took a trip to hell and came back to write about it. And they sold like wildfire. Because people are looking to hear a word from God. The problem is, they’re looking in the wrong places. They’re looking for something new and novel. Some hidden secret or code. But that’s not how God works. The fact is that God speaks. And when He speaks, it’s not a mystery. It’s not a private thing. It’s not a secret or code you have to figure out. And it’s certainly not something you have to pay money for. Despite the fact that mankind continually rebels against God… He consistently displays His love and desire for personal relationship by speaking. The two verses we’re looking at tonight serve as the introduction to God speaking through His prophet Amos. It is an example to us of how God unambiguously speaks to get His message of grace and judgment of righteousness across to His people. I want each of us here tonight to see that God is still speaking that message today. And when we hear Him speak, I want each of us to avoid His judgment by responding to His message of grace and clothing ourselves in the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three consistent truths about the way God speaks. The first truth concerns the man God speaks through. Look at the first part of verse 1.
The first truth about the way God speaks concerns the man God speaks through. So, who was this guy, Amos? Well, first, he’s not mentioned anywhere else in Scripture. Everything we know about him comes from this book. He was from the little town of Tekoa. Calling it a town might be an exaggeration. Tekoa was about 5 miles southeast of Bethlehem. You know, the one we sing about: “Oh little town of Bethlehem.” Well, little tiny Bethlehem was where folks from Tekoa went when they went to town. Tekoa was rustic. It was back-woods. Nothing went there and nothing of any substance came from there. The name itself indicated it was just a stopping off point for sheepherders. Almost like a camp spot rather than a real town. We get more insight into who Amos was over in chapter 7:14-15. There he tells us that he was not only a herdsman, but he was also a gatherer of sycamore fruit. Some people have mistakenly taken this to mean that he had his own herds and orchards. Really, he was just a poor shepherd. He tended other peoples’ flocks and ate what the really poor folks of the time ate. He picked the figs off the wild fig trees. Where he was from made him a nobody. What he did for a living made him a nobody. And who he was kin to made him nobody. Back in 7:14, Amos told Israel’s leadership that before God called him, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son.” He wasn’t related to anybody special. His name didn’t mean anything to anybody. Any way you want to look at it, Amos was a nobody. On top of all that, he wasn’t even from the same country he was prophesying in. He was from the southern kingdom of Judah and God told him to prophesy in the northern kingdom of Israel. And, even though Israel and Judah weren’t enemies, they were in pretty serious competition with one another. So, he was a nobody and an outsider. He didn’t fit in with people in his own country of Judah, much less the folks of Israel. So, if Amos was that much of a nobody and an outsider, why did God choose him to carry His prophetic message? Don’t you think God would have been better off choosing one of the big-named priests? Or even better yet, don’t you think He would have been better off choosing one of the kings? At least somebody from Samaria, the capital of Israel. Or if it had to be an outsider, at least somebody from Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. But, no. God chose Amos. An outsider who was a no-name nobody from nowhere. Why did God choose him? Because nobodies are who God likes most to choose. Turn over to 1 Corinthians 1.