Book of Amos
Chapter 9, Part 21
It doesn’t seem possible we are already in the last chapter of the Book of Amos. I should give you all a final exam, but won’t. I would like you to think about what we’ve learned in this study.
1.God doesn’t send His vengeance on the earth until his prophets have been told and they have sounded the alarm. 2.A nation in sin never pleases God. 3.God will not sit idly by forever watching His children living a wrong lifestyle. 4.God does not allow unconfessed sin to go unpunished. 5.We can’t run or hide from God. He sees and reaches us no matter where we are. If we are smart, we will turn to Him, rend our hearts (Joel 2:13), and repent before Him. Understand this: He will know if your repentance is true or for show. 6.Don’t trust in your wealth of position. Money doesn’t protect us from the hand of God. He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), so He will treat us all equally (Galatians 3:28). 7.Even the resources God provides are affected by our sin. Drought comes, crops fail, insects come as a vast army to devour, trees and grasses are burned up and the livestock dies. 8.The theme of Amos is, “Seek Me and live” (5:4b). 9.It doesn’t pay to give false worship to God. He’s sees right through the façade to the heart and will reward or punish accordingly. Remember: Even out of all this fiasco, God will save a remnant of faithful souls. 10.The mourning of a nation under the wrath of God is excessive and deep.
But wait! There is more judgment to come in chapter 9, however, this chapter, this Book ends with a surprise; one we are seeing fulfilled in our day, bless the Lord! Let’s begin the study.
"I saw the LORD standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered” (Amos 9:1). Isaiah saw the Lord (Isaiah 6:1) and Moses saw the Lord (Exodus 3:2). Now Amos sees the Lord in the Temple. This will describe Amos’ fifth visions.
Amos is a spectator in this vision. God did not ask Amos what he saw, nor did God speak directly to him, but to the angels. Amos got to watch record and report the events that are taking place in the vision. His prayers did not alter the results here as it did in Amos 7 when God relented through Amos’ intercession and did not send the locusts and did not send the devouring fire. (Amos 7:1-6.) But rather will follow through as in the plumb line judgment in 7:7-9.
The Lord has stepped down from His Mercy Seat in preparation for leaving the temple, and now stood on the altar of sacrifice. The people had come to a festival and they brought profane sacrifices to offer to their own gods on God’s altar, and God had enough. He told His warrior angels to strike the lintel (top of the doorway) so hard that even the enormous foundation stones would shake causing the structure to fall in upon itself killing all who were within the temple. Those who were not killed in the collapse would not escape the wrath of God. His angels would chase after them and “cut off their heads” so that all who had come were killed. What an awesome, terrible, powerful vision that was for Amos to see.
There are conflicting reports in the commentaries about which lintel of which temple God brought down in this vision. Do you remember that God said He would tear down all the high places even the marble homes of the elite? These people continually profaned God’s altar, and He was taking them down! I believe God was in the temple at Bethel when He gave Amos this vision because it tells us in the beginning of this Book that God called Amos out of the south to go north and prophesy. Since He was giving this vision about the ten northern tribes of Israel who worshipped at Bethel, it makes sense to me that this was the location. However, since all the tribes of Israel, north and south, were worshipping false gods and idols, I believe it was a vision of what was to befall all temples where God was mocked and dishonored. I believe it was a vision of the destruction of the wicked ones of that day.
Like now, each individual then had the responsibility to worship and honor God according to HIS Word. We all have the tools within reach to know who God is and how to glorify Him. We, as they, choose not to. Are you praying and interceding for this country as Amos did for Israel? Are you part of the construction or the destruction of faith in this country? Are you praying that God will withhold His wrath? Are you praying for the children of God to turn from their wicked ways back to the right-ness of God in Christ? Are you praying like me that Jesus will come soon?
“Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down: And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them: And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good” (verses 2-4). Where can we go to hide from the eyes of God? “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes”(Jeremiah 16:17). “Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:24). “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable“ (Hebrews 4:13 NLT).
David expressed this truth quite well in Psalm 139:8-10, when he said, “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” All this makes one thing very clear. We cannot hide from God.
