The Judgment Of God
Book of Amos Chapters 1-4
Amos was a fiery preacher and God’s prophet, but most all the things we know about Amos we find in the book that bears his name.
Amos is not mentioned in any other book of the Bible.
Amos was a native of Tekoa a place about 6 mile from Bethlehem in the Southern Kingdom but God sent him to the Northern Kingdom to do His work.
Amos may not have been just a poor shepherd because according to the Hebrew word used for shepherd, Amos could have been a breeder of sheep.
It is possible that Amos raised large herds of sheep.
And also possible that Amos managed a large grove of Sycamore trees.
BUT, Amos described himself simply as a simple farmer called of God.
Amo 7:14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
Amo 7:15 And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
Amos was a true prophet of God and he had the courage of a prophet called of God and remember the words of a prophet of God had to always be true.
Num 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
The only prophet that was different as far as we know was Moses who had a special task.
Num 12:7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
Num 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
In time there became what we would call prophetic order of men called of God probably begun at the time of Samuel.
Amos said he had never belonged to such an order.
The 16 prophets in which we have books, were called of God, commissioned, and entrusted with the messages of God to His people.
They were not only prophets but also historians, and preachers of patriotism and had morals that were based on the Word of God.
It was also their intention to influence the politics of the government to follow the Word of God!
Amos’ most important job was to reveal God’s will to all mankind.
Most every prophet also foretold of the coming of Jesus Christ.
Amos’ main target was the Northern Tribes of Israel and Amos preached the coming judgment of God!
We must remember all the books of the prophets were written as much for us as they were for the people of that day.
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: “and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come”.
And these things were written to teach how to live godly lives.
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
The Book of Amos was written to call Israel to repentance and obedience to the Word of God to avoid the judgment of God.
We can also learn this valuable lesson.
So let’s begin:
*****Amo 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen 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.
Amo 1:2 And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.
To understand better the time of Amos we need to take the time to read in the Book of Kings from the time of Uzziah of the Southern Kingdom and Jeroboam II of the Northern Kingdom.
To relate the message of Amos to our life today, we need to remember those times when we have been told, “this is your last chance”.
In most cases it meant one last chance to change our behavior or else?
The “else” that Amos was referring to was the “judgment” of God!
Amos made it very plain, these were not his words but that this message was from God Himself as it was from all God’s prophets!
There are so many today that preach the God of Love and this is certainly true.
There are many today that preach a prosperity gospel and it is true that God will provide our needs but He did not promise to make us all rich.
There are very few that preach the “Judgment” of God and if these other things are true then we must accept that we can make God angry and God will one day reach a point where He will simply say “I’ve had enough”.
There are those that preach that Amos only pronounced “judgment” on the Northern Tribes but they simply did not read the book.
Before God allowed Amos to preach “judgment” on Israel, the Northern Tribes, God mentions the nations that surrounded Israel in that day but also today.
Amos preached the judgment on Damascus, which is Syria, a cruel people.
Amos preached the judgment of Gaza, the Philistines in that day the so called Palestinians of today a callous people.
Amos preach the judgment Tyre, Phoenicia in that day but does not exist as a state today. They were a disloyal people.
Amos preached the judgment of Edom. Edom does not exist today as a state but they were an unmerciful people.
Amos preached the judgment of Ammon, now Jordan, they were a covetous people.
Amos preached the judgment of Moab, they were a vengeful people.
And before Amos preached the judgment of Israel, he preached against Judah, modern day Israel, a disobedient, and unfaithful people.
And finally Amos preached the judgment of Israel, a hypocritical people.
You see like a Lion the Lord will roar from Zion!
The message of Amos was judgment on all the people of this world that do these things!
*****Amo 2:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;
Amo 2:7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:
Amo 2:8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
We should also be clear that God’s judgment will be on His own people first.
God’s people will be the first to given an account for their own works after salvation.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
God will judge the Church first then the rest of the world.
God has said that there was to be a treaty of brotherhood among all human beings, and we can see how we have all failed.
We are to love one another no matter our race, our color, or our nationality after all we all come from the Living God!
The people of Judah and Israel were not accustomed to such preaching especially by such a man as Amos who was not connected to the line of Aaron or Moses or any of the priesthood.
Israel lived understanding that they were the chosen of God and above God’s judgment which is not true.
There is no one above the “judgment of God!
The truth of God is that He is Love.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
God will continue to bless all people while He patiently waits on them to repent and turn from their wicked ways, right up until the time that He decides it is time for judgment.
Right up until the time when He says, “this is your last chance”!
What had Israel done? They had denied the power of God and turned to idol worship.
They had denied the salvation of the God who had set them free from the bondage of Egypt and claimed that power actually came from a false god.
They had rejected all the prophets of God. (It is during this time of Amos that we also find Jonah and Hosea)
They had rejected those who had pronounced their claim to be Nazarites who also witnessed for the Lord.
