The book of Amos is 9 chapters only. It’s a recommended read for any Christian who finds himself in a region where there is National Chaos, and where the body of Christ is not providing sufficient illumination and preservation.
Amos 7: 8-14
8-9 God said to me, “What do you see, Amos?”
I said, “A plumb line.”
Then my Master said, “Look what I’ve done. I’ve hung a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel. I’ve spared them for the last time. This is it!
“Isaac’s sex-and-religion shrines will be smashed,
Israel’s unholy shrines will be knocked to pieces.
I’m raising my sword against the royal family of Jeroboam.”
10 Amaziah, priest at the shrine at Bethel, sent a message to Jeroboam, king of Israel:
“Amos is plotting to get rid of you; and he’s doing it as an insider, working from within Israel. His talk will destroy the country. He’s got to be silenced. Do you know what Amos is saying?
11 ‘Jeroboam will be killed.
Israel is headed for exile.’
12-13 Then Amaziah confronted Amos: “Seer, be on your way! Get out of here and go back to Judah where you came from! Hang out there. Do your preaching there. But no more preaching at Bethel! Don’t show your face here again. This is the king’s chapel. This is a royal shrine.”
14-15 But Amos stood up to Amaziah: “I never set up to be a preacher, never had plans to be a preacher. I raised cattle and I pruned trees. Then God took me off the farm and said, ‘Go preach to my people Israel.’
16-17 “So listen to God’s Word. You tell me, ‘Don’t preach to Israel. Don’t say anything against the family of Isaac.’ But here’s what God is telling you:
Your wife will become a whore in town.
Your children will get killed.
Your land will be auctioned off.
You will die homeless and friendless.
And Israel will be hauled off to exile, far from home.”
In a classical piece, an unknown prophet is raised by God to confront the issues of the day facing Israel! Israel had wandered away from God, but had also become presumptuous – thinking they were right with God, when indeed they were not!
Amaziah fell into the class of Palace Priests. Respected by society and having the ear of the King. It was an order that looked like was of God, but deep down God had rejected them. They were no longer hearing from God, they were merely keeping up with the rituals of religion. God doesn’t do anything without telling His servants the prophets, but these ones are no longer current with heaven’s beat, they have manufactured their own beats.
Some of what you call camp, city, arena e.t.c are religion shrines! God calls them sex and religion shrines or unholy shrines! Do you want to guess the amount of fornication, adultery and even murder that gets done in and from some of these places?
Amos let’s Amaziah know, I didn’t plan to be a preacher, God called me! I was a business man, but God said prophecy! The Idols of men, resident in Men who are acclaimed to be of God will bow before God! Listen to the prophecy of Amos – This shall be their end, watch out. Their wives will be without covering, their children without life, their land will end up auctioned, and in their end lonely and friendless. All who follow them will hustle far from home. Amos leaves no room for repentance, as the sin of presumptuously leading others astray is quite grave.
What exactly was the problem with God’s people? What did God send Amos to correct and challenge and how is it so similar to our realities today?
Amos 2: 4-5
1. They rejected God’s revelation! God spoke through unknown channels, and they rejected it. It usually starts with unbelief, then heads into jest and mockery, then ultimately they reject. Either by evaluating the voice, or elevating men more than God. God’s people regularly use funny parameters to reject God’s revelation.
2. They refuse to keep God’s commands! God has standards, and God’s people have been far from those standards. The Law is fulfilled, there is only one commandment available to New Testament believers – Love on another, as I have loved you (John 13:34-35). This is a new commandment, and it’s not a preaching command, it’s a doing command. I am supposed to be burned with loving just as Christ loved. I must be willing to lose my life for someone else to be saved! Every Gospel that makes martyrdom extreme, and let’s God’s people know that they have a choice and that dying was the choice of the first disciples, is from the Pit of Hell! Even if the person that preaches it looks like heaven, that doctrine is from Hell. The only commandment we have, is to love like Jesus loved us.
3. They swallowed the same lies that their fathers followed! The same lies that did not help their fathers, the same old doctrines that were not true, they simply could not challenge status quo. The message of their fathers about sowing, reaping, tithes and offering as a means to prosperity was error laden, but they couldn’t challenge it, they simply believed the same lies that did not prosper their fathers. They changed the definition of prosperity to suit their desired lifestyles! God is coming hard on them! He’s burning down their fortresses.
Amos 2: 6-8
4. For them people are only things – ways of making money! They buy and sell upstanding people. The poor is a means to an end. The philosophy of the day is “How is your church doing?”. The next question is how many people are there now? Congregation size equals more offering. The people have been saved for 20yrs they can’t answer you straight on “What is God’s will?”. They serve a God that solves their personal problems.
5. They Con the Poor! The Church is meant to provide for and take care of the poor. Not these ones, they use the poor. The poor contribute to build schools, then the kids of the poor can’t attend. The poor contribute to buy jets, and then slap around on feet. The poor subsidize the lifestyles of the rich. They are told to give their all, to sow items that have no capacity to grow! Church members walk to church with N10,000 tithe in their pockets, they dare not borrow from God to take a taxi! This god likes His notes complete! No excuses. The poor is conned!
6. They commit sacrilege against God’s holy name! What is meant for God is given to man! These people are meant to be betrothed to Jesus, but they carry the images of their Pastors. They take pledges from people extorting the poor and pile up all their loot to build big shrines for their god! The tears and sweat of poor people put together makes them untouchable.
These were the foundational errors that Amos was meant to correct, but not all.
7. God was specially pissed with His people because of their special calling! The more special you are to God, the more responsible He’ll hold you. Amos 3:1-2
8. God was not happy with all the different altars set up in different places, He decrees that they shall all come down! Their end is extinction. He calls them sin altars, fancy buildings and luxurious pretentious houses! Amos 3: 13-15.
9. God was unhappy with their religious shows! Shows that was what God saw! God calls their coming together to worship sin! Either in Gilgal or Bethel. It wasn’t really about God, it’s about meeting God for what He would do for them. It was about Sacrifices, offering, tithes, free will offerings. They gather to exploit! God let’s them know that He is the source of their problems. He is the one holding their progress! Amos 4:4-5.
10. God instructs them to seek Him and live! Not man! It’s not happening in those shrines you are going to! Seek God! This is not an invitation to any particular church, this is an invitation to seek God yourself! Read it for yourself Amos 5:4-6. Don’t fool yourself around those “camps”, “cities” e.t.c The Bible says don’t was time taking trips to the ones that are far. Those places are there today, and will be gone tomorrow! If you want to end up with something to show for your life – Run! Bethel is all show, no action! God’s word!
11. Amos 5:21-27 is a classic. God simply says, in a nation where Justice and Fairness is not central – The churches meet in vain! God can’t stand the religious meetings, the conferences and conventions, the religion building projects, the pretentious slogans and goals. He says He’s sick of the fundraise schemes, the public relations and image making! He doesn’t even like the music – it’s all egotistical and not praising or worshiping Him. What God wants is Justice and fairness – oceans and rivers of it.
12. The list goes on, but let stop here at Amos 6:1 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion. Those who feel comfortable in Church and are not touched by what is going down in their nation! Woe to those who reside from where God’s law is meant to come out from, and all they do is think whatever happens their breads are buttered. Woe to them who think they are doing well, when in God’s eyes they are not.
I recommend that you take out time and read Amos. This is already too long, but those for whom God woke me up this morning to write this will read it.
God bless you.