AMOS CHAPTER 1 - THE PROPHET OF GOD'S JUSTICE
. AMOS – CHAPTER 1
THE PROPHET OF GOD’S JUSTICE
Tuesday, October 15, 2019, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Amos 5:24: Let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Prophet Amos took a machine gun approach to his work. He addressed all the surrounding territories adjacent to Israel and pronounced judgment by fire. His pronouncement of judgment begins with For three transgressions and for four, I will not turn away its punishment. Their sins have risen to such a height, God will not turn away the punishment. Amos presents God as passionate concerning His justice. Justice is relational. It promotes good relationships between people and nations. Injustice breaks down good relationships and breeds anger, hostility and violence. God created us to enjoy good relations with Him and with each other.
The prophet saw the words which were revealed to him in a vision. John said he saw the voice that spoke to him (Rev. 1:12). I have been blessed to see the words written out for me to preach and prophesy in both dreams and visions. It is very helpful. I would like to see the words I am to preach and prophesy all the time.
I will take the liberty of claiming to identify with Amos in that my grand father’s name was Amos. I am the daughter of a farmer.
Amos 1:1The words of Amos, who was among the sheep breeders of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
Tekoa was a small town at the edge of the Judean wilderness about five miles southeast of Bethlehem. Amos was not a hired shepherd, but the owner of one or more flocks of sheep. He prophesied at the time King Uzziah of Judah and King Jeroboam of Israel formed an alliance and together ruled for a brief time an area nearly as large as the empire of David and Solomon. (760-750 B.C.)
The earthquake is known as Amos’ earthquake because he prophesied the earthquake at the temple of the golden calf in the city of Bethel two years before the earthquake. Amos spoke of the land being shaken (8:8); houses being smashed (6:11); altars being cracked (3:14); and even the Temple at Bethel being struck and collapsing (9:1). The prophet’s repeated references to the earthquake are why it bears his name. Excavations in Hazor reveal traces of an earthquake which has been dated to about 760 B.C.
Amos 1:2And he said:
“The LORD roars from Zion,
And utters His voice from Jerusalem;
The pastures of the shepherds mourn,
And the top of Carmel withers.”
Joel 3:16 repeats the motto of Amos: "The Lord also will roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem," and adds the seismic theophany imagery "the heavens and the earth shall shake.” After describing a future earthquake and panic during the "Day of the Lord" at Messiah's coming to the Mount of Olives, Zechariah says, "Yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah" (Zechariah 14:5). (230 years after the oracle of Amos.)
There is nothing “minor” about the Prophet Amos. The weight God placed on this message is immeasurable. God expected people to hear His true prophets and respond to their message. Their messages demanded response, and the populace could not ignore them.
Amos had a relatively short word and preached it to a small audience. Based on one man with one message, God intended that all of the Northern Kingdom would hear and repent. The combined voices of all today’s preachers and prophets lack the authority, the focus and the evidence of God’s power compared to the “minor” prophets. However this past Sunday, Prophet Mike Thompson sealed on our congregation the authority of speaking from the Third Heaven. I can assure you that Amos spoke this prophecy from the Third Heaven.
Note the order of the judgment of the nations fighting with Israel begins with Syria. It appears the present judgment of nations has begun with Syria.
Amos 1:3Thus says the LORD:
“For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four,
I will not turn away itspunishment,
because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron.
But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael,
Which shall devour the palaces of Ben-Hadad.
I will also break the gate bar of Damascus,
And cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven,
And the one who holds the scepter from Beth Eden. (Syria)
The people of Syria shall go captive to Kir,”
Says the LORD.
Ben Hadad was the son of King Hazael. Hadad is also the name of the ancient storm god of that area. The inhuman way in which the Syrians treated the people of Israel brought them to this judgment. The Assyrians would batter down the great gate of Damascus and take its people into captivity. Events fell out as Amos prophesied when the Aramaean dynasty collapsed under the onslaught of Tiglath-Pileser in answer to the request of Ahaz, King of Judah (2 Kg. 16:5).
Kir was the original home of the Aramaeans. It is probably a site in Mesopotamia (present day Iraq).
