Summary: Amos has three visions which demonstrate that there will come a point when God gets fed up and He will not relent from His judgment.
With all the problems in our economy these days, we’ve seen a lot of companies file bankruptcy and go out of business and other companies merging with their competitors in order to stay in business. The latest rumor is that FexEx and UPS are considering a merger with the new company to be called Fed Up. Now that’s a company I could believe in because frankly right now I’m pretty well fed up.
• I’m fed up with the people on both sides of the political aisle who can’t refrain from calling each other names and who can’t treat each other with civility and common courtesy.
• I’m fed up with the person who walks their dog in front of our house and fails to clean up the mess their dog leaves behind.
• I’m fed up with all the road construction in Tucson.
• I’m fed up with our constant obsession with celebrities. I’d like to be able to watch the local news without immediately being taken to Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood.
• I’m particularly fed up with all the coverage of Michael Jackson. I really don’t care who’s going to take care of his kids, where he’s going to be buried, or what will happen to Neverland Ranch.
In fact, I’m a lot like a friend of mine who many years ago started a chain of donut shops here in Tucson called Bosa Donuts. He finally got fed up with the “hole” business and just gave it up.
But the fact that I’m fed up and the resulting consequences of my frustration are nothing compared to what happens when God gets fed up. And this morning as we continue our study in the book of Amos, we’re going to get a very clear picture of what happens when God gets fed up.
The Book of Amos contains two very distinct sections. The first six chapters contain a sermon, or possibly a series of sermons that Amos spoke to the people of Israel. Last week, we looked at his masterfully crafted sermon in Chapters 1 and 2 that came to a climax with God’s pronouncement of judgment on Israel.
Then in the next four chapters, Amos goes on to describe in more detail the charges that God was bringing against His people that were the reason for His judgment. The primary focus of that section was God’s displeasure with the way the well-to-do were mistreating the poor and needy in order to further their own lavish lifestyle.
Although I’m going to come back to a couple of verses in chapter 5 next week, that particular section doesn’t have much bearing on our study of the Old Testament description of the “Day of the Lord”, so this morning we’re going to skip ahead to the second part of Amos, which begins in Chapter 7.
The second part of Amos contains a series of five visions that God gives to Amos that provide some more insight into the judgment that is going to come upon Israel. Four of the five visions are introduced by the phrase “This is what the Lord God showed me…” and the fifth is introduced with the phrase “I saw the Lord standing beside the altar…” In the midst of these five visions, there is a historical interlude that describes the people’s reaction to Amos prophecy.
This morning, we’re going to examine the first three visions and then the next two weeks, we’ll look at the last two. So take your Bibles and open them to Amos Chapter 7. Since we’re only looking at nine verses this morning, let me go ahead and read them out loud. If you have your ESV Bible, I invite you to read them out loud with me.
[Read Amos 7:1-9]
Just as we saw last week, with Amos’ sermon in Chapters 1 and 2, we must understand the structure of these visions in order to properly understand the message and make proper application of the principles that we find there.
1. Vision #1 (vv.1-3)
• The judgment being prepared – locusts
Amos is given a vision of a judgment that God is preparing for His people. The judgment has not yet occurred, so Amos merely gets a picture of what the judgment is going to look life if and when it happens in the future.
The first thing we notice about the judgment is that God is going to carry out His judgment by means of a locust invasion. We’ve already seen in Joel, that locust invasions were quite common in Israel, but once again in this case God makes it clear this is not just some random occurrence, but rather that it is coming from His hand. And when Amos sees this vision, he recognizes right away that this judgment is a direct result of the people failing to obey God’s commands.