Amos 0001 - Lesson 6

Chapter 3

The Judgment of God upon His People

    1. The Opening of the Discourse (Amos 3:1)
      1. Noted by the words, “Hear this word.”
      2. The same opening lines can be found in other discourses in Amos (Amos 4:1; Amos 5:1).
    2. The Opposition of the Discourse (Amos 3:1)
      1. This discourse is “against” the children of Israel.
      2. Though they are His people, the whole object of this discourse is to speak out “against” the iniquity of His people.
    3. The Audience of the Discourse (Amos 3:1)
      1. The children of Israel
      2. The whole family which He brought up from the land of Egypt
    4. The Accountability of the Discourse (Amos 3:2)
      1. Their relationship with God
        1. The Lord states, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth.”
        2. Is it true that the only people God had knowledge of were the children of Israel?  No.
        3. Consider also the words of the Lord Jesus to the unsaved in the future (Matthew 7:23).  Does the Lord really not have knowledge of those who are not saved?  The answer is “no.”
        4. Obviously the word “known” or “know” is a more intimate word having to do with fellowship and relationship.
      2. Their accountability in judgment
        1. This judgment is brought on because of their fellowship with God.
        2. Notice the word “therefore.”
        3. This reminds us of the passage where it says, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48).
    1. Seven Simple Questions (Amos 3:3-6)
      1. Introduction to the questions
        1. Each question would have been simple for the people of God to answer.
        2. Each question has a negative answer.
        3. Each question has an answer that reveals the condemnation of Israel.
      2. Can two walk together…. (Amos 3:3)?
        1. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
        2. The obvious answer to this question is “no”.
        3. This question allows Israel to consider with whom they are walking and why they are walking with them.  It also causes them to ponder why the Lord is not walking with them.
      3. Will a lion roar in the forest…. (Amos 3:4)?
        1. “Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey?”
        2. The obvious answer to this question is “no.”
        3. The question must drive Israel to consider that God is roaring from Zion because He is taking some prey to Himself (Amos 1:2).  They might just be a part of that prey.
      4. Will a young lion cry out of his den…. (Amos 3:4)?
        1. “Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?”
        2. The obvious answer to this question is “no.”
        3. A young lion is to be quiet in the den until the mom returns with food, and then the young lion can let out a cry.
      5. Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth…. (Amos 3:5)?
        1. “Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him?”
        2. The obvious answer to this question is “no.”
        3. A bird cannot fall into a trap that was never set.
        4. Israel must liken themselves to a bird that is about to be snared by the Lord because of their sins.
      6. Shall one take up a snare from the earth…. (Amos 3:5)?
        1. “Shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?”
        2. The answer to this question is “no.”
        3. Israel might have felt safe because they had as of yet not been judged for their sins, but the Lord wants them to consider that He as the faithful hunter has not removed His snare and will not until He takes them.
      7. Shall a trumpet be blown in the city…. (Amos 3:6)?
        1. “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid?”
        2. The obvious answer to this question is “no.”
        3. One of the main reasons for the blowing of the trumpet was the alarm of an incoming attack (Numbers 10:9).
        4. The Lord was suggesting that He is blowing the trumpet and Israel ought to fear.
      8. Shall there be evil in the city…. (Amos 3:6)?
        1. “Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done?”
        2. Though some would struggle with the answer to this question, it is quite simple.  Nothing happens without the Lord doing it directly or indirectly.
        3. Consider the following thoughts on the word evil in scripture.
          1. Although the Bible meaning of evil includes the idea of sinfulness or wickedness in many cases, it also has a broader meaning that is commonly used. In this broader meaning, evil refers to those things that are generally thought of as bad or undesirable; or as the dictionary says, "causing pain or trouble." This would include things such as wars or disease and this is the kind of evil referred to in Isaiah 45:7, not wickedness.
          2. Isaiah 45:7 makes two contrasts. First, light is contrasted with darkness. That makes perfect sense because the two ideas are exact opposites. Then, the verse contrasts peace with evil - "I make peace, and create evil." If evil means wickedness, this does not make sense. Peace is not the opposite of wickedness. However, if evil refers to troubles and sorrows as those found in war, it makes perfect sense. The second pair of ideas would then be complete opposites.
          3. Lot feared to go into the mountain when he fled from Sodom, "lest some evil take me, and I die." He was not talking about iniquity catching him. He was referring to something bad happening.
          4. Genesis 37:20, 33 both refer to an "evil beast." This obviously refers to a harmful beast; one that could hurt someone. The verses are not calling the beast sinful.
        4. The Lord is letting His people know that when the evil comes upon them, they are not to think it is anyone other than the Lord.  He is the one that is bringing evil upon them.
    2. The Prophets of God (Amos 3:7-8)
      1. The revelation of secrets (Amos 3:7)
        1. The Lord does not have to ask permission before acting, yet it is a characteristic of the Lord to reveal the secrets of His coming labour.
        2. The Lord chooses to reveal His secrets to certain people (Genesis 18:17-18).
      2. The work of the prophets (Amos 3:8)
        1. “The lion hath roared, who will not fear?”
          1. If a lion roars, the people will fear.
          2. This is an easy question to answer and the Lord is setting the people up to answer His next question.
        2. “The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?”
          1. If the Lord speaks will someone prophesy?
          2. Because of the last question, we are compelled to say that surely someone will have to prophesy the words of the Lord.
          3. This is consistent with other passages in scripture (Jeremiah 20:9).
    1. An Invitation to the Heathen (Amos 3:9-10)
      1. The publication of coming judgment (Amos 3:9)
        1. Publish in the palaces at Ashdod.
        2. Publish in the palaces in the land of Egypt.
      2. The invitation to witness the coming judgment (Amos 3:9)
        1. Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria.
        2. Behold the tumults in the midst thereof and the oppressed in the midst thereof.
      3. The reason for the coming judgment (Amos 3:10)
        1. Their inability to do right
        2. They are storing up violence and robbery in their palaces.
    2. The Coming Captivity (Amos 3:11-12)
      1. The captivity (Amos 3:11)
        1. The setting for this judgment is in the northern kingdom of Israel where Samaria is located.
        2. Israel was taken into captivity by Assyria (2 Kings 17:22-23).
        3. They never fully returned to the land (2 Kings 18:11-12).
      2. The restoration (Amos 3:12)
        1. Unlike Judah, Israel never fully returned to the land.
        2. They will, however, return one day (Isaiah 11:10-13; Jeremiah 3:17-18; Jeremiah 30:3-4; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Jeremiah 33:7; Ezekiel 37:15-28; Hosea 1:11; Zechariah 10:6).
        3. The significance of the shepherd is that he will only remove a remnant of the lamb from the mouth of the lion.  In like manner a remnant of Israel shall be removed to return back to the land.
    3. The Coming Judgment from the Lord (Amos 3:13-15)
      1. The Lord calls for attention (Amos 3:13).
      2. The Lord to visit the altars of Bethel (Amos 3:14)
        1. This is where Jeroboam set up a golden calf for worship.
        2. This altar had already been destroyed (1 Kings 13:4-5).
        3. It was probably rebuilt and then destroyed by Josiah (2 Kings 23:15).
        4. Much of what we have read has a twofold application.  It is historical and prophetic.  It is likely that these altars will again show up in the future.
      3. The Lord to visit their houses (Amos 3:15)
        1. The winter houses (Jeremiah 36:22)
        2. The summer houses
        3. The houses of ivory (1 Kings 22:39)
        4. The great houses
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 17:17

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.