All the sins of these nations against God and Israel are as relevant in the 21st century as they were in 750 B.C. The demonic princes are still strong holds over nations. But our God is sovereign over all nations and His Time is NOW to bring justice. We are watching God’s sovereignty over nations play out before our eyes. Certainly Syria has committed all these sins against God and man.
“It should come as no surprise that Armenia, which is rapidly expanding its booming trade with the Iranians and in April reached a customs cooperation deal with the Islamic Republic, stands poised to function as the chief channel for expanding Iran's business footprint in Europe.” (Jewish Press 10/12/19)
Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Ammon, Moab and Judah all bore the seal of fire. God gives his reason for each judgment:
- Damascus: Because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron.
- Gaza: Because they took captive the whole captivity.
- Tyre: Because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
- Ammon: Because they ripped up the women with child in Gilead, that they might enlarge their territory.
- Moab: Because they burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.
- Judah: Because they have despised the law of the Lord and have not kept His commandments.
We have been declaring the prophecy given by Johnny Enlow on 4/22/19 which is in agreement with Amos’ prophecy 753 B.C:
“My Roar of Justice is now coming with its next wave. What was able to resist My last wave will not be able to resist this wave. I am coming in stronger, harder and higher---and it is going to be disruptive…I am coming in waves because what I am ultimately uprooting, if done all at once, would not just be disruptive but catastrophic. However, be assured that My waves of Justice will not stop until I have changed the direction of your nation and the direction of the world. This is now MY TIME and I will not be held back. I have predetermined that this is the time I go after nations with their appointed destinies. You will do so with Me. We are just beginning.” (Johnny Enlow)
The sealing of the destiny of nations has already been written in the Word of God. I believe the war presently initiated by Turkey against the Kurds is part of this destiny of nations coming into God’s plan.
I don’t have the straight of which nations have aligned with which nations? As I recall, the Kurds have aligned with the Syrian government against Turkey. It appears that Germany, Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iran and the Kurds are all creating alliances and fighting each other.
Guy Becher of the Jewish Press wrote this in an article Saturday: “President Bashar al-Assad’s army, as well as, most important, the Iranian satellite Shiite militias (soon to include Hezbollah) which have received orders to abandon the southern front with Israel and move up north and build defenses against the invasion of Syria by Turkey.
In other words, Trump’s move, leading to Erdogan’s move, has revived the Syrian civil war and the vortex that pulls in Arab violence from across the region. And that, as far as Israel is concerned, is a very good thing…
Using borrowed money, the Bush administration destroyed the ruling Sunni minority, turning Iraq into a Shiite close ally of Iran, even as the Sunnis reorganized as ISIS, throwing fear in the hearts of every Western and Muslim leader for a decade.
Becher argues that by pulling out of northern Syria – but keeping his 2,000 or so US troops in eastern Syria, protecting the Kurds there, and, more important, the gas fields west of the Euphrates – Trump is actually restoring the religious balance in the region and weakening Iran’s hold on the areas alongside Israel’s border.”
At the same time, the U.S. has deployed 3000 troops to Saudi Arabia to deter Iran.
Amos 1:6Thus says the LORD:
“For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four,
I will not turn away itspunishment,
Because they took captive the whole captivity (slave trade)
To deliverthem up to Edom.
But I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza,
Which shall devour its palaces.
I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod,
And the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;
I will turn My hand against Ekron,
And the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,”
Says the Lord GOD.
The Philistines had virtually lost their identity as a distinct people by this time becoming amalgamated with the local inhabitants of the Palestinian coastal plain . The sin of the Philistines was the maintenance of the slave traffic. The Israeli slaves were sold later in the markets of Edom where they were possibly resold. The law of Israel expressly forbade this traffic.
Exodus 21:16And he that steals a man, and sells him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death
The foundation of the entire message of Amos is the certainty that Yahweh has already initiated the punishment on those who have rebelled against him.. Biblical terminology of rebellion becomes rebellion against the authority and sovereignty of God. Yahweh is the sovereign of history and is about to bring the sinful nations under His judgment.
The sex trade industry is part of the prophecy given by Johnny Enlow of the present judgment of the nations: “I am pulling the cloak off the sex trade industry’s untouchables. I will shine My unrelenting spotlight on every pedophile ring on the planet. Yea, every pedophile ring.”
