Amos spoke to God’s people at a time when luxury and self-indulgence took priority over holiness, prayerfulness, and seeking God. He pointed out that they were a powerless people because their disobedience had alienated them from God and provoked Him to turn against them. Alistair Begg reviews the causes of divine alienation and warns that when we tolerate sin in our lives, God may turn His face from us and render us helpless before our enemies.
9Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod
and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
and say, “Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria,
and see the great tumults within her,
and the oppressed in her midst.”
10“They do not know how to do right,” declares the Lord,
“those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.”
11Therefore thus says the Lord God:
“An adversary shall surround the land
and bring down1 your defenses from you,
and your strongholds shall be plundered.”
12Thus says the Lord: “As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who dwell in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part2 of a bed.
13“Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,”
declares the Lord God, the God of hosts,
14“that on the day I punish Israel for his transgressions,
I will punish the altars of Bethel,
and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
and fall to the ground.
15I will strike the winter house along with the summer house,
and the houses of ivory shall perish,
and the great houses3 shall come to an end,”
declares the Lord.
Amos was not a learned man, but a shepherd from a small town. He was not an innovator; he simply reminded people of facts they already knew. The only remarkable thing about Amos was how unremarkable he was. It was a time of prosperity, corruption, and compromise. God’s people played at religion and toyed with sin. God used Amos to remind His people that religious profession was meaningless unless accompanied by obedience, holiness, and wholehearted worship. He warned them that while God was merciful, He was running out of patience.
In this series, Alistair Begg explains why the prophetic words of Amos remain relevant to today’s Church, which often focuses on religious experiences while denying the truths of biblical doctrine and reduces biblical imperatives to personal options. Like Amos, Alistair urges us to align our worship and lifestyles with the truth of Scripture and renew our relationship with God today, knowing that His judgment is imminent.
|Amos, An Introduction||Amos 1:1|
|This is What the Lord Says, Part One||Amos 1:3-16|
|This is What the Lord Says, Part Two||Amos 2:4-16|
|The Lion Has Roared||Amos 3:1-8|
|Divine Alienation||Amos 3:9-15|
|The Point of No Return||Amos 4:1-13|
|A Funeral Song||Amos 5:1-17|
|The Day of the Lord||Amos 5:18-27|
|The Curse of Complacency||Amos 6:1-14|
|The Sovereign Lord||Amos 7:1-9|
|The Making of a Man of God||Amos 7:10-17|
|Dark Days and Shaved Heads||Amos 8:1-14|
|The Dawn of a New Day||Amos 9:1-15|