They had actually persecuted all those that remained true to God!
They had actually tried to force God’s people to to violate their commitments they made to the Lord.
All these things sound so familiar to what is going on in our world today even in America.
The terrorists and the governments doing the same thing, trying to rid the world of God’s people.
While pretending to be God’s people they had become deceitful.
They were hypocrites!
They drank the wine of the condemned in the house of their god!
And what was the best example in the history of this people?
*****Amo 2:9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.
Amo 2:10 Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
Amo 2:11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD.
Amos had preached that the sins of terrorism and barbarism were truly great and would be judged.
Amos had preached that civilizations that made slaves of the poor and abused the needy would be judged even more harsh.
Israel had great victories but those victories had come by the hand of God.
It was God that had destroyed the Amorites.
These were a people full of passion and pride and all sorts of immorality. So much was the destruction of this people that they are no longer remembered except on some ancient Egyptian monuments.
This thing had followed the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt and their 40 years in the wilderness.
In fact they had spent 40 years in the wilderness because they had a deadly fear of these same Amorites.
It had been by God’s mercy that Israel had been blessed.
But, It was God who had called the prophets who spoke only the words of God.
And, It was God who had called for the Nazarites who showed the way of God through the way they lived.
When we deny the power of God we will spend our days in wasted lives.
It is God who destroys our enemies.
It is God who provides a plan of salvation.
No matter what we think we have gotten for ourselves, it was God that provided it.
When we deny God’s power we are wasting our time praying because the object of prayer is seek the God of all power!
This world we live in better wake up because to persecute God’s messengers brings the downfall to every nation.
To persecute God’s people will bring the wrath of God!
We live in a world that simply refuses to hear about their sin, so they truly do not want to be around a righteous person.
A righteous person is only those that follow the teachings of the Word of God!
Persecuting the people of God was accepted by society in the day of Amos and we can see that persecuting God’s people is accepted by society in the world today and yes even in America!
God only has one choice and this world is making it for Him!
God will judge each nation and then the world!
None of these will escape the wrath of God!
God says no one is swift enough nor strong enough to escape (vs14)
God says no nation has enough military power to defend against His judgment (vs15)
God says there is simply no one that can stand up to Him in this world (vs16)
The absolute worst sinner in this world is not the mass murderer or the ones who are the most evil.
The worst sinners in this world are the hypocrites who profess to believe upon the Lord but are deceiving those who truly believe.
Those that profess they know the Lord on a personal level and then live their own life by their own rules are hypocrites.
Israel had become a nation of hypocrites!
Tit 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
We are warned specifically about these things:
1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jn 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Chapter 3 is more about how to avoid the “Judgment” of God. God had chosen the nation of Israel to bring His message to the world and they had rejected this purpose and rejected His privileges and therefore they would see His “Judgment”.
We must remember that the Living God has offered every human being the opportunity to walk and talk with Him and most of the world still rejects His offer. Therefore most of this world will see the soon coming “Judgment” of God.
As we continue we will see that God’s “Judgment” will fall on an unrepentant people who have been given many opportunities to do so.
Selfishness, stubbornness, and hypocritical worship will bring the “Judgment” of God on every people!
The answer to all these things is repentance.
Chapter 4 is about repentance.
This is not the repentance of Judas who was very sorry for what he had done but his heart was still unchanged.
True repentance is a change of mind, a change of our purpose in this life, a complete change of direction of where we were headed.
This is the only repentance that will bring forgiveness of sins!
It takes a true realization of our sin.
It takes a true realization of God’s mercy.
It takes a true hatred for any and all sin.
It takes a true walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The truth is stubbornness will result in the “Judgment” of God.
In the past God has used famine as a means of discipline and I am sure He may still use this and other things today.
The truth is discipline means that “Judgment” has not yet come.
God will make use of famine.
Amo 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
The truth is, we live in cursed world and many evils may come upon us which we may be innocent in relation to them, but God’s discipline is for the sin we know we have.
When we know what God expects and He gives a complete list, so we are without excuse, then to do those things is just being stubborn and in open rebellion to the Word of God.
If there is a famine then we should ask ourselves what are we doing wrong and repent.
We should consider that even if God did not cause a situation, He did allow it for some reason and God judges sin, but rewards good works even though good works cannot get you into a personal relationship with God.
We should also consider that God has a reason for everything He does and “Love” and “Concern” are His two greatest reasons.
Afflictions are designed to humble us to the point of asking why and then we can look in the mirror of our lives to get the answer.
God will do the same thing to a government that He will do to a person and God sometimes uses human wickedness and we can see this in America today. We should see this as discipline to give us time to repent before “Judgment” come, for it will certainly come without repentance!
Cleanness of teeth means that Israel had a lack of food in all their cities.
They had a cupboard or a pantry that just did not have enough food in it to sustain good health.