Carmel is the highest place in Israel. It has a forest and caves where people can hide from their enemies, but they can’t hide from God, and He will direct their enemies in how to find them. If it were possible for them to hide in the depth of the sea, God would send a sea serpent to bite and kill them. Even if they gave themselves up to being captured by their enemies and brought to a foreign land, they would not be safe from God’s wrath. God’s wrath would not be restrained any longer. He would find His enemies no matter where they hide.
“And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name” (verses 5, 6). God’s is omnipotent. That is, He’s strong in power and invincible. No harm can come TO the Lord, but much can come FROM Him. If He touched a mountain with His finger, it would quake and roll as the sea. Remember, this is the same God who spoke a word and the earth was formed. His power is unlimited. That’s what they forgot.
Believe me: That still holds true for today. A day is coming when God’s mercy will be removed, Jesus will snatch up His church from amidst the heathens, and this world will be thrown into turmoil by the antichrist. There is coming a final battle between God and the nations. They will be defeated and Israel will be saved. The final battle that will ever take place will be fought in the heavens where satan once for all will be defeated, this old earth will pass away and a new heaven and new earth and a New Jerusalem will come.
“It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven…” That is, the levels of the heavens above us, seen and unseen. The universes and all that was created were by His Word. And He keeps it all in order. Pastor Ron Beckham, said, “Over much of this planet, the temperature and density of the air is just right for human life. At 30,000 feet, we wouldn't make it. And there are layers of protection for us, such as the Van Allen Radiation Belt and the Ozone Layer, that give us some safety from the harmful rays that come from Sol, the star that we call the "sun."
“Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?” (Verse 7) Amos just struck the final blow on Israel. Their pride was in the fact that they are God’s chosen people, the lands part of the inheritance God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. By this word delivered for God, Amos pulls out their last rug from under them. God had promised Israel that He would never turn from them, allow them to be taken captive again, or ever be destroyed. What they forgot is these promises came with a codicil. God would do these things as long as Israel obeyed His commandments. They did not. Everything He warned them not to do is exactly what they were doing. They desecrated the temple with their profane sacrifices. The forefathers gave perfect sacrifices. These people did as the heathen, serving the false gods and idols. Another thing for us to consider is, if God punished His favorite, how much more will He punish those who are not of the faith and mock Him?
Watch this, now. “Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD” (verse 8). Israel was God’s elect, yes. But because they wallowed in sin like a pig in mud God would destroy them. No matter how many times God warned them, and even with the knowledge in their minds of their nation’s history, they chose to walk in opposition to God’s commands and edicts. Yes, God would destroy Israel, but here is where the hope begins, the new promise is given from God. “I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob…” The Lord would honor those who honored Him. Those righteous as Amos would survive. They would mourn the loss of their loved ones, friends, neighbors, homes in the destruction, but they would walk out the other side to live and begin anew. Praise God for His promise!
When Jesus broke the bread and poured out the wine, He shared it with His apostles. When He did, He changed the emphasis of Passover from Egypt to himself. The Passover the Israelis ate when they were getting ready to leave Egypt was what Jesus and His disciples were celebrating that night. From that night on, it would be Jesus they, we, celebrate when we share the body and blood of the Savior.
Father, we want to take a moment to thank You for Your love of us. We especially want to thank You for Jesus. Our finite minds don’t understand what He gave up for us, but we know it was everything He had, and it was the only way for us to be saved. We ask You now, Father, please bless the elements of communion we are using as the bread and wine. We are grateful that His body took the stripes for our healing and His blood poured out to wash away our sin.
“And when He had given thanks, He brake it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me" I Corinthians 11:24). Take the bread now.
“After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. Take the cup. now.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup ye do shew the Lord's death till He come” (I Corinthians 11:25, 26).
