About Jesus Steve Sweetman
1 says, "woe to you who are complacent".
Complacency is an ever-present sin, in all areas of life and
society. The church today,
at least in my opinion, is pretty complacent, at least when you compare
our churches and Christians today to the zeal that men like the apostle
Paul had. One reason for
this complacency is because we feel "secure", as is also
stated in verse 1. The
security here is really a false sense of security because this security
is not in the Lord but in ourselves.
western nations today have forsaken any security they've had in the Lord
in the past. We are now
secure in ourselves, that's in our military, our economy, and in all
aspects of our nations. Like
in the northern kingdom of Israel, we have a false sense of security.
it comes to the modern day church, many parts of it are simply
humanistic. That is, it's
all about self and our own plans and our own way of doing things.
We exclude the Lord from our churches in many ways as seen in the
church of the book of
Revelation. The Laodicean church was secure in its wealth, much like the
individual western Christian is today.
There is a lesson for the Christian in all of this, and that is,
don't let personal wealth and prosperity draw you away from the Lord.
are 3 cities mentioned in verse 2. The
first two, Calneh and Hamath were Assyrian cities.
The third one, Gath
, was one of five important Philistine cities.
All three of these cities fell.
The point that Amos is making here is that if these three great
cities fell, how and why should the northern kingdom think she could not
fall like them.
3 says that "you (Israel) put off the evil day and bring near a reign of terror".
I believe this means that
4 really sounds like the life of luxury the western world has
experienced in days past. Israeli's
lie in beds of ivory, lounge around, and dine at the best restaurants,
so to speak. It was a life of luxury, but a life without the blessing of
God. In part, luxury and
materialism replaced their worship of God.
5 and 6 continue with examples of the lifestyle the Jews were living in
the northern kingdom. They
played on their harps. They
were a nation of entertainers. They
lounged around listening to the latest pop songs of their day.
They might well have made these entertainers into superstars as
we do today. They also drank
the finest wine, and not just a little wine, but "bowlfuls" of
wine. It appears that Israel
was living a pretty hedonistic way of life.
6 also says, "but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph".
These Jews were living such a hedonistic way of life that they
failed to see where their nation had gotten.
They failed to grieve over the fact that they had lost their way
before their God. I suggest
that the western world has done the same.
We have lost our way and we don't even grieve over the fact that
also don't grieve over the fact that church in many respects has lost
its way as well. We
certainly need the Lord to pour out on us a spirit of supplication
7 is devastating. It reads,
" therefore you will be the first to go into exile, your feasting
and your lounging will end". Judgment
came to the northern kingdom of Israel, and that which God foretold through Amos in this verse came true
within forty years.
the word "first" in verse 7.
"First" implies a second, and the second one to go into
exile was the southern kingdom of Judah that took place a little more
than one hundred years later.
section opens in verse 8 by saying "the Lord has sworn by
Himself", and "He has decreed".
This speaks of a covenant, an agreement, that God makes with
Himself to do something, and, when He agrees with Himself to do
something, you know He will do it. This
is the same terminology used when God made an agreement, or a covenant,
with Himself and spoke to Abraham in what we call the Abrahamic
Covenant. What God covenants
to do, He will do. There is
no doubt about that.
are two things in verse 8 that God abhors.
They are the pride of Israel
and their fortresses. I
suggest that the western world today is full of pride.
The proverb states that pride goes before a fall, and how true
also detests the fortresses of
depends on their military strength alone, God says in verse 8 that He
will deliver up their cities. Their
military will not protect them. Assyria
attacked the northern kingdom of
9 and 10 probably sound a bit confusing, and that is because of the
Hebrew form of writing the Amos is using.
Verse 9 simply states that if 10 men are left in a house after
the judgment, then they too will eventually die.
Verse 10 speaks of the relatives of these men burning the bodies
of the dead. This tells you
the degree to which the Jews sunk. Their tradition was not to burn the
body, but to bury the body. Jews
did not cremate the dead. Pagans
cremated their dead.
relative of the dead then asks someone left in the house if there is any
one else hiding. The one
asked answers, "no". Then
the relative tells that one not to mention the name of the Lord.
I am not one hundred percent sure what this means.
Obviously not mentioning the name of the Lord is not a good
thing, but at this point in time, people might be afraid to mention His
name. Some suggest that if
they mention the name of the Lord God would bring even more judgment on
them than what He already did.
11 says that the Lord has given the command.
The command is for Assyria to attack the northern kingdom of Israel, and as this verse says, not one house will stand.
When the Lord gives the command to judge, there is no turning
back. It's too late to
repent of the national sins. Judgment
is on its way.
important to note that God gave the command to a pagan nation to attack
His own people. God uses
pagans, and even the devil, to implement His plans and will.
That is clearly seen when the devil entered Judas, causing him to
hand Jesus over to the Roman soldiers.
The same will be seen during the Tribulation period that ends
this age when the devil enters the anti-Christ.
12 lists more of Israel's sins. Israel
had turned justice into something that was poisonous.
They had also forsaken righteousness.
13 says, "you who rejoice in the conquest of Lo Debar".
"Lo Debar" means nothing.
rejoiced and got all excited about conquering nothing.
They were too busy lounging around.
The verse goes on to
say, "did we not take Karmain by our own strength"?
"Karmain" means "horn", and the word
"horn" is always symbolic of national strength.
The point here is that
chapter ends with verse 14 when God says that He will cause a nation to
rise up against the northern kingdom of Israel. That nation was