Tuesday Morning Bible Study

October 30, 2019, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Amos, chapter 3, continues the principle of God that, to whom much is given, much will be required.  For those who are chosen, there is great responsibility.  Election is not merely a form of favoritism; instead we, like Israel, have a special reason to expect God’s judgment upon our sins and failures.  To be chosen by God is to be under more accountability (Lk. 12:48).


For the Church of the 21st Century, Amos’ words of justice and judgment are not just for Israel, but for all nations and peoples of the earth.  In this oracle, the judgment is for the Elect.


Three of the oracles begin with the proclamation, Hear this word; and two commence with the expression Woe.


Amos 3:1 -3: Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.  Can two walk together, except they are agreed?


Where there is not friendship and respect, there cannot be fellowship.


Clearly the prophet is emphatic about the covenant relationship between God and His people.  The fact that Israel had been brought up out of Egypt forms the basis for God’s claim upon and sovereignty over them.


Heb 10:29 - Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?


I do not ever want to displease the LORD and have him speak words against me. 

Within this chapter are five well defined oracles which show the depths to which Israel as fallen.


If the favor and goodness of God does not restrain us from acts of sin, we will not be exempt from punishment.   


Amos proceeds to authenticate both his message and his calling as a prophet.  The sayings are a very skillful linkage of cause and effect.  His questions can only be answered by agreement.  The conclusion of the matter is just as natural events are linked, so too are his words to Israel.


His words are wisdom and observations derived from his life as a shepherd.  Hanging around in that Sycamore tree with other pickers, he obtained the expertise in techniques of proverbial argument. 


Amos 3:4:  Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he has taken nothing?


No! A lion roars upon his prey.  Nor will God give us warning if he was not really about to fall upon people with judgment.  Again we have the metaphor of the “roar of the Lion.”  When the lion roars, judgment is imminent.  The Lord speaking through his word and his prophets are not just threatenings.  It is their own sin that has entangled them. (Vs. 5) Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him?  Nothing but their own repentance can disentangle them. (Vs. 6)  Shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?  (Vs 7) Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD has not done it?


When the prophets speak, they ought to tremble before God, as they would on the sounding of a trumpet.  Yet when God by his prophets gives them notice of their danger, it makes no impression.  The same is true today.  The Words of God which are written are not obeyed or honored even by Christians.


Amos 3:7: - Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets.


This promise is just as true in the church of the 21st century as it was at the time Amos spoke these words.  The secret of God is in a peculiar manner with the prophets, to whom the Spirit of prophecy is a Spirit of revelation.  The prophets have to speak to the people that which God has made known to them.  They receive a command from God to deliver what they have been charged with.  They will be false to their trust if they do not do so.


Amos 3:8 - The lion has roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken, who can but prophesy?


I can consider that preaching the Words of Amos is the roar of the lion. 


Amos has heard God’s voice.  The thunder is rumbling.  The storm is approaching and it is upon Israel (or the Elect/Church) that the storm will break.  Of course we know from history, this is fulfilled prophecy.


The Israelites were not only convicted but also condemned. 


Notice of their soon coming judgment is ordered to be published to their neighbors.  The prophet is ordered to publish it in the palaces of Ashdod, one of the chief cities of the Philistines.  The summons must go even to the palaces of Egypt.  God’s controversies with sinners do not fear a scrutiny; even Philistines and Egyptians will be made to see that the ways of the Lord are equal; but the ways of the sinner are unequal.


 Amos 3:9 -10:  Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.  For they know not to do right, says the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.


Great tumults are indicative of the riots and wars we are presently seeing in the streets of many nations.  This indicates a spirit of lawlessness resulting in oppression and acts of violence.  We can add the lawlessness in Chicago to this.  They do not know how to do right.  It is the business of the church to teach and preach to families to follow after right.  The word right means what is straightforward and honest in contrast to what is false.  In this context Amos seems to use the word to mean what is acceptable and right in relation to civil, religious, and trade practices. 


The fortresses (palaces) had become treasuries in which the rich were able to store the profits of plunder and loot. 


Amos 3:11 - Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down your strength from you, and your palaces shall be spoiled.


Therefore” states the moral logic that due to the aggressive greed of the principal people, that nation would be destroyed.  The Assyrians had already been called upon to witness the evils of the land and now Amos envisages them as the instrument of God’s judgment.


Amos 3:12: - Thus says the LORD; As the shepherd takes out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.


The word for Damascus is only used one time in the Holy Bible.  It is Strong’s H1833, demehshek and means damask or silk.  That helps to make more sense in trying to translate this verse.


This is a parable written and spoken in parabolic language.  A shepherd retrieving part of a sheep from a lion is compared with the situation that will follow the destruction of Israel by the Assyrian onslaught.  This style is that of a popular proverb and was used often by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Such says Amos will be the fate of Israel, the roar of the lion had already been heard and its destructive leap was near at hand.


Even if they escape to Samaria by hiding themselves in the corner of a bed or on a silk couch, they will still be found and taken out.  Their spirits shall be quite, cowed and broken. 


 Amos 3:13 -14:  Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, says the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,  That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.


The God of hosts is the Captain of the Angel Armies.  This is a war cry from the God of hosts.   Woe to their altars for God will visit them.  He will bring into the account all their superstition and idolatry---the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground, and with them the altar itself broken to pieces.  The altars of Bethel symbolize Israel’s religion.  The judgment will be both upon the religious and civil aspects of the nation’s life.


We must believe this is going on in our nation and the nations of the world at this time.  Not only is the media, Washington, D.C., Hollywood, pedophiles, sex-trade, and the Justice system being judged, but those who are “called My Church” are also being judged. 


A fugitive could obtain sanctuary by holding onto the horns of the altar.  


Amos 3:15 - And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD.


Woe to their houses, for God will visit them too.  He will enquire into the robbery they have stored up in their houses, and the luxury in which they lived.  This would also apply to our colleges, and government buildings.   The “Smite” of God is his destruction. 


We have a promise in Gen. 8:21:


Gen 8:21: neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V – I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.  “consider that we now have mass public unrest (on and off in:  France, Spain, and that 24% AFD vote in Germany, and Brexit in the UK; Algeria; Iraq; Lebanon; Egypt; Russia; Hong Kong; Venezuela; Chile; Ecuador; and Bolivia.  Plus deepening polarization in the US---and one could add the middle-class disruption of Extinction Rebellion in Australia, Canada, and others.  In short, there isn’t a continent that isn’t seeing unrest in some form.”  (John Robb International Prayer Alert).


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