At a time of luxury and decadence, Amos directed a message from God to prominent and powerful people who had become complacent and smugly self-reliant, warning them that God would hold them accountable for their leadership. While pride causes us to prefer soothing lies over convicting truths, Alistair Begg warns us that modifying God’s Word to suit our preferences only results in false assurance.
1“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria,
the notable men of the first of the nations,
to whom the house of Israel comes!
2Pass over to Calneh, and see,
and from there go to Hamath the great;
then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than these kingdoms?
Or is their territory greater than your territory,
3O you who put far away the day of disaster
and bring near the seat of violence?
4“Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory
and stretch themselves out on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock
and calves from the midst of the stall,
5who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp
and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
6who drink wine in bowls
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
7Therefore they shall now be the first of those who go into exile,
and the revelry of those who stretch themselves out shall pass away.”
8The Lord God has sworn by himself, declares the Lord, the God of hosts:
“I abhor the pride of Jacob
and hate his strongholds,
and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”
9And if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. 10And when one's relative, the one who anoints him for burial, shall take him up to bring the bones out of the house, and shall say to him who is in the innermost parts of the house, “Is there still anyone with you?” he shall say, “No”; and he shall say, “Silence! We must not mention the name of the Lord.”
11For behold, the Lord commands,
and the great house shall be struck down into fragments,
and the little house into bits.
12Do horses run on rocks?
Does one plow there1 with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood2—
13you who rejoice in Lo-debar,3
who say, “Have we not by our own strength
captured Karnaim4 for ourselves?”
14“For behold, I will raise up against you a nation,
O house of Israel,” declares the Lord, the God of hosts;
“and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath
to the Brook of the Arabah.”
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
This is What the Lord Says, Part One
This is What the Lord Says, Part Two
The Lion Has Roared
The Point of No Return
A Funeral Song
The Day of the Lord
The Curse of Complacency
The Sovereign Lord
The Making of a Man of God
Dark Days and Shaved Heads
The Dawn of a New Day
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