Summary: Just as Israel had a skewed picture of God, sometimes we do too. Instead of seeing God in His fullness, we only pick out certain attributes to focus on like His love and mercy. Do we see God as He is, or made Him into somthing He isn’t?
1. How do you see the Lord? The Lord reveals Himself as:
a. A seeking God (1b-3a)
b. A sovereign God (3b-8)
c. A sifting God (9-10)
d. A saving God (11-15)
2. How does the Lord see you?
a. If you don’t see Him as He’s revealed Himself, He will show Himself to you as Judge (8-10)
b. If you see Him as He’s revealed Himself, He will show Himself to you as Savior (11-15)
Tonight is our last sermon on the book of Amos. Throughout the last 11 sermons, we’ve seen how God used His prophet Amos to warn the people of Israel. Israel was going through an almost unprecedented period of prosperity and they had forgotten God. They hadn’t forgotten religion. They were still very religious. They still went to worship in their places of worship. They still did all the sacrifices. They still tithed their money. As a matter of fact, they even went over and above what the law required. But God sent Amos to tell them how wrong their heart was. How hypocritical they were. How sinful they were. But like so many times throughout their history, they still didn’t get it. They thought they were OK. They were at ease in Zion. So God promised a horrible affliction on them. He promised all the horrible events that would happen about 30 years later when Assyria would invade Israel and destroy Samaria. All of the woes. All of the promises of affliction. All of the declarations of destruction. All of the heavy prophesies and messages of Amos build to a crescendo in this last chapter. In this last chapter, the focus changes. If you remember back through our studies over the past several weeks, I have used the word “affliction” a lot. That’s because Amos’ prophetic messages up till now have pointed to Assyria’s invasion of Israel. That was another example of God afflicting His people in order to draw them to repentance. See, that’s how affliction is different than judgment. I would contend that there are only two times that God has or will judge mankind. The first was at the flood. The next will be the final judgment. One culminated in destruction by water. The other will culminate in destruction by fire. Anything in between those two judgments is affliction rather than judgment. Affliction is for the purpose of showing God’s mercy and grace. Judgment is for the purpose of showing God’s righteousness and holiness. Up until now, Amos has spoken of God’s promised affliction. Those promises were fulfilled. Our passage tonight changes the focus by speaking of God’s promised future judgment. Promises that won’t be fulfilled until the end of time as we know it. Amos started off with a simple statement didn’t he? He said, “I saw the Lord.” It’s a simple statement, but what a profound statement. God revealed Himself to Amos. How do you see the Lord? We’ve all seen the pictures of what some artist thinks Jesus looked like. No offense, but those are absolutely wretched. Most of them have Jesus looking like a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girly-man. He looks more soft than He does sovereign. That’s certainly not what Amos saw. Amos saw the Lord standing upon the altar. God powerfully and authoritatively revealed who He is to Amos. The attributes God revealed to Amos have never changed. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Just like Israel had a skewed picture of God, many times we have a skewed picture of Him. Like those crazy pictures. Instead of seeing God in His fullness, we only pick out certain attributes to focus on like His love and mercy. Do we see God as He really is, or have we done like Israel and made Him into something He isn’t? Tonight, I want each of us to see God for who He really is. To see Him as He reveals Himself in His Word. And when we see Him for who He really is, I want us to make sure He sees us the way He should. In order to do that, we’re going to look at four ways the Lord reveals Himself. The first way the Lord reveals Himself is as a seeking God. Look with me at the second part of verse 1 through the first part of verse 3.
The Lord is a seeking God. Have you ever played peek-a-boo with a small child? It sounds funny, but little children think that when they cover their eyes, you can’t see them. How silly would it be for me to stand up here and cover my eyes and think you couldn’t see me? About as silly as we are when we try to hide from God. God told Israel through Amos that there was no place they could run. There was no place they could hide from His judgment. It brings to mind the scene of the opening of the sixth seal from Revelation 6. Verses 12-17 say, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” When God pours out His judgment, there is no place to hide. If you could dig down to Hell or climb up to the highest heavens, God is there. If you could climb to the top of Mount Everest or dive to the deepest part of the ocean, God is there. If you could get on a rocket ship and fly to the farthest galaxy, God is there. There is no hide and seek with God. Wherever you may try to run, He will seek you and will find you. First, He will seek you with conviction. These words in Amos remind me of David’s words in Psalm 139. Turn with me there. I know it’s an extended passage, but let’s take the time to read the whole thing.