Amos 1:9Thus says the LORD:
“For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four,
I will not turn away itspunishment,
Because they delivered up the whole captivity(slaves) to Edom,
And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
But I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre,
Which shall devour its palaces.”
A covenant of brother-hood refers to a treaty between Tyre and another state. Bother-hood was an essential element of international treaties at this time because they involved mutual obligations between parties which belonged between members of a family. It is likely the covenant mentioned was that established between Solomon and Hiram (1 Kg. 5:12; 9:13). The judgment which was to fall upon Tyre was identical to that of Gaza.
Tyre is in Lebanon and the place of the terrorist group Hezbollah. However, we can take the judgment of breaking a treaty to apply to Turkey as well.
The Phoenicians were perhaps the greatest trading nation of the ancient world and the buying and selling of their fellow men was probably merely one facet of their total business pursuits and corruptions. Tyre had supplanted Sidon as the dominant city by the time of Amos. The sin of the Phoenicians was similar to that of the Philistines.
Amos 1:11Thus says the LORD:
“For three transgressions of Edom, and for four,
I will not turn away itspunishment,
Because he pursued his brother with the sword,
And cast off all pity;
His anger tore perpetually,
And he kept his wrath forever.
But I will send a fire upon Teman,
Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.”
The oracle against Edom moves to the south-east of Israel. The prophet singles out Teman, possibly a city in the south, and Bozrah, an important center in the north. The judgment of God is to fall upon the whole land from north to south. Edom’s sin was against his brother (Jacob and Esau). The reference is clearly to Israel. The indictment expressly states that Edom refrained from exercising compassion and pursued his brother relentlessly and with unremitting anger---his fury flamed unchecked. Such hostility was no doubt shown in the constant harassment by border raids. (This continues to this day.)
Obadiah makes precisely the same point as Amos, that Edom betrayed his kinship obligations to his brother Judah. Edom exploited the collapse of Judah to its fullest extent.
Amos 1:13Thus says the LORD:
For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four,
I will not turn away itspunishment,
Because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead,
That they might enlarge their territory.
But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah,
And it shall devour its palaces,
Amid shouting in the day of battle,
And a tempest in the day of the whirlwind.
Their king shall go into captivity,
He and his princes together,”
Says the LORD.
Ammon occupies much of what is the present kingdom of Jordan. At one period Ammon belong to the Davidic empire but became independent with its own king soon after the death of Solomon.
The particularly inhuman act of murdering pregnant women and ripping their babies out of the womb was not uncommon in times of war. Sadly it is still going on in the Middle East as well as in our own nation.
It was particularly frequent in border warfare where the purpose was to terrorize and also to decimate the resident population. The judgment of Yahweh is described in military terms; the enemy would sweep through Rabbah, the capital of the Ammonites (on the site of modern Amman) like violent winds on a stormy day, dissolving the city in fire and destroying everything that stood before it.
The concept of tempest and whirlwind frequently combine in the prophetic pictures of those catastrophes which would herald the judgment of Yahweh.
The tempest of Yahweh is the form in which His wrath against His foes will take shape, and the judgment thus takes on the form of the coming of the Day of the Lord; not just in eschatological terms but as a specific historical event when God brings war as catastrophic judgment over the whole area. However, all prophecy is a living Word for what it meant then; what it means now; and what it means for the future.
The good news is as we continue this study, there is restoration of Israel prophesied by Amos in chapter 9: 11-15.
It was Amos through whom the most famous prophecy concerning the tabernacle of David was given, a prophecy that foretold the raising up of the fallen tabernacle.
In the 20th century that tabernacle was raised up on May 14, 1948, the day of Israel’s birth.
On that day, I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down. And I will repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins…and rebuild it as in the days of old. I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them. They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. (Amos 9: 11-15)
The spiritual tabernacle of David is the worship of Jesus Christ by both the Jew and Gentile as we gather unto Jesus in unity and love.
Acts 15: 15-17: And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, says the Lord, who does all these things.
We may be watching as the world may soon hear God’s final words and final actions as He brings the nations of the world to their prophetic destiny as He revealed to His prophets long ago.
Lord Jesus show us how to open up the Words of this ancient prophecy for the 21st century.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, J. Keir Howard and Dr. C. R. Oliver, Sealed Unto His Coming. Guy Becher, Jewish Press - Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.