If Amos were here today, what would he say to the nations and to the Church? During the time, that Uzziah was king of Judah and Jereboam was king of Israel, Amos denounced the sins of Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon Moab and Judah. Those nations were guilty of unbelievable cruelty, enslaving others, dealing in slave traffic, hatred, inhuman treatment of others and above all else, disloyalty to God the Father and His law. Though Amos was partially successful in interceding with God, judgement finally fell. The Father always provides an opportunity for repentance, but in Israel’s case, their sin was consistent and unending. Judgement became mandatory. Even in judgement, however, there is restoration. Amos 9:11 states ‘In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be.’
If Amos were here today, he would denounce most of the nations of the modern world, and the Church itself, for showing cruelty to others. He would denounce us for enslaving and exploiting the poor in the third world countries by using their labor for tremendous profit. He would condemn us for murdering unborn children as well as neglecting the ones that are born by putting them in day-care centers in the name of pursuing our materialistic goals and careers. In the end, we are no different than those who worshipped Baal, sacrificing their children to obtain materialistic blessings. Above all those things, he would also condemn us for being disloyal to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His commandments.
Amos viewed the sins of Judah and Israel as especially heinous (extremely wicked) because the people were chosen by the Lord and they were especially privileged. Just like the nation of Israel, we are also privileged. We are the chosen ones of the new covenant and, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are able to enter the very throne room of God. We need not employ priests of the tribe of Levi to minister for us – we have direct access to the Almighty, the creator of the universe.
However, just like the nation of Israel, we have chosen to worship idols. In addition, if we say we do not worship the world through its materialism, we are lying. We literally surround ourselves with its idols. Our worship has grown hollow. We have elevated the importance of the accoutrements of praise and worship to an unholy level. One of our sins is that we no longer believe that God has no need for our sound systems, our polished delivery of song and music, our projection TV and our video. Amos chapter 5, verse 23-24, speaks to many of the churches of today saying ‘Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.’ We are performing for ourselves, not worshipping our Father.
Just like the world today, the nation of Israel was the perfect picture of a people living in false worldly security. Amos 6:4-6 states, ‘You lie on beds inlaid with Ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.’ Just like the Israelites, our sin is consistent and unending. We continue to lull ourselves into a materialistically-based false sense of security. The Lord shows us His grace and gives us another chance to repent – to turn to Him, and to seek Him. Instead, the majority seems to drift further and further away.
Our church services wax and wane. When, in response to prayers of the faithful few, the Lord occasionally does show us His glory, we interrupt Him to ensure that our program is completed as we intended. Should the Lord take out our worship leader to stop the music, we call in the second string to keep it going. We are so bold as to say ‘we flow with the Holy Spirit and what He tells us to do’ when we know that the entire Sunday worship service is pre-planned, practiced and on overheads in PowerPoint.
Satan works feverishly to induce obsessive and destructive behavior in order to kill and destroy and we should become just as obsessive and aggressive in seeking the Lord and holiness. Second Chronicles 7:14 says ‘if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive them their sin and will heal their land. We should not let anyone dissuade us from seeking His face and His glory in our lives.
Until recently, our nation has been tremendously blessed by the Lord. Yet, during our generation, having experienced and partaken of those blessings, we have turned our backs on God. Now we are beginning to see judgement looming on the horizon. Many nations would fight for the opportunity to be the instruments of our punishment. While our government has suddenly become very worried about terrorist activity – including the use of thermonuclear weapons, we continue to hide behind our material wealth and possessions, continuing to exercise our false sense of security. Still we refuse to turn to the Lord.
The chosen people of the Lord, the nation of Israel, were punished for their failure to repent and seek God. We should learn from their mistake.
If only Amos were here today.
Please pray with me.
‘Lord, I ask you to open the eyes and ears of the nations and their people and allow us to see our sin in the same way that you do. Help us to see that we must change our minds as to who is in control of our lives and to see that we must forsake the world and its short-lived pleasures and begin to live in holiness. Help us to see that, as a world population, we need to turn to you, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior.’
‘Lord, I know that I fall short of your glory and I accept the fact that there is nothing I can do myself to gain access to heaven and eternal life. I believe that you died on the cross to pay for all of my sins – past, present, and future. I personally believe that you were resurrected and now sit at the Father’s right hand, and I accept your grace and submit myself to your Lordship. I thank you for redeeming me. In your precious and holy name I pray. Amen.’