But they refused to repent!
So God added drought.
*****Amo 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.
Sometimes when we will get so relaxed in our lifestyle that God will do things to make us uncomfortable.
In America we have when many other nations to do have.
Notice here that God had sent the drought early enough that if Israel would repent then the crops could have been saved but they refused to repent and their hunger increased, their lack of food increased.
We can see that God even showed favor to one city more than another to show His power over nature. Some suffered for thirst while some had plenty. Some gardens suffered while other gardens produced plenty.
This was done to show them the error of their ways but they would still not repent but we can be sure they blamed God for their misery.
When we are foolish enough to blame God for our misery but still to foolish to repent this in itself should show us how foolish we truly are.
If it is truly an act of God then God teaches us how to avoid such things so these things are really an act of sin and sin is to be blamed!
Sin is anything that goes against the Word of God!
*****Amo 4:8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Many would leave their homes to find a place where things were better but so many would do this that that new home would soon be the same and they would be lacking again.
If they had stayed at home and changed their ways then things would have been much better but they refused to repent.
The truth is God has much more patience than most people have stubbornness but even the patience of God has it’s limits.
The more stubborn people are, the more discipline is required.
*****Amo 4:9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Blasting is what we would call “blight”.
Blight effects plants sometimes causing the whole plant to whither and sometimes only the leaves, or the blossoms, or the fruit will shrivel up as if they were scorched.
In America we sometimes call boils or eruptions in the skin as blight.
Blight has the meaning of to prevent or to frustrate growth and or fertility.
This was God’s intent!
Mildew can be said to be paleness of the skin in people who are afraid but in most cases it refers to the corrosion of plants or stains on objects caused by moisture.
The Palmer-worm is thought to be a type of locust that devours plants and are a nuisance to humans.
What this verse is saying is that God brought economic devastation to these people in ways that that they knew came from Him but they still would not repent.
We wonder sometimes why our economy just does not seem to get better, well instead kicking God out of every door and laughing at the Word of God, maybe we just need to repent and change our evil ways.
If we would return to the Lord, things could be so much better but we simply allow a very small portion of our population, who so engrossed in sin and in power to control, to dictate the sin in our nation. Until we take a stand on the Word of God, things simply will not get any better no matter who sits in the White House.
SO, When we refuse to repent it then hits closer to home.
*****Amo 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
There are always those that have no fear of drought.
There are always those that have no fear of doing without food.
There is no one that does not have a fear of disease and plagues.
And, Not everyone can protect themselves from the murderers and the terrorist.
And no one likes to live in a place where it just stinks all the time.
The Lord sent sickness and disease to all of Israel.
The Lord sent military defeat and many of those young sons were killed in lost causes by governments that rejected the Lord.
Rejecting the Lord is harmful to all people in all cultures and all societies.
Life without God is a life of misery!
Misery is the force of human depravity!
But Israel still would not repent.
*****Amo 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
There is no one with any sense that does not realize the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and God destroyed these places with fire and brimstone.
In all of Israel, there were catastrophes to cities and to homes where some only escaped with the clothes on their backs.
It’s amazing how stubborn these people were but yet we can see these same things happening today and yet those causing much of the problems we face, deny the wrath of God and say we have only a God of love.
God certainly has more love than He has wrath but one moment of the wrath of God is still the most destructive thing that can be witnessed on this earth.
When we have a tendency to disregard what God has done in the past saying He will not do those things again, then we are fools!
All these things are only examples what our God is capable of to those that reject Him!
When discipline just will not work then God only has one alternative.
The truth is that people only go to Hell because they have chosen too!
Therefore these are the reasons for God’s “judgment”!
*****Amo 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.
There is one truth that holds to every human being that has ever lived on this earth, “judgment is certain”!
The “judgment” of God is inescapable.
Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
When we reject the truth of God then along with the other things we may think we can do, we certainly had better be prepared to meet the One and the Only Living God!
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
These words are just as true as all the Word of God.
This is the same God of creation who is denied by most of the world.
This is the same God that has revealed Himself to Israel and then to all the world but is denied by most.
This the omnipotent God of all power who it was that has established all the laws of nature and who controls all the things of the day and of the night, here and throughout all that we can see.
This the same omnipresent God who dwells wherever He chooses and we simply cannot go anywhere where He is not present.
This is the Lord God of all the Angels and rules over all life in Heaven and on Earth.
We must not be fooled by this world, “judgment” is guaranteed!
Judgment is inescapable!
The only hope for all people is repentance and then forgiveness!
The sad part is that many will never come to the Lord and repent and the Book of Revelation was written for this purpose and in the end God simply says these words.
Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
God will come as a thief in the night and while the world is still going about it’s routine of evil, this world will get to see the God that they have rejected and it will not be a pleasant day.
When the Lord comes it will be done very quickly!
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Who in their right mind wants to see the God of Wrath! I know I do not.