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Summary: Exposition of Blessings

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Text: Amos 6:1-8, Title: Napping on Ivory Beds, Date/Place: NRBC, 12/30/12, AM

A Opening illustration: watching the ice dancing show at Dollywood yesterday, over analyzing, and wondering

if the people singing actually believe the Christmas carols they are singing. Dollywood has always been

overtly Christian, but I still wondered, because they were using a ice dancing company from NYC. But then I

saw one of the singers who was obviously worshipping.

B Background to passage: Amos prophesied in the northern kingdom of Israel in the 740-50s BC. The people

of Israel, especially the leaders, well-to-do, and the religious elite, were enjoying a second “golden age.”

The whole country was rolling in the wealth of the crossroads of major world powers at the time. So Amos

prophesied that what they “saw as the beginning of a new “Golden Age” was really the last flush of a terminal

illness...Not only was Israel not going to become ruler of the world, within just a few years they would not

exist as a nation at all, and would continue to exist as a people only by the unmerited grace of God. “The day

of the LORD,” far from being a day of light, was going to be a day of darkness.” The reason that the date is

important is that the fall of Samaria was in 721.

C Main thought: We must guard against the mindset of ease and complacency that Satan lays before us.

Untouchable Superiority (v. 1-3)

1 Amos picked out three city-states that encompassed the breadth of the “fertile crescent,” each of which

had suffered invasion/destruction/disaster. He asked Israel if they thought they were better or bigger than

these others. They interpreted their material wealth as an affirmation of God’s favor and blessing. And

they felt entitled to blessing and protection because of their status as part of God’s chosen people. Amos’

point was to say that they too are liable for their own sin, and not entitled to special protection when they

have disregarded all of God’s laws, and abandoned Him as their exclusive God, adopting some of the

foreign Gods and Israelite rulers in His place; especially the image set up by Jeroboam I. In fact, some

of these leaders longed for the “day of the Lord” because they just knew that God would raise the up, and

put down all their enemies. Amos implies that a much more terrible outcome would be if the “day of the

Lord” came.

2 Pro 16:18, Luke 3:8, John 8:39

3 Illustration: Ted Haggard, pastor of New Life Church in CO Springs, founder of the Assn of Life Giving

Churches, president of National Association of Evangelicals, friend of James Dobson was publically

accused of drug use and an illicit homosexual affair. His $140K annual salary, book royalties, $600K

home, marriage, ministry, etc were in jeopardy. After much denial, the accusations proved true, and he

stepped aside. Tarnished all evangelicals, again. He thought he was untouchable…Since then, the church

has laid off 44 employees due to a decrease in attendance and finances. Untold damage.

4 Being a world “superpower” for a century now, Americans have a similar sense of superiority to the rest

of the world. In fact, especially among evangelical circles, our nation is viewed as a divinely ordained

city on a hill to light up the world. Some of the puritans felt that way as they escaped persecution in

Europe and came to a new land to start afresh. Much of the language and arguments within political

evangelicalism talks about the founding of our country on the Judeo-Christian principles (which it was),

then they jump to the conclusion that God would bless his people, his nation, if his people called by his

name...

• But let’s make this a little closer to home. Sometimes we as individuals or New River as a church feels

like it is untouchable. None of us are beyond a major fall. That life will just continue on as normal. That

growth, jobs, workers, money, etc will just continue without any adjustments on our behalf. Some of

you have experienced major struggles this year, and these are good reminders that we are not entitled to

more than others among us that are not good, moral, church going people. We are not untouchable. Our

lives, nor our church is beyond suffering loss or ceasing to exist. Sat with JB in Macon yesterday. He

talked about going on to his heavenly home. Thought about the commitment and investment he made to

NR over the years. The THRIVE team is prepared, not only help cast a fresh vision for our church, but to

show our plateaued status. We live in a different world, and we must reach them; but in order to do so, we

must seek God’s face, and beg Him to draw us close. Our complacency in ministry is an indication of our

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