Summary: This sermon is a modern day look at what God might say to the United States of America through the Old Testament prophet Amos.
Title: Wake up America
Text: Amos 1:1, 2:1-16.
Location: Sulphur Spring Baptist Church
Introduction: During my first year of Seminary I had a professor named Joel Drinkard who taught Old Testament. One day he came in and passed out something that gave me an idea for a sermon that I have entitled: “Wake Up America.” I have had the opportunity to preach this particular sermon in several different churches during the last 12 years, including Sulphur Spring. However, with the one-year anniversary of the Terrorist attacks of September 11th, coming up soon I felt it would be good to share an updated version of this message with you.
Turn with me to Amos 2:1-16.
Amos was not a professional preacher; in fact he was a shepherd and fig tree farmer. He lived in a small town called Tekoa, which was located about 11 miles from the city of Jerusalem. But God called Amos to be a prophet and gave him a very important message to give to the nation of Israel. Amos made his prophecies during the reign of Jeroboam II, probably between the years of (760-750 B.C.) During this period of time both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah enjoyed great prosperity, and reached new political and military heights. But it was also a time of idolatry, extravagant living, immorality, and judicial corruption. Israel was politically secure and spiritually smug. They were content in their immorality and comfortable in their sin. They were confident they were in the good graces of God.
Amos’ began his prophecy by prophesying about the fates of Israel’s enemies and neighbors. Then when he had the attention of the people, he began prophesying about God’s future judgment and condemnation upon the nation of Israel. God had lost his patience with His unfaithful, disobedient, and covenant breaking people. Amos’ prophecy warned of God’s immanent judgment upon the nation of Israel.
The judgment would be devastating to the people of Israel, but it was not without hope. There would be a remnant left in Israel who would repent of their sins and turn back to God, and as a result , God would have mercy on them. In fact He had a glorious future in store for Israel. The house of David would be restored to the throne and the people of Israel would once again be feasting on wine and fruit in the promise land.
I personally believe there are many similarities to the Israel of 750 BC and 21st Century America. In the view of most people today the United States is the only remaining Super Power in the World. With the fall of Communism, American Democracy has established itself as the form of government by which all others are measured.
Although the American economy has been a little sluggish the last couple of years it is still one of the strongest in the World. In fact what happens in our stock market effects other markets and people all around the world. The very fact that thousands of illegal aliens cross our border every day tells me that people are willing to do anything for a chance to live and work in the United States of America, even if it means breaking the law to do it.
Our military, which had lost some of its respect in the world community, has once again proven itself to be the best-trained and most sophisticated army in the World. They did what many people said couldn’t be done, something that the mighty Soviet Union’s military was not able to do. They defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan, and one of the things that surprised me was how quickly they were able to do it.
But unfortunately the picture of America is not as bright as it may first appear. Crime and violence continue to increase. Especially violence and crimes committed against our children and young people. School shootings like the one at Columbine High School a few years ago have taken the lives of too many of our children and young people. Recently there has been an epidemic of child abductions taking place. Elizabeth Smart’s father appealed to the American public again this week asking for people to pray for his daughter and asking for anyone with information about her whereabouts to contact the police. As most of you know Elizabeth was taken out of her bedroom at gunpoint, while her younger sister watched and while her parents slept in the room down the hall. As a father of three young girls this disturbs me.
But something that is even more disturbing for me as a pastor is that the spiritual outlook of America is darker now than it has ever been before. I agree with Christian Author, Tony Campolo, who recently said, "something has happened to all of us spiritually. Putting it into Biblical language, it seems as though America itself has lost its soul. Something about our collective psyche has died. Apathy and numbness appear to have crept into all of our churches."