Book of Amos
Chapter 9, Part 22
“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us” (Amos 9:9, 10). Verses 8-10 are the final judgments of God on Israel. In verse 8, God promised to “utterly destroy the house of Jacob.” Surely (positively, absolutely, without a doubt) God would pour out His wrath on this nation of religious and moral sinfulness. Not one single kernel or pebble would pass through the holes in the screen that God would use to sift Israel. Everyone will either be killed or be taken into tormenting lives of slavery. Is this a type, a shadow of hell? I think it is. Not one sinner will escape through any loopholes on judgment day. Sinners, who have continually rejected Christ, whether in the Old or New Testament, will all be judged and cast into the torments of a lake that burns eternally with fire, where “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Last week we saw the promise of God to save out a remnant of the people of the house of Jacob (Israel). Even to this day, Jews who are the descendants of that remnant can be found in every country and in every walk of life all over the world. But, first the destruction came, the wrath of judgment on Israel so that most of the people were killed.
Remember, the people God was angry with were boastful, prideful, arrogant, and blasphemed against God. They broke His every Commandment and lived a riotous life. They made rules for other to follow, yet they themselves did not follow them. Also, in Israel, there was usury and bribery in the courts. The people offered sacrifices to false gods made with men’s hands (Deuteronomy 4:28; Psalm 115:4; Acts 17:29) rather than to the true God who had fashioned them, the people, with His own hands. They defiled the altar of God in every conceivable way.
This reminds me of the seven woes of Jesus to the Pharisees in Matthew 23. The Pharisees made laws which were burdensome to their followers, but they did not practice the important aspects of any law. That is, they omitted justice, grace and mercy. They did not demonstrate any faithfulness to God. They taught that a thing sworn to by the holy things, the temple and the altar within the temple was not binding, but that a thing sworn to by the gold that adorned the temple, or the sacrificing placed on the altar, was. Pride made the Pharisees want to be seen and heard. It caused them to live outside the will of God for themselves and the people. They assumed the place of Moses, the leader of Israel, and perverted every commandment God gave.
Does this sound familiar? Do you know other countries where the people are doing these things? Right now we are watching the horrendous waste of human lives in Syria. It’s bad enough when your enemies from another country kill you, but when your own countrymen bear arms against you and take your life, it’s unconscionable. Thousands of lives have been taken over the last months in brutal ways, many of them. Now Russia has sent them more helicopters to make it easier for them to kill masses at once.
Do you know cults that make idol worship the basis of their faith? In India you can’t eat a cow because it might be your relative living out his karma.
Nations steal the wealth of the people so their rulers live in extreme luxury while the people die of malnutrition and disease. God has nothing against free enterprise or great wealth for people. However, when that wealth is amassed at the expense of the poor, it is sin. There are churches leading their congregations into idol worship and worship of false gods: Themselves. When the pilot of a plane erroneously broadcast an emergency message to the people in the cabin recently, it was said that people were crying and calling out to God. I wonder how many cried to Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu, or Allah? I would imagine none did. Why not? The people don’t cry out to false gods in times of trouble because they can’t save anyone. Only the God of the Bible ever proved Himself mighty to save.
God destroyed Israel just as He will destroy any nation that ridicules and mocks Him. As with Israel, the nations of the world have been warned, but the people think they are untouchable, that this Bible is for weak people, or that they are safe from judgment. The Gospel proclaiming Jesus is being preached more in this age than ever before, yet the heathen continue in sin. The sin factor now is beyond measure with millions of babies murdered in utero and out. Homosexuality is a wildfire burning out of control all over the world. Both of these are sins spoken against in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, yet are more prevalent now than ever.
Man continues to reject Jesus and His salvation every day. They mock God and all He stands for. One day, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10, 11). Until that day, men carry on in their self-destructive behaviors.
The rejection of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God is definitely a sin unto death: Eternal death.
“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this” (verses 11, 12). God had instructed Amos to end this prophecy with a hope and a promise of restoration for the nation of Israel. God had a covenant with David that said, “Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel…” (II Samuel 7:8) “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7: 16). God promised David that the “fruit of his body” would always be on the throne of Israel. (Psalm 132:11) Jesus is called the Son of David. This promise refers to the coming of the Messiah.
A tabernacle is a dwelling used during the feast of Tabernacles. It’s made of a post frame covered with branches of leaves that protected the people from the sun. They were temporary shelters erected only for a set time, and then taken down, like the tents people use now for camping. Our bodies are tabernacles of the Lord: Temporary shelters until our spirits and souls leave them and move to Heaven to be with God. Death tears down our tabernacles, but God resurrects them in glory, praise the Lord.
Using this analogy of the body as a tabernacle, Ezekiel 37 makes sense. The dry bones were the divided nations of Israel and Judah. God promised to restore them and to raise them up to be one powerful nation in the earth. The first step in the fulfillment of this prophecy spoken by Ezekiel took place when God softened the heart of King Cyrus to allow them who had survived exile to return home to rebuild (Isaiah 45:13) under the leadership of Nehemiah (the wall rebuilder) and Ezra the priest.
The second step was when Jesus came. He wasn’t born in a palace containing fine gold and ornaments like David lived in. Jesus was born in a dirty animal stable, or barn, and laid in a feeding trough. Yet, it was this Jesus by whom the glory of Israel was restored. It is through Jesus that the new tabernacle of God was set up in this earth among men; that is, the church.
(No, I do NOT believe in replacement theology that says the church took the place of Israel in God’s sight. Israel will always be God’s chosen nation. I believe that when the Jew and the Greek (us) come to Jesus, we become one new man (Ephesians 2:15), and we benefit from her connection to God, not the other way around.)
Edom is Israel’s worst enemy. It was founded by the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s brother. They have always held a grudge against Israel for stealing Esau’s blessing so maintain a hostile face toward them. There will even be a remnant saved out of Edom to join ranks with Israel in the New Jerusalem.
Edom is representative of all the heathen nations. We are seeing great number of people in China, the Middle East and other countries coming to Christ, praising Him, and worshipping Him. These are the ones God gave Jesus as His inheritance. Because they have come to Jesus they are now known by His own name: Christ follower. The Holy Spirit is at work all over the world. We have tunnel vision and think of Him as only working in this country, but that’s not true. Anywhere there is a human, there is God’s Spirit to convict of sin and call to repentance. This promise was made by the God of righteousness and love whose grace is sufficient for all.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt” (verse 13). This verse teaches us that when Israel is restored, her lands will be so productive that the harvest will no sooner be taken then the plow will be placed in the land to dig for the next planting. This will also be true of the grapevines. We must remember that oftentimes when the Bible speaks of wine, it refers to the Holy Spirit. After Jesus was killed and resurrected, He sent His Holy Spirit who came like tongues of fire upon all who were in the upper room. This was when the prophecy of Joel 2:28, 29 was fulfilled, which says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
“And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God” (verses 14, 15). The descendants of those taken in captivity, those who were born in captivity will be returned to their land. The mention of wine, gardens and fruit in verse 14 indicates the great provision God will make for His children as He supplies their every need in spirit, soul, and body. Remember: God destroyed all the food and water in Israel and Judah. This is a promise of restoration beyond anything they have ever seen.
Before 1948 this prophecy could not have been fulfilled. There was no State of Israel. It wasn’t until Israel won the war and was accepted as a state that this could have come true. Now, Israel has been rebuilt, gardens planted, vineyards, groves, and orchards produce abundant crops.
The “waste” cities are those in Israel and Judah that had been destroyed by invading armies. That is the Turks, the Assyrians, etc…
Verse 15 is being fulfilled even today as the Israelis return to Israel from all over the world. This land will never again be taken away from Israel. God promised, “they shall no more be pulled up.” The Jews will be in Israel when the Lord calls all the armies of the world to come to war at Megiddo. This time, it will be the nations of the world who curse Israel that will face the wrath and utter destruction of God’s judgment. They, however, will never be restored. The next land they will occupy will be their own little corner in hell. God’s Spirit is still calling them to repentance, but they mock God, say Jesus is JUST a nice man, and they break every commandment God ever gave. The commandments that tell them to love God and others are ignored. No way are they going to love God or Israel. Not the real God of the Bible anyway. Their gods have other names. Praise God we know our destination. Praise God we will own a piece of Heaven. Praise God we had the sense to say, “YES!” to Jesus.